Let's Talk: Does Your Dog Cause Household Arguments? Survey Says It's All Too Common

An interesting new survey reveals that our furry best friends are the cause of three family arguments every week about 2,000 arguments in an average...

 |  Jan 18th 2012  |   22 Contributions


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Are dogs on your couch a bone of contention in your household? If so, you're not alone, according to a new survey. (Photo from the Flickr photostream of Pearson3)

An interesting new survey reveals that our furry best friends are the cause of three family arguments every week about 2,000 arguments in an average dog's lifetime.

The survey by esure pet insurance of some 2,000 dog owners shows that dogs are at the root of some 156 doggy disputes per year per household. The argy-bargy topics include who should walk the dog, feed the dog, or clean up the poo in the yard. Discipline and training also cause strife.

The British insurance agency found that about one-fourth of the dog owners say they regularly argue about where the dog is and is not allowed in the house. Most contentious in that category are where a dog can sleep, especially when one party wants a dog on a bed or sofa and the other does not. And a portion of households have problems because someone "insists on treating the dog like a human."

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Humanizing a dog is another source of conflict in some homes (Photo from the Flickr photostream of lucy96734)

Sometimes the disagreements get so bad that in 17 percent of households, one family member ends up sleeping in a spare room. In a quarter of the households, someone has stormed out of a room because of the row.

Here is quite a disturbing finding (and I can tell they did not poll any Dogsters): According to the survey results, 26 percent of dog owners "have at some point considered getting rid of their beloved pooch after a particularly bad barney."

Seriously? I think I've been in the land of major dog lovers for far too long. Of course, it should come as no surprise, judging by all the dogs who end up at shelters. But still, it's a real wakeup call to the reality of the situation outside of the intensely dog-loving community of Dogster.

As for our family, we have only very rarely had any disagreements about Jake. My husband is a nice, mellow guy, so we hardly ever have words, especially about the dog. We usually find a solution if there's any issue.

The one bone of contention that has come up is when Jake loses his lunch in the house (#16 on the list below) it's very rare, but it has happened a few times during our nine years together. Craig always assumes I will be the one to clean it up. It's the same as when our daughter used to throw up when she was little and didn't always make it to the toilet. The stuff seemed to have my name written on it. I realize it's because Craig has a weak stomach for anything vomit-related, but it's not much fun for me, either. I figure it all evens out, because he does more than his share of the other dog duties.

How about you, Dogsters? Let's talk about what you think of these findings. Are at least some of the survey results accurate reflections of what goes on in your household? What are your top disagreements with other family members when it comes to your dog? Or are there disagreements?

Here, for the record, are the top 20 dog disputes, as found by the survey:

  1. What to do with the dog when going away on holiday / for the weekend
  2. The fact the dog hasnt been walked/who should walk him
  3. Whether the dog should be allowed on the beds
  4. Whether the dog should be allowed upstairs
  5. Who should clean up the mess in the back garden
  6. One of the owners is being too harsh on the dog
  7. One of the owners lets the dog onto the sofa
  8. How much one of the owners has spent on the dog
  9. Training the dog
  10. Allowing the dog to be fed from the dining table
  11. Who should babysit / look after the dog
  12. Grooming the dog
  13. Damage that has been caused to the house by the dog
  14. Who chose to buy the dog in the first place
  15. Who should clear up the mess when the dog goes to the toilet on the carpet
  16. Who should clear up the mess when the dog is sick on the carpet
  17. One of the owners insists on treating the dog like a human
  18. One of the owners lets the dog into a room of the house they are not normally allowed into
  19. The kids toys have been eaten
  20. Shoes have been chewed
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Some arguments about a dog leave a spouse or partner to sleep in another room (Photo from the Flickr photostream of Sukianto)

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