A dog really did stop my son's tantrums. When he was in the throes of adolescence he'd take his frustration out by hitting walls and freaking out. When I brought home Felony, the pit bull, she decided that his room was the place to be. However when the boy would get frustrated or angry, she would hide under his bed. He would never hurt her and seeing her scared by his anger (usually video game related) made him start learning to deal with frustration in different ways. This was a happy bonus--not the reason that we got her.