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Please Tell Me About Dogs

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I've never had a dog, but I dated a guy once whose jeep smelled like dog. Compared to cats, dogs seem kind of clingly and slobbery, and our neighbor's dog always jumps on us with her muddy paws.

If you've had/have a dog, how are they different than cats? Do you like dogs or cats better, or does it depend on their personalities? I'm curious what people who like both can tell me about the virtues of the dog.

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 25
Dogs are motivated by serving the alpha in the pack (humans), but only if you take on the role of alpha. You hear about dog behavior problems and the majority of them are associated with the owner losing control of the dog (e.g. the dog does not see their owner as alpha).

So assuming that you are their alpha, dogs fundamentally want to please you, where as cats, as we joke, are "all about me!".

I just asked my husband (he calls himself dog boy), the dog expert in the family: loyal, friendly, want nothing more than to please their masters, hearing your voice makes them happy, unconditional love and adoration from them, always happy to see you, they smile at you. No matter how bad your day has been, you walk in the door and they are there to give you all the love in their hearts.

I have 2 large dogs. I can give them a look and they know me well enough to know what I expect from them. Sam loves to snuggle on the sofa with me, but he puts his paw on it and catches my eye to ask if he can join me before he leaps up there. He knows that if he jumps up when I don't want him to, I get mad and heavy forbid that mom gets mad.

We feed 10 cats their own bowl of canned food every night. The dogs lay on the floor, sometimes inches away and wait patiently until we tell them that the cats are done and they can lick the plates clean. We can leave the house, walk away for an hour, and since they want to please us, they never touch the bowls until we tell them it is OK to do so. Teach a cat that!! lol

They are so easy to train if you only know how to do it. Honestly, most people don't.

Get the idea?
post #3 of 25
Cats are not really more independent just not as dependant ..

example...

Gigi(dog) want s dinner she has to wait for me to chop and add supps ... Zoey(cat but a dog like one in ways) only yell s when the bowl is under half full... Gigi used to eat dry food I still had to stand with her

Gigi is a yorkie ... she is spirited yet depends on me for everything... I have to walk her at least once a day ... I have to bathe her once or twice a month.. i feed her 3-4 times a day now ...

similiar issues health wise was Kandie ( cat ) ... but Kandie didnt need me in there to eat just me to dispence ... I cleaned a box once or twice a day ... no walking needed ... Mom brushed her daily ...
post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
They are so easy to train if you only know how to do it. Honestly, most people don't.

Even the clinginess and slobbering on you can be trained out of a dog if you know how. It's like with cats yowling in the middle of the night or clawing at your furniture- I've read a lot on here where it just takes a little training and say, you don't have to declaw!

Dogs can be a lot more work than cats, depending on the dog's personality and how much you want them trained, but it's very rewarding work.

You ask which people like better. Personally, they are like apples and oranges. I've always been a dog person, but Evie sure stole my heart quickly. Comparing the virtues of the two, cats CAN be less work on average, whereas, in my humble opinion, dogs are more rewarding to work with, because you work WITH them. I've "trained" Evie to do certain things at certain cues- like to get her dinner or her precious water from the sink- but she does those because she wants the "reward", whereas a dog will do it because they want you to be happy.

But, like MomOfMany said, you must train dogs, or else you might end up with a clingy, slobbery, jumpy monster!
post #5 of 25
I grew up with dogs, but they were never my own dogs, so I was not really responsible for their training. Nonetheless, I had very strong relationships with them, in particular one. I have always been a critter person, but I always thought of myself as a dog person.

When the moment came in my life to bring a pet of my own into my life, I'd have had a dog in a heartbeat, but I knew that my lifestyle was wrong for a dog. I have always felt great impatience with people who gush "Oh I just love them soooooooo much, I have to have one" and then are barely there for it, and wonder why they have a neurotic dog on their hands. Someday, I'll have the lifestyle, and then I'd love to have a dog. In the meantime, I enjoy other people's dogs, including talking to most dogs I meet on the street. We have great conversations.

But lacking the appropriate lifestyle and still wanting a pet with whom I could have a real relationship -- who would give a hoot whether I was there or not -- I determined that the pet for me was a cat. Little did I know. Shasta educated me. I learned how wonderful it was to have the affection, love, regard of a creature who didn't give it to just anyone. Once she decided I was worthy of it, the look of adoration tied my stomach in knots and turned my knees to jelly -- and regularly brought tears to my eyes, still does -- but if I screw up, my kitties -- Shasta and all her successors -- make sure I know it.

I cannot imagine living my life without at least one kitty in it, and I look forward to the day when it will be appropriate to include a dog.
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampWitch View Post
I've never had a dog, but I dated a guy once whose jeep smelled like dog. Compared to cats, dogs seem kind of clingly and slobbery, and our neighbor's dog always jumps on us with her muddy paws.
!
Some dogs are more independent by nature than others (do your research if this is something you want in a dog) and most aren't slobbery. Most can be trained easily not to jump. I don't mind clingy one bit.
Personally, I love dogs. I love their wanting to be by me, following me around, always up for anything attitude, always wanting to play, waking up each day excited about life and what the day holds, their happiness, their wagging tails, their toothy grins, the way the love being petted, how they fetch, how they can come camping with me and enjoy it every bit as much as I do, how they will come when called and love to take long walks, a dog is truely a wonderful friend and great companion when wanted and loved. They do take a lot of work, time, money, and effort but the rewards outweigh any cost.
A dog is a huge commitment and most live over 10 years so I would make sure you are ready before getting one. Go to the shelter and spend time walking the dogs if you unsure. Maybe one will capture your heart that needs a good home.
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Having a dog is sort of like have a kid (in the amount of work it takes to do it right), and at the same time sort of like having an extremely pleasant and fun friend who doesn't let you down. It's not easy to find humans with those qualities!

It makes a lot of sense that people with special needs have trained dogs to help them.

I wasn't thinking of getting a dog right now, but maybe one day. (My hands are full with a child, husband, and three cats who like a lot of attention.)

Your responses have been very interesting! Thanks again for helping me understand.
post #8 of 25
Well I've always had both dogs/cats growing up. Advantages/disadvantages to both. We have a lab and 2 cats.

Dogs HAVE to go potty outside (disadvantage if its raining and you have a dog that doesn't like to get wet....lol). So you can't just leave them home for the entire day like you can a cat with a bowl of food/water/litter pan.

They are more work cause you have to train them in basic obedience otherwise you have a dog everyone hates cause it has no manners whatsoever.

But they can be trained to do so many more things then cats can. Its easier to take a dog to the park for playtime with other dogs or a few toys you throw and they retrieve.

Most are good watchdogs if someone comes around. Cats don't "guard" the house


Now cats are much easier to leave overnite if necessary, are cleaner and its nicer to sleep with a 5-15 lbs cat then a 60 + lb dog (if allowed in bed). If you get a smaller dog, its more "catlike" in size, etc. but you still have the problem of having to go outside to potty.

I love both - but IMO cats are a little easier to care for overall
post #9 of 25
I would say that the majority of dog owners out there don't care for their dog properly and don't get a breed of dog appropriate for them. Labs seem to be the most popular, but most people don't realize just how much energy they have! People think that intelligent breeds are easy to handle but they don't consider that intelligent dogs get bored and are quick to pick up on a weakness in the heirarchy. Dogs that jump up, bark, chew, etc. are usually doing so because of a lack of training and boredom.

For instance, my sister in law was telling me that she wanted a dog that primarily stayed outside (away from the family) and didn't need a lot of grooming or attention and didn't need much exercise. I was thinking, you don't want a dog, you want a statue of a dog.

Personally, and this may make me unpopular around here and I love cats to death, but if I had to choose between only cats and only dogs, I would choose dogs. The reason is I enjoy long walks with them, agility, and other activities which really aren't appropriate for a cat. Also, I simply find them more interactive and responsive. As far as being clingy and slobbery, well, I didn't want dogs that acted like that, so I chose the appropriate breed. Most people just decide what kind of dog they want on the spot, choosing from a few very common breeds, without considering the differences in order to choose a dog that perfectly fits their lifestyle. I chose to get a shiba inu because I wanted a dog that wasn't clingy, was relatively small, meticulously clean, and didn't need a lot of coat maintainence. I also wanted a dog that would be intelligent and entertaining.

In the end, I think some people just aren't "dog people" just like some people aren't "cat people". I have a friend who hates dogs and she hates my dogs, even though they don't smell and aren't slobbery. It may have something to do with growing up on a farm where all her dogs were just let to run loose and didn't receive any care of training. Dogs like that do tend to be smelly and disobedient.

In the end, I agree wholeheartedly that cats are easier to care for, but something about them seems less fulfilling than a dog to me. I think it just depends on the person!
post #10 of 25
Cats are easy and simpler to care for, their needs are minimal compared to a dog. Dogs are like having a two year old in the house, they need attenion, love, and care, all the time, everyday. They need to be with their humans and they need to be kept busy. A tired dog is a good dog and they don't get tired on their own. Sending them out in the yard will not tire them out, they need interaction.
A well trained dog is a joy to their owners and the dogs that aren't trained are the ones sitting in shelters. And that is never the dogs fault. If you are considering a dog, do your homework and if you make a commitment, make it forever. But you have cats, so you know that already, sorry.
Training is not optional, it should be mandatory and makes a huge difference in the happiness of the dog and you. I truly believe there are no bad dogs, just really bad and clueless owners.
It sounds like you are thinking about whether you want a dog in your life. Remember there our lots of great dogs in shelters and if you want a specific breed, there are rescue groups for every breed out there.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jean-ji View Post
Cats are easy and simpler to care for, their needs are minimal compared to a dog. Dogs are like having a two year old in the house, they need attenion, love, and care, all the time, everyday. They need to be with their humans and they need to be kept busy. A tired dog is a good dog and they don't get tired on their own. Sending them out in the yard will not tire them out, they need interaction.
A well trained dog is a joy to their owners and the dogs that aren't trained are the ones sitting in shelters. And that is never the dogs fault. If you are considering a dog, do your homework and if you make a commitment, make it forever. But you have cats, so you know that already, sorry.
Training is not optional, it should be mandatory and makes a huge difference in the happiness of the dog and you. I truly believe there are no bad dogs, just really bad and clueless owners.
It sounds like you are thinking about whether you want a dog in your life. Remember there our lots of great dogs in shelters and if you want a specific breed, there are rescue groups for every breed out there.
Well done... Also training style and type vary by breed ... Big box stores offer good get to know your animal training but you would still need to tailor it to breed and the individual
post #12 of 25
I find it depends on the dog. I've had 3 dogs significantly in my life.

We adopted Lady when I was 8 and she was 5 months. Lady is a wonderful dog, a Beagle mix, but she has had a lot of problems. She is extemely protective of us all, and extemely intelligent. I've never met another dog as smart as her. Lady is nearing 16 now, and has mellowed out quite a bit in the last 3 years, but she has horrible anxiety problems which caused her to be incredibly destructive for about 12 years. Before we adopted her from the Humane Society she was badly abused. We don't know all the details, but we do know that she lived in an apartment that didn't allow dogs, so she was cooped up until her existence was discovered by the landlord. When we got her she was not house-trained, and despite our best efforts, she never really was, so even today she still has "accidents" on the floor at night. Now you might say that this is because of age, and I'm sure part of it is, but she also never completely stopped. When we would leave we had to confine her to the kennel because if she was out she would go into a frenzy and destroy things. When she would go into these frenzies she disregarded pain, and sometimes would hurt herself, fortuately never badly. Also, this would go in cycles, 6 months straight she'd be totally fine, and we could leave her out.

She DID NOT like her kennels, though we made them confortable for her. She'd bend the bars on them with her nose. As she grew we got bigger and stronger kennels, and she'd do the same thing. On one she made herself a window she could stick her head out of, and she seemed satisfied with that. She is a master of escape; we call her "Houdini Hound." She's managed to get out of all of her kennels and many, many occasions, even with padlocks. We had to padlock the kennels because it was way too easy for her to get out of them without the locks (we always kept the key near the kennel).

Lady is also an obnoxious doggy, with horrible manners! She's greedy, and tries to "hypnotize" people in order to get their dinner. She'd get me up in the morning, one summer while I was home from school, at 9AM ever morning so I could giver her a Chew-Eez, her favorite. There were usually other people up, but no, she wanted ME to do it. When we were younger, Lady would know when it was getting close to September and close to when school would start up again, and start getting panicky and upset. She also had epilepsy, which is under control now, but that was always scary when she had seizures. Now Lady is old, and just wants to take walks, sleep, and eat, which is exactly what she does!

Scooby was my sister's dog through her boyfriend at the time. He was a Great Dane, and just huge, and very sweet. He tried to sit on your lap. He was a big baby who tried to get in bed with you when there was a thunderstorm. When he wanted to go to bed and thought you should as well, he'd howl and complain! One time he wanted me up in the morning, and shook his stupid flappy ears until I did. He didn't want me up for a specific purpose except to give him attention; my sister was up and downstairs! He wasn't particularlly bright, and a piece of sting in his way would be enough of a barrier to him. Something began to go wrong in his brain, though, when he was middle-aged, and he began to act aggressive and snap at people, which was incredibly unusual for him and his breed, so they decided to put him down. We think there was a brain tumor.

Jinx is now my sister's dog, and she's had her since she was 1 year old. She's a Beagle mix as well, but she doesn't look as much like a Beagle as lady does. Jinx is not a smart cookie, either. One time I left the door open enough so she could get her head fully in and push it open if she wanted to come in. She woke me up at 7AM whining and crying because apparently she didn't know how to push it open (it's not a heavy door). She doesn't like to go outside (she'd much rather be inside with you), even if it's for 5 minutes. She's a bully to the cats because she figured out she was bigger than them. She is incredibly sweet, and has a very submissive personality (not to cats, though). She is also the neediest d**n dog I have ever met in my life! She constantly want your attention. She will whine if you aren't paying attention to her even if she's laying down not even a foot away from you. She will also nose her way under your arm so eventually you have your arm around her.

She thinks she's a human. She tried to use her front paws as hands and will try to touch your face like we do her. So, essentially, you have to be careful that she doesn't punch you in the face! She has a huge crush on a male friend of ours. The way she treats him and wants his attention is noticeably different than our other guy friends. It's adorable, really, but sometime Jinx has to be put in another room because she won't let up on him. Also, annoyingly for me, Jinx apparently doesn't understand the whole concept of body heat, and when it's incredibly hot and the air conditioner is off she thinks it's a fantastic idea to lay on top on me, which she normally doesn't do. Oh, and she really, really likes her Christmas jingle bell collar, and cries(!) when it's taken off.

The whole "alpha dog" in the pack is also very true, but since the adult (parent) is usually the alphas, the dog understands the children are not. This means, in some cases, the dogs will think that he or she is more important than his or her "siblings". Lady always thought that she was more important that my sister or me, and Jinx thinks she's more important than my stepniece! In these cases it's not an agression thing, it's just noticeable in the way they act.

Sorry my post is so long!

Tricia
post #13 of 25
I love dogs and cats equally, but for very different reasons. If I want a companion who will choose to curl up on my lap while I'm reading a book, or lay on my pillow above my head while I'm sleeping, I look to my kitties. My kitties are cuddlers, although I'm aware that many are far more independent. If I want a walking or jogging partner, or someone to monitor my yardwork, I look to my dogs. I own 3 cats, and 3 dogs, which makes our home an "equal opportunity" pet habitat, I guess you could say. You can tell your deep dark secrets to either animal...trust me your secrets are just as safe with dogs as they are with your cats!!!

However, there are distinct differences in the species...they aren't as easy to compare, as they are entirely different animals. Dogs need their humans to serve as leaders...they love to be included in all facets of family life, and need a lot of direction in terms of their leader's expectations. I find that they look to us more for providing mental and physical stimulation than cats...cats tend to create their own stimulation if you're not readily available, although their humans still need to promote physical activity and interaction. Dogs are receptive to a variety of learning experiences, and learning for dogs can be lifelong, just like it is for children and adults...this is not necessarily because they are SMARTER than cats, they are simply more eager to please their leaders. I believe cats tend to view us as THEIR personal attendants, who are there to provide them with the pleasantries and accommodations necessary to make them content...that mentality is a testament to the cat's intelligence...because they're absolutely right!!!

This saying says it all:

"Dogs have owners. Cats have staff."

SO TRUE!!!
post #14 of 25
This thread reminds me of a quote I saw somewhere.

Dogs love you in an enthuastic, tail wagging, often slobbery and sincere way that shouts: You're the best!

Cats love you in a more dignified reserved manner that sais: I'm willing to consider you my equal, by which they mean: You're the best.

Anyway the core difference between the species is the pack animal vs. solitary predator.

Deep down most dogs are convinced that if they are left on their own they will die. So they will suck up to their percieved leader of a group so that they'll get to stay with the group. It's hard wired for them to want to be in a pack. As a part of a group they want to help their group so working with others towards a goal (be it hunting, obedience training or whatever it is) is something they really enjoy just for its own sake. Humans are social animals too and we instinctively respond to being in a team as well and get what that's all about. So being in a team with a dog and working together towards a goal is a fantastic experience.

Cats however are deep down convinced that they'd do just fine on their own if they really needed to. Which means that they pretty much lack the urge to please just for its own sake. They're absolutely brilliant and close to the perfect pet from my point of view and there is something fantastic about being given the trust and love of an animal with the capability of being as independent as cats can be.

I don't own dogs but I used to dogsit a fair bit, in particular a german shepherd I spent a whole summer being with around 5-6 hours every day while her owners were working mad hours. It was a fantastic summer job and I really bonded with her and it was great working on training, going for walks and being a part of her pack. Ultimately though she wasn't mine and when her owners moved away I was sad to see her go.

I might get a dog at some point in the future but my situation isn't right now. Nikita is plenty of work anyway, heh.. Bengals are not low maintenance cats.
post #15 of 25
I am enjoying reading the responses here. I am basically a dog person and never even considered having a cat. When I moved into my current place, there was this young scraggly black cat who wasn't being fed and all. I started feeding her, discovered she was already spayed, and knew somebody had abandoned her. I just flat felt sorry for her. She was a genlte sweet soul and she has been mine for almost 6 years.

I always knew I wanted a Labrador. Last September 1, I picked up Tal. Tal likes to be with me anywhere I go and I have spent alot of time training him and just being ith him.

Both species have their strengths and weaknesses and I think it depends on what you want (or can accomodate) in a pet. I am thankful for them both.

And ditto to what others said about dogs. The boggest problem with "bad" dogs isn't the dog at all. It is the owner who never took the time to properly care for the dog. It is so sad to see these magnificent animals in shelters and many paying the price with their lives because they had owners who were too lousy to care for them. I am always reminded of something my granny used to say about people and them having either kids or pets...if they aren't going to take care of them they should not have them in the first place.

Sorry for the rant but I'd like to give these folks a dose of their own medicine. I just feel for any being, whether human or animal, that is dependent on a caregiver for everything and they receive improper food, water, care and most important of all the love they deserve.
post #16 of 25
Every dog is different I came to learn. I have a little Pomeranian/Chihuahua and she doesnt jump on people.....to people she doesnt know she just barks at them, like if someone knocks on the door she will bark....but its easy for the person to just pet her and shes automatically used to you. Everytime I come home my dog runs to me and pants and shakes its body back and forth..I guess it cant auctually JUMP on me because its so small LOL but its so cute when she does that.

Both cats AND dogs are awesome, I cant pick a favorite. But I can say that im not scared of any cat, but im scared of big barking dogs I dont know lol.
post #17 of 25
And then you have dogs that think they are cats (Keno) and cats that think they are dogs (Charlie and Ling). With us EVERYONE greets you at the door when you walk in (or at least is coming thru the kitchen to the door
post #18 of 25
In a nutshell, for me:

My cat makes me feel happy when she chooses to spend time with me.

My dog makes me feel happy because she is always ready to spend time with me.



And yes, dogs are a lot more work than cats- cats may have staff, but dogs need childcare and teachers!
post #19 of 25
Definitely a dog person here.
And I have no idea why people say that dogs are "slobbery and clingy".
The Mastiff-type breeds tend to drool, but most do not.
A dog who has had a bad experience (neglect or abuse) can become clingy, but a well-adjusted dog usually is not.
I find dogs to be a tremendous amount of work and a tremendous amount of fun. A well-trained dog is a joy to have in my home. They make sure I get in enough playtime and that I do not let a sunny day go to waste. If need be they will protect me from strangers who might want to do me harm. Yes they demend much more attention than cats, but at least for me, they give much mroe back to you. They show you every chance they get how grateful they are.
I don't buy into the "alpha" theory as applied to living with humans, it is more like dogs are pack animals and so have a refined sensitivity for a social structure since out in the wild, their lives depend on it. In other words, a normal dog will find a way to live with whatever pack he/she is in and abide by whatever he/she perceives the rules to be.
post #20 of 25
[quote=2dogmom;1830460]Definitely a dog person here.
And I have no idea why people say that dogs are "slobbery and clingy".
The Mastiff-type breeds tend to drool, but most do not.
A dog who has had a bad experience (neglect or abuse) can become clingy, but a well-adjusted dog usually is not.
QUOTE]

You havent ever had a toy breed have you
post #21 of 25
DH will not have one of those "ankle biters" Now my fav dogs are cairn terriers and whippets His are lab or lab crosses. Keno's a small lab - I would not want her to be any bigger then she is
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Well I've always had both dogs/cats growing up. Advantages/disadvantages to both. We have a lab and 2 cats.

Dogs HAVE to go potty outside (disadvantage if its raining and you have a dog that doesn't like to get wet....lol). So you can't just leave them home for the entire day like you can a cat with a bowl of food/water/litter pan.

They are more work cause you have to train them in basic obedience otherwise you have a dog everyone hates cause it has no manners whatsoever.

But they can be trained to do so many more things then cats can. Its easier to take a dog to the park for playtime with other dogs or a few toys you throw and they retrieve.

Most are good watchdogs if someone comes around. Cats don't "guard" the house


Now cats are much easier to leave overnite if necessary, are cleaner and its nicer to sleep with a 5-15 lbs cat then a 60 + lb dog (if allowed in bed). If you get a smaller dog, its more "catlike" in size, etc. but you still have the problem of having to go outside to potty.

I love both - but IMO cats are a little easier to care for overall
I don't know about cat not guarding the house...Nuit....she'd probly run at them with claws & teeththat's how she was with me at first....good times.
post #23 of 25
I have found that if you want a dog that isnt clingy..dont get a basset. I love my dog but this is my first puppy not living with my mom. WOWWWWWW is there a lot to having a dog that I didnt know. I researched the breed and still what you read and what it is really like are never the same thing. Every dog is different and has different needs. But if you dont have hours a day and more patience than the pope..dont get a basset they are stubborn and muleish but I wubbb my boys squishy face and floppy ears..Im sure Rita's slaves understand what Im talking about!!!
post #24 of 25
[quote=sharky;1830544]
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2dogmom View Post
Definitely a dog person here.
And I have no idea why people say that dogs are "slobbery and clingy".
The Mastiff-type breeds tend to drool, but most do not.
A dog who has had a bad experience (neglect or abuse) can become clingy, but a well-adjusted dog usually is not.
QUOTE]

You havent ever had a toy breed have you
I think she just means in general that a well-adjusted dog is neither high-strung nor neurotic.

A "clingy" dog is also one that is in general, very fearful and insecure and this can occur in every breed (but in some more than others especially if it has a poor breeding line)

I have met many well-trained and well adjusted toys that do not have the "little dog" syndrome. To me, much of the neurosis of little dogs comes from the owners.

Dogs can also be poorly bred and carry the high strung neurotic traits associated with that..
post #25 of 25
I enjoy my kittens, especially Sky (who has a more dog-like personality!), but the dogs are my buddies. They go with me everywhere they are allowed, while from what I've heard, most cats don't take well to travelling (although, again, Sky loves going camping, she doesn't know she's a cat!).

Plus when my husband is travelling, I feel much more secure in my house with my dogs than I do with the cats! Not many criminals would have the intestinal fortitude to take on 2 50 pound dogs snarling through the window. Not sure that same criminal would even hesitate to break in a house guarded by a kitten (or a pair of kittens, in my case).
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