As Americans, we are very proud of our independence, both as a nation and as individuals. So, it might not be that surprising that many dog-loving Americans have said, in a new poll, that they prefer their dog to their partner. The poll made a big splash on Huffington Post and other news outlets back in August 2015. The survey was originally conducted for PoochPerks.com, a pet subscription box service.
What the Survey Found
The survey quizzed around 1,000 Americans about how much they truly love and trust their canine companions. They found some of the following results:
- 38 % of respondents love their dog more than their partner or spouse.
- On a scale of 1 to 10, in terms of devastation and heartache, respondents averaged a 9.1 for a runaway dog and 8.8 for a breakup of their current relationship.
- 94 % of dog owners think it is important that their dog like their significant others
- 71% of dog owners say their would be relationship problems if their dog didn’t like their partner.
- Nearly half of the respondents said they trust their dog and their partner equally.
We are all dog lovers at DogBoy’s Dog Ranch, so this isn’t a huge surprise that many dog owners feel this way. We get very passionate about our dogs and puppies, because they are members of our family. So, it’s understandable that the average dog-owning American would love their dog like a close family member or child.
As we have talked about in other articles in the past, people have a tendency to anthropomorphize animals, especially their own pets. So, in general, if a person had a dog before they started dating someone, you can safely assume that the dog will be treated like a family member. And, many times, the dog will be even more important in swaying that person’s decision on a significant other than their family will be. Let’s be honest, sometimes we all have some serious disagreements with our families. Our dogs tend to always take our side, so that puts them pretty high on the importance totem pole.
What The Survey Left Out
The misleading part of these types of surveys are the implications it makes that spouses or significant others are somehow not important, in light of this information. And, THAT is definitely not true. Like I said earlier, many dog owners view their pups just like children. If you asked a parent whether they would be more devastated by a separation from their spouse or a runaway child, you most likely would find a larger percentage of them choosing the latter. However, these are very different types of situations with extremely different outcomes. To correlate the two and say that parents love their kids more than their spouses, just sort of throws away all of the context.
If you’re trying to make an entertaining piece of news, it’s fine to make these types of connections. It’s a fun read and an attention-grabbing headline. If you’re trying to report on scientific data, not so much. Also, this survey was, like many surveys, kind of limited in scope so there was an inherent bias baked right in. Though I will say, if you are just starting to date a dog owner, you should take this survey to heart and make sure you get on that puppy’s good side quick.
For dog owners and dog lovers, this survey just confirms what many of us are well aware of. Our dogs are extremely important to us. If you are in need of any training, boarding, or other help related to your dog, give us a call.