Where Men Can Become Better Gentlemen

Why Have a Dog?

A dog is referred to as “Man’s Best Friend” for a reason: Companionship. Trained well, a dog can go with you almost anywhere: In the car, boat, when fishing, hunting etc. Now while there are some that do, most ladies do not always follow the same pursuits as you, but your faithful hound will!

"Money will buy you a fine dog, but only love can make it wag its tail". – Unknown.


Keeping a dog comes with a high level of responsibility. They take patience, sacrifice, money and a certain amount of maturity in you, almost to the point of needing to be parent like! Dogs require daily periods of exercise, cleaning up after, and a schedule to follow. They can read you (your feelings and emotions) more than you may realize and just like a child will find ways to test your authority by flouting any and all rules (if given half a chance). If you haven’t already, you’ll learn how to love and care for someone other than just yourself – both in sickness and in health. Also, when you go away (business and vacation times) you’ll need to pay for other people (unless you have very good relatives, friends or neighbors) to look after your best friend.

A dog’s lifespan, by comparison to humans, is fairly short (more than 5 and less than 20 years, depending on breed) – so expect to see your dog grow up, mature, get old (maybe have an illness) and die. This can be hard to deal with but with your own growth in maturity you’ll manage the grieving process.

You can say any foolish thing to a dog and the dog will give you a look that says – “You’re right! I never would’ve thought of that!” – Unknown.

Are You Ready?

Far too many dogs are initially loved; then neglected; and finally abandoned. So, before you fall in love and get yourself a dog, make sure it’s right for you:

1. Are you ready for your lifestyle to be uprooted? What would happen if you got married? Had children? Got divorced? Moved to another town, state, country? Remember this is about the next 10 - 15 years ahead.

2. Are you ready to take your dog out for comfort breaks and exercise at least 3 times a day and will be able to pick up dog poop? In all weathers? When you’ve been out the night before? When you’re not feeling well yourself? When your children have grown up and fled the roost?

3. Many owners say: “having a dog is like having a child that never grows up.” Are you able and prepared to pay for food, toys, bedding etc. and veterinary bills – especially as they get older? You are going to groom, feed and water every day (probably twice a day) for the rest of their life – can you do this? Are you able to deal with someone who will never clean up after themselves - who drools, sheds hair, makes muddy footprints, shakes water off themselves all over your home and may vomit, pee and poop inside too?

4. Can you deal with and pay for damage the dog will do in your house? To a neighbors property? Even to a stranger’s property e.g. a car? What about if your dog gets out and goes missing? Can you deal with the angst? Can you deal with the hours of searching and calling out their name to find them?

“Lord, help me to be the person my dog thinks I am”. – Unknown.

The Return on your Responsibility

1. Constant companionship

Your loyal and faithful hound, will follow you around and curl up as close to you as they can. Working on the car, toiling in the back yard – they’ll be there, attentive, wishing for more attention from you.

2. Unconditional love

Greetings with a friendly and excited wet nose and slobbery kisses, whenever you come home (or even walk in the same room as them). This is ceaseless, no matter what type of day you’ve had!

3. Exercise partner

Going for a walk or run, the dog will go too. If trained they’ll run along side bicycles and horses also. Going kayaking, canoeing, rowing? The dog will come along for the ride. A dog can really be the motivation to get you out of bed or off the couch and doing something much more physical, regardless of the weather conditions outside. The routine is good for you and your dog.

4. De-stress

Owning an animal is believed to reduce stress, as the physical aspect of playing with, stroking a dog and just having them near by is soothing for the owner. Studies suggest pet owners live longer (by several years), have lower blood pressureand suffer from fewer bouts of depression than non-pet owners.

5. Security & Safety

Medium to large sized dogs can act as a deterrent to thieves and possible home invaders, reducing the potential for theft and damage to your home. Even walking alone after dark, is less fraught when accompanied by a dog – this is particularly true for females and children. People even feel more secure when alone at home, when they have a dog with them. Dogs may seem like big fluffy friends to you but they can be scary to others, some breeds are even bred and can be trained still further to be an actual threat to strangers.

6. Playing

A dog will play, anything from tugging to ball games, including Frisbee. This can be fun for you, friends and children and can while away many an afternoon, especially if having a picnic. If trained well (see Training below) you and your dog can even take part in competitive sports, like agility competitions.

7. Training (and Volunteering)

Most dogs can be trained to follow simple commands: Sit, stay, down, etc. However, many have the capacity to be trained to perform very specific tasks, which can have a strong benefit to the community. This can be as simple as being calm to provide therapeutic support to the handicapped and the elderly; or as complex as Search and Rescue, helping to find missing persons, an activity which is a vital service. If you hunt, and are keen to go after waterfowl, then a trained dog is more than just useful – they are an essential part to the activity.

8. Social

When you are out and about with your dog you may be surprised by how many people will want to pet and make a fuss of your dog. This often leads to dialogue between you and them and sometimes friends are made. You’ll interact with children, neighbors, other dog owners and complete strangers who wouldn’t have spoken with you before. You may even find romance, just because your dog proved to be the catalyst or ice-breaker to a conversation!


Despite the responsibilities (which in a positive view will give format and structure to your day, beyond just yourself) all of these benefits are very fulfilling, not just for you the owner but for the dog too.

"Being single is O.K. But you just can’t beat someone waiting for you when you get home. I love my dog". – Unknown.

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