Dogs eat a lot, poop a lot, eat their own poop, have many other bad habits, and get into all kinds of mischief. They are expensive, and require a lot of effort and time.
So why do people even think of getting a dog?
For me, life before dogs was not very happy, nor very healthy. The only time I used to laugh was when I was chugging gin and tonic (love that drink!). Now, my dogs make me laugh all the time. I have a Shiba Inu called Gin, and a Siberian Husky called Tonic.
For real? Nah.
Here are five key reasons why people get dogs, and why dogs are worth all of, and more than what we put into them.
** Note – If you are interested in getting a dog, do not buy one from an online-buy-a-puppy site or from a pet store. Such places support and finance puppy mills that not only breed unhealthy puppies, but also keep their dogs in cruel conditions. Instead, consider adoption or getting a dog from an accredited Kennel Club breeder.
1. A dog will keep you happy, healthy, and help you lose some weight
Physical exercise is extremely important to living a healthy and happy life.
I hear this all the time, but motivating myself to actually go to the gym every day is close to impossible. I pretty much have to fight a mental battle with myself everyday, and frequently, it is my lazy butt persona who wins.
Dogs need to take walks every day. In rain, shine, or snow I take my dogs out for their daily walks.
Unlike visits to the gym, I can’t get lazy, and I can’t come up with excuses of other things I need to do. When it is time for their walks, they will come and find me, and give me intense, meaningful looks.
I have had several fitness coaches, but none have been able to motivate me as well as my dogs. Those deep eyes, and expectant faces gets me off my lazy butt every day of the week.
2. A dog will keep your mind engaged and active
In addition to physical exercise, mental exercise is also important to living a healthy life. My dogs have taught me many things, and they continue to challenge me every day.
For example, dogs have a really weird fashion sense. They do not see the difference between a pair of torn-up sneakers, and my prizedJimmy Choo shoes. Both are fair game as chew toys. They also think that mud on designer clothing is very much in style. Therefore, I have to come up with many ingenious ways to convince them that there is some value to human fashion after all.
Getting dogs to respect human fashion, as well as follow basic house rules and manners, can take a surprising amount of time and mental effort. As a result, I think less about food, and burn off extra calories while matching mental wills with my dogs; otherwise called dog obedience training.
Therefore, in addition to being great teachers, dogs are also great diet coaches!
Just don’t ask them for advice when it comes to fashion.
From the dog’s point of view, his master is an elongated and abnormally cunning dog.
~~[ Mabel Louise Robinson ]
3. A dog will teach you to relax and be Zen
Embrace nothing: If you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha. If you meet your father, kill your father. Only live your life as it is, Not bound to anything.
~~[ Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C. ]
Live in the moment, and follow your own wisdom, that is what Zen is about.
Telling someone to “live in the moment” is similar to telling someone to “buy low and sell high”. Easy to say, but very difficult to implement. Dogs, however, make living in the moment seem easy, because that is what they naturally do every second of the day.
Some people mistake this to mean that dogs do not feel or do not have memories. Quite the opposite.
Dogs feel very strongly, and they can have very detailed memories of things.
Just like us, they may feel stressed, or depressed. However, the key difference is they move on and leave the past behind.
My dogs help me stay connected to the world around me. They provide me with a fun, and sometimes very demanding activity to take my mind away from my troubles. They teach me to move on and let things go, just by being who they are.
This results in less stress, less sadness, and a happier, healthier life.
4. A dog will make you laugh
My dogs make me laugh every day. They are always doing silly and funny things that make me smile, even when I am troubled.
My Shiba Inu has this butt-in-the-air move (see below) that he thinks is just too hot to touch. Whenever he has an audience, he will start performing this butt-move as if to say,“look at me, I’m too sexy!”.
Studies have shown that there are many health benefits to laughter. It can boost our immune system and help stave off viral infections. It can help us relax, and reduce stress related illnesses (e.g. high-blood preassure, ulcers).
Laughter is also a good tonic against negative feelings such as depression, frustration and anger. A life filled with laughter, is a good life.
The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.
~~[ Samuel Butler,Notebooks, 1912 ]
5. A dog will be your loyal friend for life
Dogs spend much of their lives observing us; our mannerisms, routines, and quirks. They probably understand us better than we understand ourselves.
As a result, dogs share a bond with us that is difficult to replicate with people.
They have a natural sense of empathy, and can easily sense changes in our emotions, however slight. Thus while everyone else may be oblivious to my troubles, my dog will come over and put his head on my lap.
Strange as it may seem, dogs communicate better than people do. Although they may speak a different language, they express themselves more clearly and more truthfully. They don’t say yes when they mean no and vice versa.
With a dog you always know where you stand.
The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man’s.
~~[ Mark Twain, letter to W.D. Howells, 2 April 1899 ]
i have a very agressive 8 year old shiba inu and i recently went to the pound and found a 3 year old husky, is it a bad idea to try to adopt the husky or to cut my losses and stay with my shiba inu. My shiba is aggressive towards other people has bitten over 4-5 people and agressive towards other dogs, but a very loyal and good dog to my mother and i… my mother wants to put her to sleep because of her aggression.. what is my best bet?
I got help from several professional trainers when Sephy started having behavioral issues.
I also read up a lot on dog behavior and dog training and visited a lot of Shiba Inu message boards.
I did not consider getting a new dog until *after* I had learned how to deal with Sephy’s issues. I did not want my new dog to develop the same type of behavioral problems as Sephy.
Glad I found your website. I came across it while searching for advice on feeding a Shiba dry or wet…I had no idea you’d have such great info on your site – thanks. We just put a deposit on a Shiba Inu who is due to be born in about 4 weeks. We are very excited! I am nervous too as I want to feed, exercise, play, care for, and raise her all perfectly!! I’ve been researching for months and intend to do my very best…crossing fingers for a good dog who will love her life! Can’t wait to get her home…will be reading your posts very often I can tell. Love your Shiba/Huskey combination…we have had a huskey before – wonderful dogs!! Thanks again!
Congratulations on your upcoming Shiba pup!
Shibas are certainly very interesting to live with. 😉
I think you will enjoy this article where I compare Shibas and Huskies.
Share some Shiba puppy pictures with us when you get her home!
I’m looking into adopting a Shiba Inu/German Shepherd mix but am wondering if what she needs will match what I can give her. Me being an apartment dweller is my main concern. I’m single so I would be the only one taking care of her. I work 40 to 50 hours a week (depending on the time of year) but only live 5 minutes from work and am salaried, so coming home during the day is doable. She’s a rescue so I’m not totally positive on her age but she is at least 18 months old. I know they’re independent dogs but I’ve read that German shepherds don’t like to be left alone for long periods. Also, would daily walks and occasional weekend hikes be enough exercise for this mix? Here’s a link: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/26913476
If you could point me in the right direction I’d be very grateful! My friends and family say to go for it, but I’d like an outside opinion. You know?
She is definitely a big time cutie!
Daily walks, weekend hikes, and living so close to work all sound really good to me. Sheba’s petfinder page also looks good, being crate trained, house-trained and socialized with other dogs. The rescue organization also looks like it has a good group of people.
Have you talked to her foster parent? I would prepare a list of questions and concerns to ask him. Make sure that she is ok with being alone during work hours and does not get anxious. What activities does she like? What is her energy level? What things motivate her most? Is she ok with regular apartment noise? Is she leash trained? Does she have any behavioral quirks?
Do you have a regular schedule? My Shiba is fine with being alone, but he really likes having a fixed and predictable routine. This may also be something that the foster parent would know about Sheba.
I would also ask about their adoption policy (e.g. home inspections) and if they have a trial period.
Good luck! It sounds like it could be a really good match – so let us know how it goes.
Thanks so much! This is my first attempt at adopting a dog, as my last dog (a pekepoo) was given to me. I will definitely remember to ask those questions and keep you updated.
Chihuahua Owner says
I need help my dog bit my other one badly i want to stop his aggression but i need to know how Please help me 🙁
For serious bite issues, it is best to get help from a good professional trainer.
Here are some things that I do with my dogs to help them get along.
A dog is surely a man’s best friend.Oh I need to get many more dogs now.Thanks for sharing.
This article is so good! My dog will not let me sit and type on Hubpages, wakes me up in the morning if I oversleep, makes me practice kinhin, and of course makes me smile every evening as we walk and she plays on the beach. Thanks for reminding me what to be thankful for.
Thanks for your informative post; another question I have: do you think it is worth to have pet insurance?
I NEED TO GET A DOG LIKE THAT
Our family always have a pet dog and reading this hub makes me appreciate having them around. Thanks for writing this intersting hub.
i loved your 5 reasons of having a canine. they ARE a wonderful companion