Why Do People Own Dogs? – Dog Training – Dog Trainer – Behaviorist
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Dogs add value to people’s lives.
If you like dogs, then you get more from a dog than what a dog costs to own in terms of time, effort, emotional investment, and money. You receive benefits of dog ownership even if you don’t own a dog, or don’t like dogs.
Companionship: Dogs provide you with pleasant company. Just as we find it enjoyable to fellowship with other people, dogs provide a type of loyal association we get from our closest friends and family. A dog’s loyalty is legendary. We all loved watching Lassie on TV as kids, because it confirmed those same feelings and beliefs we had about our dogs. We all know that our dogs love us, watch out for us, and want to be with us. With a dog, you never are alone.
Emotional Support: Therapy dogs are being deployed in hospitals because of their proven ability to relieve depression, put a smile on patient’s faces, and to provide comfort. And for similar reasons, that is why we have them in our lives and in our homes. A dog will brighten your day, give you joy, and will be there even when other people have let us down.
Service: Dogs provide valuable services for us. They warn us of intruders and check out visitors; help the blind to walk; assist law enforcement; assist the military; help heal the sick; protect us from criminals; put food on the table; notify us when someone isn’t well; help the deaf; find lost people; and even help us find bedbugs in hotels. Dogs have super powers that humans don’t possess, so we continually are finding new things they can do to help us.
Entertainment: I find few things more enjoyable than seeing my dog having fun. A smile on my dog’s face puts one on my face, too. Dogs play. Dogs have their own way of laughing. Dogs get you out of your blues and bring happiness into a home. It is a crack up to watch a puppy play. All dog lovers have funny stories to tell.
Business: Dogs provide jobs, for K9 police officers, firefighters investigating arson, and military officers looking for bombs. There would be no PetSmart or Petco without dogs, and those are billion dollar enterprises. Dogs provide work for hospital volunteer administrators. Dogs allow the blind and deaf to be more mobile and productive, and increase their ability to find work. There would be no pet food, dog training, grooming, dog toy manufacturers, dog food makers, and so forth otherwise. Dogs result in billions of dollars of business and contribute more than their cost back in terms of all they provide. How much is a bomb detection dog worth, when you consider the savings in medical costs if just one soldier isn’t injured. How much is an arson detection dog worth if it results in the apprehension of one criminal? An arson fire could burn down a million dollar structure. How many crimes are deterred because people own dogs? Lots. It is a recognized fact by law enforcement that your risk of being a victim are much lower if you have a dog. Less stuff is stolen, fewer people are killed or injured, and hospitals don’t have to treat more people for the acts of criminals. And on and on. Dogs, overall, are valuable.
So, even if you aren’t a dog lover, even you benefit by your neighbor owning a dog. That dog could drive away a criminal from your neighborhood or even from your yard or home, or make your neighbor less cranky, or help your handicapped relative live a happier and more productive life.
In some cultures, owning a dog is frowned upon… or banned. I wouldn’t want to live in such a place. Further, think of all the services dogs provide that aren’t available there. No guide dogs. No police dogs. No arson dogs. No drug detection dogs. No bomb detection dogs. Hunting dogs are sometimes allowed, but not so much. No home dogs to detect intruders. No therapy dogs. No military dogs (read sometime about how many lives were saved during WW I, WW II, and Vietnam because of the services of war dogs). In some countries, dogs are rounded up and killed, sometimes brutally. And no companion dogs. China has had brutal crackdowns on dog ownership over the years. Iran created a dog prison for dogs, and has regular crackdowns on dog ownership. Dogs have been banned because they were owned by the rich, so it was the symbolism of capitalism that made them the targets of state terror campaigns. In other cultures, dogs are considered unclean, or a sign of being too Westernized, even though dogs were traditionally used for thousands of years as hunting dogs in those same countries. Dogs, and certain breeds of dog are also banned in some countries, cities, neighborhoods, apartments and businesses. This is just foolish. Banning dogs costs society, and you personally. There is no study, no proof, nothing that demonstrates that bans increase public safety, improve animal welfare, or lower other risks or costs.
Dogs are not just walking carpets that we feed. Dogs are part of human society, and have been for millennia. They are not obsolete. They are relevant, valuable members of our society.