10 Great Reasons to Have a Dog

Yesterday, I had the good fun of speaking with a terrific group of kids who were spending their week at Mahogany Ridge KidsCamp. It’s a camp where kids and their dogs get to play and learn together. Theresa Richmond, the camp director and trainer, (whom some of you may remember from Dogs of Dreamtime) invited me to give a talk on what it’s like to write about dogs.

As with training dogs, writing about dogs is best learned by doing. So the kids worked on an article together entitled “10 Great Reasons to Have a Dog.” First, each child wrote down their reasons, and then we added up how many of those sentiments were shared by others.

What follows is the tally of great reasons and the number of thumbs-up votes each one received.

10 Great Reasons to Have a Dog

#1. Dogs are great companions and your best friends forever.   15  thumbs up signal  

#2. Dogs are lovable and nice / cute and cuddly.   10 thumbs up signal

#3. Tied. Dogs love to play. You can play with them, and you both get exercise.  9 thumbs up signal

       Dogs teach you patience and responsibility. They’re someone to love and care for.   9  thumbs up signal

#4. Dogs are lots of fun, and they’re entertaining. 8 thumbs up signal

#5. Dogs love you as much as you love them. 7 thumbs up signal

#6. Tied. Dogs are very trusting and loyal, they help you learn how to trust. 5 thumbs up signal

        Dogs are good protection. Some would give their lives for you. 5 thumbs up signal

#7. Dogs are fun to train for activities like agility & you can teach them lots of tricks.    4  thumbs up signal

#8. Tied. Dogs need a home. You get to give them one, which makes you both happy.     3  thumbs up signal

        There are lots of different breeds and sizes to choose from. 3  thumbs up signal

#9. Tied. Dogs make great alarm clocks; they like to wake you up in the morning. 2 thumbs up signal

       Dogs are great with children and some are nice with babies. 2 thumbs up signal

#10. Dogs make great vacuum cleaners; they pick up food off the floor. 1 thumbs up signal

  • (I have to say, on my list, this is much higher up.)

There were so many #10s that, for the sake of space, I’ve grouped them together.

  • Dogs comfort you.
  • You can name your dog whatever you want, and they kiss you.
  • Dogs are always happy to see you, and they are in your heart forever.
  • Dogs are good workers.
  • Dogs understand your feelings.
  • Dogs are a piece of work.
  • Dogs can help you and be trained to call 911 in case of an emergency.
  • Feeding my dog is another paying chore.
  • Dogs will keep you happy when you are lonely, and they will always be waiting for you when you get home.
  • Petting dogs lowers your blood pressure, and you feel rewarded when they’re happy.
  • Dogs never want to let you down, and they are very funny.
  • The way dogs look at you makes you swear they are smiling. And I love how my dog licks my face when I call her and how she prances back with the ball when I throw it.

Contributing writers are listed in alphabetical order: (Parents and children, if you see any corrections that need to be made, please email me and I will update.)

  • Michael Gulli and his Chocolate Lab, Doc
  • Julie Lattanzio and her Sheltie, Rose
  • Griffin Potter and his Wheaton Terrier, Ernie
  • Rebeca Baker and her Australian Shepherd, Toby
  • Marita Breen and her English Springer Spanie, Libby
  • Ben Burke and his Portuguese Water Dog, Arlo
  • Maria Burke and her Catahoula mix, Henry
  • Haylie Gernert-Dott and her Wheaton Terrier, Tally Ho
  • Tori Gernert-Dott and her Welsh Terrier, Baker
  • Peter Judson and his rare breed, Scout
  • Sylvia Kimmel and her Collie, Mia
  • Nicole Manning and her Golden Retriever, Abby
  • Robert Pollaro and his Beagle mix, Lily
  • Ali Reinhold and her Dachshund, Dixie
  • Juliana Rivera and her Shih-tzu, Jewels
  • Danielle Ross and her Black Lab, Lucy
  • Briana Sirianni and her Bichon Frisee, Josie
  • Ian Snell and his Lab mix, Maxine
  • Kiera Taylor and her Chocolate Lab, Lucy
  • Gabriela Thiele and her Corgi, Cassidy
  • Michael Vassolas and his Golden Retriever, Monty
  • Megan Mary White and her Yorkie, PJ

65 thoughts on “10 Great Reasons to Have a Dog”

  1. I have a persuasive essay to write and my mom says if I get a perfect score I can get a Great Dane. The reason u posted are really working out so far. So thank you

  2. I really want to persuade my parents to get a dog because a girl down the streets dog had 8 puppys and she is willing to give us one but my parents said no

    1. Hazel, how tempting to have 8 so nearby. It’s so hard to want a dog and not be in a position to have one. But one day, you’ll be able to make that decision for yourself.

  3. A lot of good reasons . #5 Dogs love you as much as you love them.
    My Golden of 13 years , is in the hospital as I type. My # 1 reason …is love and God..who else could give us the ability and the dogs the ability to love each other so MUCH .
    Thank you Lord

  4. I am trying to convince my dad let me get a dog he’s the only one holding us back my mom doesn’t really care she wants one too. But my dad says he doesn’t think we can handle a dog. do you have any advice on how to persuade him? maybe making a chart would work.? what do you think?

    1. Jess, trying a chart that would outline what all the reponsibilites are and who is going to handle them would be a good start. Also,having a dog is expensive with food and vet bills. You can expect to pay anywhere from $500-$1,000 a year. Is there any way you can contribute to paying some of that? That would probably help too. Good luck!

  5. this is really good as im trying to convince my stressed out parents to get a dog! most likely a labrador! thanks! its a great post!!!! :)

  6. I’m getting a dog as soon as I leave for college in a few years, most likely a chihuahua. I’ve already looked at pet-friendly housing at the college of my dreams, and because of the expense, I’m already saving my money. It’ll go much faster when I get a real job this spring (:

  7. I never had a dog because where I live no dogs are allowed and im moving so I was writing to my dad about how I should get a dog your list of reasons helped a lot!!! Thank You

  8. Dogs are great, or I think so anyway. I love your reasons to get a dog. I have just always had a dog, since the day I was born and I don’t think I could be without one now.

    I don’t get out much due to looking after my mum, so my dog tends to be friend who actually listens. The one thing I would say to anyone thinking of getting a dog is do not get one unless you are really committed to looking after it for it’s entire life. This means paying it’s vets bills, jabs etc or insurance. It’s not fair on a dog for an owner to let it down like that.

    Good post. :)

  9. I am trying to persuade my parents to get a dog too. I really want to join the YKC you see. I am doing a presentation tommorow. Can’t wait. Thanks for the info.

  10. I really want a dog i have wanted one for years! My dad wants a dog but the only problem is my mom shes allergic to dogs. but i want a big dog. my friends dog is having puppies and it is german shepheard boarder collie black lab mix my dad says its going to be a great dog and we need to no by friday if we want one any suggestion fast!

    1. Lilly, if your mom has allergies, the best dog to get would be something like a Labradoodle — a combination of a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. These dogs don’t have the dander which causes allergies in most people. Good luck finding your very own dog to love!

  11. Oh my gosh, my dad keeps saying no and I am willing to pay for everything! Does anybody have any suggestions? I really don’t know why he keeps saying no!

  12. I like all these reasons because they are really helping be with writing a persuasive essay to make my mom change her mind.

  13. Hi again, my dad says i have too much stuff going on in my life to volunteer at the local pet shop. I even exaggerated and said that i could put it on my resume (which i know i can) and that it would look good when i apply to university and stuff like that and he just said that i have too much stuff going on right now…so i don’t know what to do… i even put together a presentation on why i think i should get a dog, and i researched food and dog hotels and groomers and stuff like that and got all these prices and breeders where i live and i narrowed it down to the dog i want. but my dad just says no. Guess i just gotta wait a while until my life settles down a bit with all my activities

    1. Deianeira, I can understand if your dad thinks you’re already too busy. Dogs need a lot of time and love, if you’re gone most of the time fulfilling your other obligations, maybe now is not the time. But the day will come when you can have your own dog. And I’m sure you’ll be a great dog mom!

  14. Thats a good idea, i think i’ll try that! Thank you very much Karen ! :) i hope i get a dog before i’m grown up with my own place too!! I’ll let you know if i finally get a dog !

  15. There is a local pet shop that i have volunteered at before but my dad didn’t think anything of it, if anything he was glad i was around pets, just not at home. My dad likes pets but doesn’t want his own. He and my mom have had previous pets as children. I know he trusts me but he is just “ify” about the whole thing. He has told me that when i move out he will buy me a dog but thats like 5-10 years away (when i get married or something). But i want one now. I will try with the local pet shop again, and put in more hours and stuff like that and hopefully that might convince him just a little bit more, anything helps.

    1. This may be a matter of persistence pays off. Think about trying at the local shelter and stick with it. Work with traing the shelter dogs so that you help them be more adoptable, and you learn a ton about training AND different types of dog breeds to help you know which one would really make a good fit for you. Eventually you will be able to have your dog, I’m sure of it. I just hope you don’t have to wait until you’re grown and have your own place. : )

  16. I really want a dog…i have chosen a few, german shepherd, pit bull, a labrador, or maltese. I am willing to take care of any dog and be responsible for the dog and even pay for it and its food. I have a little brother that will help too. And i have done my research and found breeders in my area and gotten info on dog food and different types of dogs and gotten pictures of the puppy and adult version of dogs to see what i would be dealing with. But the only pet our family has ever had is a few fishes. And fishes are pretty low maintenance so it was pretty easy taking care of them and we had a pond for them to live in. But i want some pet (A DOG) to cuddle with and take for walks and raise. The thing is, my dad isn’t for it, and he says that a lot of kids get dogs and say that they will take care of them and then a month later they get lazy. He also says it takes a lot of money to raise a puppy/dog, almost like a kid. But i have a job so i don’t see the problem there. I have reasons to get a dog like, we have a big backyard, i have a job, i have extra time on my hands to take it on walks, there is a park across our street, and my brother and i are old enough and responsible enough to take care of it. But my dad just won’t say yes…what do i do now???

    1. Deianeira, I really understand your desire! And I understand your dad’s concerns. Pets are expensive — figure between food and vet bills around $700-$1,000/yr. Maybe the way to convince your dad is to truly show him your dedication. You don’t say how old you are, but would you be able to volunteer at a shelter or a doggie daycare business where you would be around lots of dogs who need love and you would get great training on how to handle dogs?

  17. These are all great reasons to get a dog i am eleven years i really want a dog for christmas and i am writing a persuasive essay to convince my parents to get me one.

  18. Nick Demetriades

    thanks. im trying to convince my parents to get me a dog. im making a power point now with these reasons on it. hope it works. Thanks!

  19. i have a dog.but i want a puppy.my dad only wants german shepards.but i want a golden retriever puppy real bad.what do i do?!

    1. Brooke, do your homework on goldens and find out all the reasons they make great pets. They’re usually a lot easier to have around if you have people coming into and out of your house — just for starters. : ) Good luck!

  20. Matt Overmiller

    I am trying to decide whether to get a dog or not. Thanks for the reasons for getting one. I want a companion to interact with and I spend a good amount of time at home.

  21. My dog just recently passed away. I miss him soooo much. I actually just came in the house and thought, “Hey, this would be a GREAT time to play with Harley! Oh yeah…” So, i want another dog. My mom keeps saying no and giving all these dumb excuses. “DOGS HAVE HAIR! WE LEAVE THE HOUSE TOO OFTEN! (its called school…) and blah blah blah blah BLAAAAAABBY BLAH!!!!!! so yeah. I think these might help. THX:)

  22. Thanks, this really helps!! My mom says we can get a dog when we find the right one, so im trying to learn everyhing i can!! I really want either an australian shepherd or a blue heeler.

  23. thanks. im trying to get a dog but my mom keeps complainging about how shell have to buy food (WHICH IS ALL SHE HAS DO DO!!!) and she has too much stress in her life and blah blah blah blah teenage stuff.. so thxx

  24. This info really helped me! im turning 13 august 26 , and i asked my mom for a bulldog puppy because i know EVERYTHING you need to know about dogs(how to take care of them,genetic health issues,how to treat health,how to do surgeries,etc) because im goingto be a vet. so i ahd a long talk with her and she decided to concider it! whenever she says that it means yess! im so exited,and today i topped it off with your 10 reasons- and she looked very pleaseddd.
    thanks so much!
    P.S- the only thing i dont know is where to get this special kind of kibble for bulldogs. ive heard about it but cant find it. can anyone help?

  25. I have a reason, but it’s not like everyone elses.
    I want my dog because she’s from the blue cross, she’s nine years old and has three legs because she’s been hit my a car, she’s scared of traffic, and everyone who goes and sees her, says “she’s to old” or “oh she only has three legs” So my reason is to give a beautiful dog a home, full of love and attention, who will never be in a kennel again.

  26. I have been trying to get a dog for me and my sister but my mo said no! And i have been trying to talk her into it. I told her that i would buy the dogs and buy everything they need but she is always makes up excuses. PLEASE HELP!

    1. Hi Cheyenne,
      I really sympathize with your wish to have your own dog, but I’m sure your mom has her reasons. Take heart that maybe when you’re older, she may change her mind. If all else fails, know that when you grow up and have your own place, you can get yourself a dog. Good luck!

  27. i have two dogs. i did all the research on the dog i want but it still doesnt seem enough. we have enough room for a new dog. we have enough money. and time. but i still need more reasons

    1. Hmm… If you’re still thinking you need more reasons, you probably don’t need another dog — at least right now. : ) More is definitely not always merrier.

  28. Hi, this is Ali from the article. I remember filling this out a long time ago at camp! I still go, and it is the highlight of my summer. This is so great! It brings back lots of old memories from my first few years at camp!

    (P.S. My dog, Dixie, is a Dachshund, not a Corgi)

  29. I really want a Golden Retriever puppy, but my parents said no. I have all the right reasons, but don’t know where I’m going wrong. Suggestions?

    1. Sophie, sometimes you can have the best of reasons, and still not have it be the best of times to get a dog. Maybe if you ask your parents what you could do to prove to them that you’re ready to have your own puppy, they will tell you what you can do. Good luck!

  30. This info was great! I am writing an essay, and I needed some good info for it. Thanks for the great reasons. I think its going to help me get an A+ in English. :)

  31. Thanks for these great reasons. I have been dreaming about getting a dog for years. Hopefully my parents will alow me to have a speacial pal someday! Can I have some tips, how can I have my mother not be nervous around dogs? How can I convince my father that they are not dirty? Thanks for your help!

  32. Thanks for the info, I’m trying to convince my parents to get me a dog (I’ll even pay for it), but they’re not all the way behind me on it, so, I’ll need some convincing done! If you have any more reasons why to get a dog, can you please let know?!?!?! Thanks again!!!

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