Why do people treat their dogs if they were their kids? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
View Poll Results: I consider my dog/dogs to be
equal to humans. 33 21.71%
above humans. 11 7.24%
my own child. 73 48.03%
just a dog. 55 36.18%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 152. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 131 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
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Why do people treat their dogs if they were their kids?

I grew up in a home where dogs were just that-the dogs. They were mostly kept outside, they were fed and given immunizations and necessary medical treatment but they were NOT treated the same as humans. We had a neighbor though who must have thought our treatment of our dogs was criminal. He had birthday parties for his dog, cooked up gourmet meals for his dog, and treated his dog like his own child. Even as a kid I could tell that this man pitied our dogs. He was forever bringing over food for them and throwing it over the fence. His dog named Fluffy was kept indoors with him and he would take him in the car with him everywhere.

I got married and moved out and spent 9 years living in apartments were dogs were not allowed so I had little to no exposure to dogs for this time period. Then my sister and her husband bought a home and they got two dobermans from a rescue. At first, I admit that I laughed at them because their dogs have their own bedrooms with their own beds and a fancy sign with their name hanging on the wall above their bed. Framed pictures are displayed throughout their home of the dogs. The dogs are pampered, spoiled, they do have a dog house out in the backyard-a heated/air conditioned dog house but the dogs never go in there. The dogs each have a remote control collar thing around their necks that open a door to the backyard so that they can enter and exit the house at will. I forgot to mention that the dogs are taken to swim at some special doggy facility on a weekly basis. Of course they dogs are exercised religiously everyday as well.

When I first brought my GSD home-I was convinced that I would never be as silly as my sister. I was convinced that she treated her dogs that way because she has no children (doesn't want any) and so she and her hubby must be using the dogs as a human child replacement. But now, I have also become a source of laughter to my family. I do treat my dogs like I treat my kids. I now don't understand how my parents left our dogs outside all the time like that. I do sometimes chuckle to myself when I find myself cooking a bland meal for the dogs if they have an upset stomach. As I mix the rice and chicken together in their bowls I think-who would have imagined me cooking for a dog? Yes, my dogs have birthday parties and Christmas presents and the whole 9 yards.

Do you treat your dog like kids? Or are you one of the people who are laughing at us? Share your feelings on this.

*US Army Mom*


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Last edited by Germanshepherdlova; 12-02-2011 at 10:17 AM.
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post #2 of 131 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 10:15 AM
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I am somewhere in between. Yes, Glock is my kid, but since I'm not a huge birthday party person myself, he won't be getting birthday parties. Will I get him something special for his birthday and let people know "Today, Glock is 1!!!" Yes, I will. He is my baby, but he will never have his own room.


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post #3 of 131 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 10:17 AM
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I voted "just a dog" but I don't think that is worded fairly. To me a dog is not "just" a dog, a dog is a DOG. I find it disrespectful to both people/children AND dogs to consider them the same thing. My dogs are both so much more and less than children at the same time. My dog Nikon has earned the respect of people that children have not. He is a mature animal. I don't like a mature, thinking, accomplished dog that will protect me with his life considered in the same vein as a child. But at the same time, as far as my own family, children will come first. When people refer to my dogs as my children I correct them.
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post #4 of 131 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 10:18 AM
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I don't fit into any of those categories. They are dogs and are treated as such but they aren't "just dogs".
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post #5 of 131 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 10:19 AM
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I dont have human kids and I dont ever want any.

All 5 of my animals are my kids. My whole life revolves around them. I love them more than anything and they love me more than anything. The dogs go everywhere with me. They get birthday parties, birthday gifts, Christmas gifts and regular gifts whenever I find something I want to get them.

My friends and family treat them as if they are their neices and nephew, siblings and grandkids.

My mom has pictures of Malice and Sinister up on her station at her beauty salon and she calls them her "Granddogs".

My cats have their own bedroom and it has a gate in front of the door to keep the dogs out.

They are definitly not just a dog or not just a cat to me, they are my life.

I wanted to add that I understand that they are animals and not real children, they are trained (Malice is still being molded) and they act appropriate out in public and are well socialized, I would never have a spoiled child so I'll never have a spoiled unruly brat dog.

Lauren

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Last edited by LaRen616; 12-02-2011 at 10:21 AM.
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post #6 of 131 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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I didn't mean to offend by the option just a dog. I meant that one considers him-not a child, not a human, but an animal-a dog (mans best friend) I tried to rephrase it in the poll option but it won't let me edit.

*US Army Mom*


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post #7 of 131 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaRen616 View Post
I dont have human kids and I dont ever want any.

All 5 of my animals are my kids. My whole life revolves around them. I love them more than anything and they love me more than anything. The dogs go everywhere with me. They get birthday parties, birthday gifts, Christmas gifts and regular gifts whenever I find something I want to get them.

My friends and family treat them as if they are their neices and nephew, siblings and grandkids.

My mom has pictures of Malice and Sinister up on her station at her beauty salon and she calls them her "Granddogs".

My cats have their own bedroom and it has a gate in front of the door to keep the dogs out.

They are definitly not just a dog or not just a cat to me, they are my life.

I wanted to add that I understand that they are animals and not real children, they are trained (Malice is still being molded) and they act appropriate out in public and are well socialized, I would never have a spoiled child so I'll never have a spoiled unruly brat dog.
wow-you are lucky. I wish my parents would hop on board and see my dogs as more than just "my daughters dog" but I could never see that happening.

*US Army Mom*


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post #8 of 131 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 10:26 AM
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I picked just a dog to, but agree that its not in the sense of "oh its just a dog". lol.

He is part of the family, but he is still a dog. I always hope to be able to do anything for them, but my family and kids come first, always. So far I haven't had to choose and have been lucky to be able to do what I need to for my dog without it having to pick.

~Johanna~

Baily ~ GSD x ~ (Jan 2001 - Jan 2016)
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post #9 of 131 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 10:27 AM
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I think i will end up in the middle. My boyfriend and i are on a wait list for a puppy. We do not plan on having kids so the dogs will be our kids in a way. I always thought people who put their dogs in strollers and such were silly, but have been considering buying one because i love to run and 'was told you shouldn't run with a puppy till they are about a year old. (not sure after reading other posts if this is true) But my friends are now laughing at me. I think im going to become that person i used to think was silly.
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post #10 of 131 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 10:30 AM
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I don't have kids and don't want them. Honestly don't much like them. My dogs fill that nurturing place for me. No, they don't have their own room and they don't get birthday parties, but I do have framed pictures of them in my house. I do take them to social occasions with their friends and they have organized sports practices. They are pampered but not spoiled. To me "spoiled" has the connotation of being bratty and getting anything they want and not being made to behave.


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