Get a Dog? Yes or No

We are a family of four. Husband, wife with two kids (5 and 3), We both work full time. I wanted to have a dog since a long time but my wife says NO. According to her, having a dog is an additional responsibility as it is an additional member of the family. we have to treat the dog like another child. You haven't been able to manage your own kids then how can you manage two kids and a dog? Her other concern is when we go out for a couple of days especially interstate by flight. I also want to know whether it is too costly to own a dog? I am thinking to get a German Shepherd or English Staffy breed.

Poll Options

  • 108
    Yes - Now
  • 35
    Yes - After 3 years
  • 671


  • +1 vote


  • +19 votes


  • If your wife thinks you cant even manage your own kids, you have bigger issues than getting a dog!

    • -92 votes

      lol… that's the common ladies thought mate. Dad can't look after the kids well as mum does…

      • +28 votes

        that is what you think - probably looking at your own talents…

      • +95 votes

        My son is doing a wonderful job looking after his 8 month old baby and his mentally ill wife who takes very little interest, the first 2 months of baby's life , his mother was in a mental health unit, so there are many men in this situation, kudos to them all

        • +7 votes

          That's really inspiring, and congratulations for raising such a strong man. Thanks for sharing.

      • Just have to jump in - not true. My husband does an amazing job raising our children and is a natural with children. I see many of my mates partners jump in and do a fantastic job too. When I grew up, my Dad took any opportunity to give my Mum a break and raise us.

        It's an outdated stereotype.

      • Wow. You probably should have started with the dog instead of kids mate. You sound ill prepared for either.

        • If you do that, there is less of an itch to take the punt and procreate your own offspring. However, it does help prepare you (a little) for the responsibility and the effort involved.

          The good thing is a dog is cheaper, probably more dependable and less effort to train, always responsive, involve far less risk and won't sue you for poor parenting or neglect if things go drastically wrong with your life plan.

          No (or less for some) need to do things like
          - buy them devices to socialise online
          - get them in and out of rehab
          - pay an annual fee to cryogenically freeze their umbilical cords
          - worry about illegitimate offspring destroying your retirement

      • that's not a common thought, that's an observation that your parenting skills are inadequate.
        i don't think i've heard any of my friends claim their husbands are bad fathers.
        your wife is right - maybe get a dog after the kids are teenagers so they are more independent.

      • no offence but if you're not getting her point on "having a dog is an additional responsibility as it is an additional member of the family" then yeah i think you need to listen to her

      • Lol.. you’re selfish if you don’t listen to your wife’s own problems and comments. They are obviously true. Been there, done that.

      • Unfortunately, if mum thinks so, it's probably true. Better fix that. Kids are kids only once. Do not make that mistake.

      • If that is a common ladies thought, how many fathers could justify a dog? There would be few family dogs around. Even if your wife says this, even in jest, it is a lack of respect on you and men in general.

      • Um no. My husband does a far better job with the kids than me. I asked about a cat and he said NO way he has enough to do. I agreed, because he's right.

  • +124 votes

    do it… what the worst that can happen… your wife will divorce you and take custody of the kids.. and you now have the dog you've always wanted

    • She is not completely against it. She says wait for 3 years and get a dog. Divorce is not a solution mate… Anyway thanks for the advice.

      • +40 votes

        what the worst that can happen

        I voted yes just to see what would happen

      • There should really be a communal dog service.

        Kinda like a library. That way you can look after a dog of your choosing (first come, best dressed) for a period of say 1 day-to-1 month. Ofcourse this means all the dogs that are kept needs to be in good health condition (no super inbred) and also needs to be very social with other animals, people, and property.

        Hopefully something like that stops breeders and pet stores that sell pups for profit.

        Though, not sure what is the solution to when the loaner dogs get older. Perhaps they can allow some members "buy" a dog at that stage, if the owners proved they are responsible. Otherwise keep the old-dog full-time back at the ranch/dog-zoo until they retire to dog heaven.

        • That sounds awful for the dog. Constantly having separate sleeping places, different owners, different routines, being mistreated by some owners, either willfully or out of ignorance. You'd have sad dogs with lots of behavioral problems.

          • @Zephyrus: See, a doggo cafe like those cat cafes that are a thing (according to weeb culture at least?) would be ok, cause they've got the one environment for life and just get lots of pats from randos, but yeah AirBNB or Blockbuster for dogs sounds farking horrible for the dogs. Only prob is to be an actual cafe or library the dogs would have to be little handbag types only, so how it'd work IRL would be more like a big fenced property where visitors pay a donation to play with the dogs for X time period, which makes the whole thing not really economically viable.

            • @smashman42: There are plenty of existing cafes etc., which are also the home to dogs. They don't need to be 'handbag' types, but the business is taking the risk of disenfranchising dog-averse customers.

              • @GG57: Got a link to one? I couldn't find one in a quick search. I can see dog-friendly cafes and cafes for dogs that people already have, but none that have dogs similar to cat cafes.

                • @Zephyrus: Nothing locally like the cat cafes (there are plenty of dog cafes in the UK). My comment was more about cafes where the owners / staff have dogs and they have them at their business.

        • +2 votes

          That is a terrible idea. Dogs are not toys or books or tools or hardware to borrow and return, and probably disposed of when they have outlived their 'appeal'.

          • @GG57: I don't know, it might instead be a brilliant idea. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

            My reasoning is that I've had people dogsit for me, and also dogsit for other's pets. In all circumstances it was the dog moving from one house to a new environment temporarily, but bringing his favorite toy (or dishes, or bed). And haven't had any negative experience to be honest.

            So as long as the conditions are right:
            - house can accommodate the dog
            - sitter is a responsible adult
            - dog is very social/not aggressive
            ……things will work out.

            Besides, the dog's permanent home would be in the centre/dog-zoo. They would spend majority of their time there. Like a book. And only get sent to a temporary home for the minority of the time.

            The main downsides I see is the transportation/locality. Then there's the circumstance of storms and lockdowns. And some sitters aren't as responsible as they seem (ie Unlocked Gate, forgot to walk it, fed it very late, loud TV at night, no good shelter during rain). I have a feeling someone somewhere has tried this experiment, maybe it failed maybe it was a success. I'll try to Google for it later.

            • +2 votes

              @Kangal: I think you have overlooked the dog's emotional well-being, and how they cope with different people's habits, temperament, etc.

        • +3 votes

          If you are interested in something like this but actually want to be helpful, go join a rescue group and foster some dogs.

          • @Kerb: I do enough volunteering, thank you.
            But I think GG57 is right. It would be difficult to get a dog that is trained to such a level where they are emotionally stable to socialize with other humans on a regular basis.

            I think the real crux of it, is that I'm more pessimistic about the humans. Instead of a will they/won't they trial session of looking after a dog… it's perhaps much better to have that clean separation of yes I'm a dog owner/no I'm not. I think a person who isn't committed enough from the start (ie hesitant), I don't think they will warm up to the idea gradually. So those people would be in this weird limbo where they temporarily look after a dog a couple times a year, but won't ever adapt themselves to take the plunge. Guess it's better than irresponsible owners, but I digress.

      • Why the "after 3 years" thing?

        Is your wife planning to just work school hours once the eldest goes to school? Cause a shorter day for the humans to be away would be easier on the dog, and if your wife isn't exaggerating about your parenting, it'll make life easier on her looking after the dog on top of the kids as well.

        The reply further down by EightImmortals has a good list of practical stuff you need to consider, though I'd add that the larger the dog the larger all the bills get - food, medications and the like go up with dog size (though food it the worst) so for the price of feeding one shepherd you could potentially feed two staffies.

        Also, just in case you aren't aware, pure breeds are more congenital condition prone, so have you considered bitza rescue dogs? There's always shitloads of them looking for a good home so you can be fussy as you like before picking them our for what cross of breeds they are, size, temperament, etc. Adoption places will (or at least should) know if they're kid friendly, house trained, etc, and the initial price of the dog is dramatically cheaper than pure breeds to go along with the likely much cheaper vet bills - honestly rescue dogs are like a camry and pure breeds like a sports car, this is OzBargain so you care about money, right? Then there's the ethics factors of saving an existing creature rather than encouraging more to be pumped out of a factory

        Assuming you have your own detached house and yard, other things that might help if you must do the poor dog at home alone all day thing:
        * If it is a house trained dog with a flap in the door to come in and go out as it pleases, then it might be less likely to cry all day and piss your neighbours off if it can do stuff like lay on your beds & smell its missing humans to comfort themselves a bit. No way a fool proof solution but better than them being an outside only dog that will 100% cause problems, either noise or digging or escaping etc.
        * Sometimes two dogs together can sort the lonely and bored issue, or it could make it twice as bad.

        Those two points are from personal experience - we've always had two dogs and when the first pair got elderly and the first of them died, the remaining dog would cry all day and night if left alone outside. It was the whimpering noise they make not barking, but it was still enough to get complaints and visits from the council etc, but the dog flap fixed it as she'd go to her deceased sister's favourite indoor spot and smell her to comfort herself.

        We'd initially done the both working full time thing and lucked out that with the yard being a bit larger and the pair of dogs being a bit smaller, between the two of them they didn't get into too much mischief (confirmed by friendly neighbour for when we weren't there) as they could run around and play with each other to keep themselves amused - but the problems still cropped up later anyway. You gotta think for the whole lifespan of the dog/s, not just the next year or two.

    • Unless she takes the dog too.

  • Yes - get a dog. but your wife is also right - it is another family member to take care of.

  • You haven't been able to manage your own kids then how can you manage the two kids and a dog?

    This is so right - but who is ever ready for kids? When the time comes, you just find a way. Think carefully and don't just look at a dog as something you can give away if you change your mind later.

    • I know it is a long road, but OP has had 5 years experience with a child, and then a second. And they want yet another dependant in their lives?
      If they get a young dog, the offspring could move out before the dog departs.

  • Where do you live?
    Do you have enough space for a large dog like a German shepherd to run around and be happy?
    Is there someone at home to keep them company all day?
    Do you plane to get a puppy that can grow up with your kids or an older dog that might not be used to kids?
    Vet fees are pretty horrendous these days too.
    And yes, when you go away you need to check out what the local kennels charge to take care of your pet.
    Also, your wife might be correct, if you don't have the time or skills or inclination to raise and direct your own kids then what makes you think you'll find the time to raise and train a puppy?
    Maybe buy a PS5 instead. or a pot plant, or anything that wont suffer for what is probably just an impulsive decision.

  • If you both work then no, don't get a dog. Dogs get bored and start squealing, yelping, and barking all day from boredom. You won't hear it, but your neighbours will.

    I lived next door to a dog that would basically start screaming its head off about 3pm every weekday. You could almost set your clock to it. Sounded like the dog was stepping on broken glass. First time it happened both I and my neighbour quickly looked over the fence as we thought something had happened to the dog. No, it was just bored. I was really glad when the neighbours moved out.

    • This! I've always wanted a dog, but I live alone and work full time and I didn't like the thought of leaving it home alone.

      Then one time I offered to take care of a friend's (small) dogs while they were away for a few days. In the morning, when I shut the door to go to work, I put my ear to the door and I could hear them crying. My heart really sunk. It made me feel like absolute shit so I ended up working from home for the next few days!

      • Some years back my mum went overseas for a few years, and at the same time downsized the family home to an apartment. So in the space of a few weeks we moved house, then she left me alone with the dog who was almost 10 years at the time. And I was going from uni to my first job.

        First couple of weeks were heartbreaking. Anytime I left he'd bark at the door and make it hard to go anywhere. I once set up a camera to keep an eye on him and he'd still be at the door an hour later (though not barking as much). One day I tried blocking the hallway with the couch, so that he wasn't locked up in a bedroom but also wasn't at the door. Came home and he was at the door, no idea how this tiny dog scaled up the tall straight back of the couch but kudos, never tried it again.

        Poor guy was just very confused and anxious, never saw him like that before or after. After a few weeks he settled down and it stopped, and it was back to usual fun times hanging out with a dog, going to parks and such.

        Frequent barking is a sign of distress and poor mental health. I've noticed the dogs that bark around the neighbourhood are the ones that I never see out for a walk.
        It's never nice to leave them home alone, but if you take good care of them they can be alright with it.

    • This. I actually don't understand people who get a dog who also work full time. Dogs love their humans and want to hang out with them. :(

    • If you both work then no, don't get a dog. Dogs get bored and start squealing, yelping, and barking all day from boredom. You won't hear it, but your neighbours will.

      This is not true of all dogs. Brother had a greyhound that will sleep on the couch all day and I'm not even joking. She was a retired racing greyhound, and she will only get up to eat, drink, or excrete. And while she's happy or even mildly excited for that 20 minutes walk during the end of the day, she absolutely does not need cuddles, constant petting, or other engagements that most other dog breeds might need. If the OP is going to be away for long periods of time, they may be OK with a couch potato type dog.

      However, even a couch potato type dog will come with additional responsibilities for the OP, which should not be taken lightly as the OP's wife has rightly put.

      • Very true and partly a breed thing: It is not uncommon for greyhounds to be docile and slouches around the house. They have their needs though, like any dog. Lots of greyhounds out there needing homes still too I imagine.

        • I've been approved to adopt a greyhound since April, and right now we don't even have an ETA of when we will get one. Everyone suddenly wants to rescue a dog during the pandemic, and other shelters aren't listing their animals anymore because they are just flying out the door.
          Pre-pandemic, I heard that 25k greyhounds are "disposed" from the racing community so maybe I'll have more luck getting my dog next year.

          • @annyfication: They are very much worth the wait and an incredibly quiet, lazy and affectionate breed. The adoption programme will match one to your exact situation, be it full-time/part-time workers, other pets in the house, young kids, small apartments, large yards etc.. there's a perfect match for everyone!

            • @bmxr: I've a neighbour with a black one, she's the calmist, most placid thing. We (and our dogs) meet in the street a lot. For a greyhound, it must be a big worry being at such close quarters (given their spindly legs) with so many of unpredictable little dogs with insecurity complexes and lightening-fast, worry later teeth.

    • I read this to the sound of a my neighbours barking dog.

    • Not to mention all the possible damage it can cause to your furniture from being bored. I know a friend who got a dog and it pooped and peed on his bed while he was at work and destroyed his couch

  • I agree with your wife. A dog is not just a plaything you can have fun with and put it away once you are done. I would treat it on the same level as adopting a child.

    I don't know your situation or how you are as a father, but it seems like your wife thinks you could do more with the kids judging by what she said. I would say focus more on your kids and she might be more receptive to another family member.

  • If you don't want to go away on holidays then yes, buy one.
    If you want additional responsibility and cost then yes, buy one.
    If you can' afford the big outlay for a dog (depending on the breed and breeder) then yes, buy one. Also you have the expense of worming, training and registration and fees.
    If you don't mind cleaning up a puppy for the first 6-8 months then yes, buy one.
    If you don't mind taking it for a walk every day then yes, buy one.

    I pulled the trigger and 1 year later happy I have a dog. I got a medium-size dog.

  • Just remember that it is a 12-15 year commitment and responsibility. You'd probably want your wife on board with that

    I'm not sure about staffy's but as a German Shepherd owner I'd suggest that they are not good dogs for first time dog owners, particularly with those who may or may not put in the work to ensure they are well adjusted, entertained and trained.

    Also please consider adopting.

  • A dog like you're suggesting is going to take a good 1 hour walk each day. Do you have that time? Every day.

    As Cluster reports - a dog home alone will either destroy your yard/house or spend it's days making as much noise as possible. (..or both).

    We'd like a dog too, but without a farm-sized block to keep them entertained there's no way it's going to happen while we're both working.

    • Our neighbours all have dogs and one of them cries everyday and we named him/her "moaning Murtle" because that is what it sounds like…

  • get a gf.


    • Then he doesn't need to worry about the dog and kids getting along.. he'd have to worry about his wife and new gf instead!

  • You need to budget and allocate an amount per month for the dog- includes food/insurance/vet bills. I say about $100/m, maybe actual dog owners can chip in.

    • if you are very very lucky and have a very cheap vet nearby and the dog isn't too large you could maybe get away with $100 a month. More realistic to budget for $150+ a month

    • Just pet insurance for ours is $500+ a year. We dont even keep track of how much we spend on food, toys, flea/tick treatment, vaccinations, general vet visits, grooming, dog day care. It'd be thousands a year.

      But I'd spend 10x that if I had to, she adds so much joy to my families lives.

  • You can use if you want some time away (or even have your Dog stay there).

    Woof! :+)

  • I have a German shepherd. It's harder to maintain than the kids.

    • do you have kids?

        • hopefully they will be old enough soon to take responsibility for the dog.. my kids are aren't old enough to look after them selves let alone pitch in for the dog… we were considering getting a puppy we are going to wait another couple of years until they can at least help with the dog, that is if they still want one in a few years time

  • If I take enjoyment in your financial destruction I'd say yes.

    Why don't you offer to dog sit for a while and see how it goes. Plus people will potentially give you all the food, consumables and pay you a few bucks.

  • A dog will need food, roof over its head and companionship. Don't get one if you can only provide one or two of these. This includes having frequent contact and walks with them.

    Having insurance will make sense once the dogs are old and start getting age-related health issues. A friend has spent easily thousands getting their aged dogs operated for various ailments.

  • Have you considered fostering a dog? I have and it was a great experience. They also provide support and advice. Owning a dog is a big decision and preferably both partners should be ready. It is unfair for the dog to end up in the pound.

  • Damn, read most of the thread before realising the word was "Dog" as opposed to Job.
    (It does make more sense as Dog).

    You can see why I struggle to understand the Government policies of DogSeeker, DogKeeper and DogMaker…

    I'm hoping the Optician can fix this later today.

  • Our dog, in his travel crate, takes not quite half, but over a 1/3 of our hatch space in our Outback, which is quite a large area. Plus you shouldn't pack stuff over the top of it either.
    Makes packing interesting everytime, particularly when away for longer than a weekend..

    If we cant take him, then its who can look after him while we are gone.. without placing him into a dog stay..

    • I never ask anyone else (i.e. friend, relative, etc.) to look after our dog. If we can't afford a professional dog carer, we shouldn't be going away.

      • Our family is only too happy too.. plus we do same in return when needed. Though we travel with him rather than get him looked after.. we stay at our families places, not parks or hotels etc..

  • A large dog and little kids can be challenging.

  • No, all I have to say is, yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yap

    At all hours of night and day

    • Compared to the incessant screeching of kids?
      I've heard my dog bark maybe a dozen times in 5 years, and half of those were in her sleep…
      "Yap yap yap" doesn't apply to all dogs.


      • Agreed,

        However where I live I get yap yap yap, then Aldiii, aldiiii, aldiiii (dogs name as it runs outside and tells everyone don't sleep at 10pm, 3am & 6am especially sundays
        Then baby screeming, then good old aussie bogans doing spinnies with their utes.

        Maybe I'm getting old, but this thing annoys me to no end

        Aaah Victoria…(sigh)

  • dogs are great, get one.
    my parents found a stray shortly before I was born, and growing up with a dog was pretty fun. maybe less so for my parents, but we were in a quiet suburb with a decent garden, next to the bush. so the dog was just another one of us running around outside all the time

  • pupy,,,

  • @PROZ OP Ask yourself. Will I 100% commit to looking after this dog 24/7. A dog like a German Shepard should be walk every day. Even after you have had a hard day at work. Look at it as a stress reliever. Walk rain hail or shine. It will love you for it. Great personal security dog as well.

    You will need to training it. Maybe even take it to doggie school on weekends.

    This doesn't even consider the costs intially and over the life of a dog. Up to 15years or more.

  • Think about the routine… You have to walk the dog at least twice a day, unless you have a well-sized backyard. Still, you will probably want to walk your dog daily so he/she doesn't destroy the property. You will have to spend some time teaching your dog; if you don't, your dog will become a problem.

    If you travel, hotel boarding for one dog is different from hotel boarding for two dogs. The same for food, immunisation.

    I think costs are not the main point when making this decision. It's more about being responsible, and educating your pet. That requires patience and time. It is more complicated when you also have two young children. "I want a dog" is not a good reason to have a dog. You need a plan.

  • Are you happy having 1-2 hours less free time every single day (as it needs to be walked, even if you're tired, even if it is raining)? Are you happy taking it to obedience classes every weekend for a couple of weeks? Are you happy having a few less $k each year disposable income? Are you happy having your furniture or bicycle seats or clothes on the washing line or garden destroyed? Are you happy having to vacuum the house much more often due to dog hair? Are you happy having your friends or family wrinkle their nose at the smell when they come into your house as it has the faint odour of Dog? If yes to all those then consider a dog, AFTER you've convinced your wife that you're capable of looking after it all on your own (which sounds unlikely if you can't be bothered looking after your kids)

    • spot on - all of it - he isn't really factoring in the time it would take to properly exercise a dog like that. every. day. Take the hint from your wife and spend that time with your kids.
      Besides - and I don't want to hear from every dog owner all the usual bs like 'oh only if they have a bad owner' etc. - but those dog breeds are a terrible idea around such small children.
      Also - picking up their dumps, you have to do that too.

  • I feel sorry for your wife having to take care of three kids and a dog on her own.

  • "always wanted a dog"

    So you've never owned one?

    This is gunna be good.

    <grabs popcorn>

  • "We both work full time"

    For the sake of your neighbours, and the sanity of the pet, please do not get a Dog!

  • Unless all family members are 100% committed to getting a dog don’t do it. On average a dog lives 10-15 years. Puppies are a lot of work and expense, toilet training, socialisation, puppy school, dog obedience, vet costs, food, worming, Insurance, boarding, exercising. Dealing with separation anxiety, hole digging, nipping/ bitting, barking, destructive behaviours, not to mention the demand on your time. So all the family must want the dog. You just need to check gumtree to see people offering their dogs up to be rehomed because they haven’t the time to look after them properly.

  • You are the reason people should have to undergo rigorous psychological testing before being given the licence to own an animal

    • How about owning kids? 🤔

      • Absolutely. But people get offended by my idea that everyone is neutered & your breeding rights get unlocked once passing an even more rigorous psychological exam. Why should society have to bear the cost for a drunk f*** in an alleyway

  • Grow up…. you have a family now…. do you even have a back yard?
    Shepherds require daily exercise, and not just a walk to the front gate.
    You sound irresponsible so I doubt you could even care for a dog.
    Listen to your wife… she even stated scenarios of interstate travel…
    How big is the car?
    Your "boy" days are over… grow up

  • I voted in 3 years. Get the kids a bit older and see if you still have the itch. If you do, get a Golden as your intro dog rather than the deceptively intense german or bogan staffy.

  • She has a point about interstate travel, unlike other pets such as cats, I don't know if dogs can be left alone for a few days like that. Are you going to commit to daily exercise? Don't get a dog from a breeder, so many dogs get put down every week and they all have wonderful personalities, why waste money and encourage breeders when you can save a lovely dog from death row?

    • Although I agree some people have allergies and getting a specific breed of dog is very hard

      This was our first option and we waited for 5 years. Impossible to get a hyperallergic dog

      Breeders have their place.