11 Comments That Make Dog Owners Cringe

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

July 3, 2014

Fill in this sentence: opinions are like _____, everybody’s got one. And, sometimes, we feel the need to share those opinions, even if they’re unwarranted, un-asked for or just generally annoying. We’ve all stuck our foot in our mouths, and we’ve all also been on the receiving end of some weird or misguided commentary. Usually, we can sweep these sorts of things under the rug with the rest of the unsightly stuff we don’t know what to do with. But as dog owners (and we assume cat owners deal with their own as well), there are certain comments we’re more likely to get often enough that they’re truly cringe-worthy. You know the kind. Some are breed specific, others are just general thoughts lobbied at any dog owner, small or large. And it’s annoying.

While there may not be too much we can do about people’s unfiltered thoughts, at least we can band together and share in this unsavory experience. We’d love to hear what annoying and cringe-worthy comments you often hear about your pup, or dogs in general. We’re sure to have missed some goodies! Without further ado, here are eleven comments that make dog owners cringe:

11. “I’d love to own a dog, but they’re just too much work/too expensive.”


 Image via I Can Has Cheezburger

Well, then you probably wouldn’t love to own a dog, you just like imagining owning a dog. Of course, there are certainly times that this is a valid point and the person will later go on to work out their situation and adopt (or decide it’s not for the best). But often enough, you’ve got people who want a dog (or think they want a dog), constantly bemoaning how hard and/or expensive it must be. Well, sure, it’s not cheap and it’s a bit more responsibility than, say, a plant. But it’s not as if you’ve got a newborn baby, or have to have millions in the bank. You just happened to want a dog, and—like a grownup—you figured out a way to make it work.

10. “Holy crap! Is that a dog or a horse? Are you walking it or is it walking you? What do you feed that thing!?”


 Image via I Can Has Cheezburger

If you’ve got a large dog (and we mean large, think Great Dane, St. Bernard, Mastiff, etc.), you’re probably used to this litany of comments. It doesn’t matter if you’re at the dog park (with other dog owners, who you’d think would at least be more original) or just walking your pup down your block. The cringe worthy part is that while people think they’re being cute, original or funny, they’re just saying the same thing to you that you’ve likely heard ten billion times since bringing your pup home. And nobody likes hearing the same dang thing over and over and over (unless it’s, you know, “you’re hot and brilliant, how do you do it?”)

9. “I like cats better, they’re easier to take care of/more independent/shed less.”


 Image via PC World

Look, there shouldn’t be a debate about which animal is better. Cats are great and dogs are great and it’s not a pet-owning competition! Some people prefer one over the other, usually for very specific and valid (at least to them!) reasons and many other people have both dogs and cats (imagine that!) Like anything else in life, there are pros and cons to any side you choose, but trying to change someone’s mind or make comments about how your choice is better is just annoying. And while, yes, many will argue that cats are easier to take care of, that’s not often the main consideration when adopting a pet anyway.

8. “What are you going to do with your dog when the baby comes?”


 Image via

Eh, we’ll probably just take him to the woods and yell, “Be freeeeeeee!” I mean, what do you think we’re going to do? While not all dog parents with newborns will instantly get a Theo and Beau level of camaraderie between their two children, most pet owners will go through hell acclimating the two before even considering re-homing their dog. Anyone assuming that this (or—God forbid—anything worse) is your go-to solution has clearly not experienced a true bond with a pet.

7. “I love dogs and all but Pitbulls / Dobermans / German Shepherds / (insert any other cliche choice here) are scary / dangerous.”


 Image via I Can Has Cheezburger

Well, then I guess you don’t really love dogs all that much. Because if you did, you’d know better than to discriminate against an entire breed. Even if you’ve had a bad experience, it’s not fair to lump an entire breed together and determine the whole lot is “bad” or “scary.” A dog’s personality and disposition has very little to do with their breed, and more to do with the way they’ve been trained, raised and loved.

6. “You’ve got a dog, maybe you can help! I’d love to adopt a housebroken dog that doesn’t shed, bark, have any health issues…”


 Image via

Sure, you sound like a great candidate for owning a dog, let me get on that right away. Or maybe a unicorn is more your style?

5. “I’m getting my mom/boyfriend/neighbor a puppy for their birthday/Christmas!”

Puppy Wearing Bow

 Image via Richview Animal Shelter

Getting a dog is a serious decision that takes forethought, planning, money and a whole lot of time. This is never the kind of life decision you should make for someone else, even if they’ve mentioned wanting a dog. This seems painfully obvious, yet people are still tying a ribbon on puppies and giving them as gifts all the time. Sadly, this is one of the many reasons dogs end up in shelters.

4. “I like dogs and all, but none of those yip-yap / purse dogs.”


 Image via Quick Meme

Preference is one thing, but no need to be a jerk about it. Also: we’ve met big dogs who “yip yap” just as much as any chihuahua or dachshund.

3. “Not the sharpest tool in the shed, huh?”


 Image via Xavier Toby

And you expected what, that my dog would brew you a cup of coffee and ask how your week is going? Dogs, just like humans, all come in varying shapes and sizes and levels of braininess. A lot of that has to do with their training and lifestyle. But assuming that dogs are less-than-smart animals is unfair and incorrect.

2. “Whoa, maybe Sparky there needs to lay off the kibble!”


 Image via Pinterest

I’m sorry, do you like people commenting on your weight? Even if said dog does seem a little overweight, no one has the right to call out another person or dogs weight. Who knows what’s really going on – maybe you’re currently trying to help your dog loose weight, or they’re dealing with a thyroid issue or other health ailment. As mom would tell you, “if you don’t have anything nice to say…”

1. “Is that an indoor or an outdoor dog?”


 Image via We Know Memes

Sure, not all dog owners allow their dogs to sleep with them in bed at night. But most of us aren’t regulating our beloved pups to one area of our home either. And we certainly aren’t keeping them in the backyard, never to see the interior of our home or enjoy our company. Because honestly, what’s the point in adopting a dog and then abandoning it outside all day. And what, exactly, is an “indoor” dog anyways… they do have to go outside sometime. Sigh, humans, they say the darndest things.

Featured image via Gannett-CDN


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Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

July 3, 2014

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