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If you have ever owned a dog, you probably heard at least one thing that annoyed you. On the other hand, if you have never owned a dog, you probably mentioned at least one of the things you shouldn’t say to a dog parent.

You might not mean anything wrong with what you’re saying, but that still doesn’t change the fact that it sounds offensive or too intrusive.

So, to avoid any misunderstandings and maintain a good relationship with a dog parent, here’s what you should avoid saying at any cost.

#1 What A Big Dog You Have There!

angry puppy looking into cameraangry puppy looking into camera
Photo credit: Pinterest

This is the equivalent to saying that someone gained weight. 

Dog owners are quite sensitive about their furry buddies, and they’ll rarely see this statement as a compliment.

#2 Wow, Your Dog Looks Just Like You.

owner and his dog looking similarowner and his dog looking similar
Source: Pinterest

I remember the look on my friend’s face when a stranger approached her and cheerily told her that she looks just like her doggo, which left her baffled.

She has beautiful, curly-brown hair and owns an Irish Water Spaniel, so I kinda saw the similarity between them as well. Still, I never even thought of saying that to her.

Even if you notice the similarity between a dog owner and their pet, I suggest you keep quiet about it, as some people might get really offended.

#3 Can You Get Your Dog Off The Couch?

dog lying on the couch and relaxingdog lying on the couch and relaxing
Photo credit: Pinterest

The majority of owners consider their pets as family members, so asking them to move their four-legged pal from their seating seems rather insulting.

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However, I have to admit I agree with both sides in this case. As a dog owner myself, I let my dog sit and lay on the sofa, but I also make sure he doesn’t climb there if I have guests (especially people who are afraid of dogs).

Fear of doggos, also known as cynophobia, is rather irrational and those suffering from it can’t really control their reactions. [1]

#4 Wow, That’s An Energetic Pup You Have There.

brown puppy sitting on the grassbrown puppy sitting on the grass
Photo credit: Bored Panda

You might not mean it that way, but this sentence (and all other variations) sound like you’re saying that the doggo is undisciplined, and dedicated pet owners are really sensitive to that topic.

Therefore, I think it’s better to avoid such comments if you want to maintain a good relationship with the owner.

#5 My Kid Doesn’t Like Dogs.

sad puppy lying on the floorsad puppy lying on the floor
Photo credit: Pinterest

People who are afraid of dogs usually project their fears onto their children. Just because a parent doesn’t like doggos doesn’t mean their kids won’t love them either.

That’s exactly why dog owners don’t like to hear such statements, especially those who own canine breeds suitable for families like Labs, Corgis, Golden Retrievers, etc.

#6 Are You Really Talking To Your Dog?

Mishka is probably one of the most famous talking dogs in the world and an example that owners can really talk to their pooches.

Therefore, there’s no need to be surprised to find a person talking with their doggo.

Also, voice commands are one of the most common ways of communicating with dogs, so I’d think twice before asking this question again.

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#7 Isn’t It Expensive To Own A Dog?

dog sitting in front of computer indoorsdog sitting in front of computer indoors
Photo credit: Pinterest

Dog owners mind this question simply because it sounds too intrusive.

It’s considered impolite to ask a person about their income and family expenses, and dog expenses are essentially one of the personal expenses that not everyone is willing to share.

Also, this question sounds more like: “Why would you spend your money on a dog?

#8 Don’t Be Sad About Your Dog’s Death… You Can Always Get Another Pet

cute puppy holding head with his pawscute puppy holding head with his paws
Photo credit: Do You Believe In Dog?

I believe this is one of the most inconsiderate things I have heard since I’ve been a dog owner.

It happened to me and to people I know, and I really, reaaally hope people will stop saying such things.

#9 We Used To Own One Of Those, But They Have A Short Lifespan, Right?

dog lying on the floor and hiding his eyes with pawsdog lying on the floor and hiding his eyes with paws
Source: Pinterest

This question is usually followed by a story of how someone’s dog passed away in great pain, or that they read somewhere that this dog breed is prone to some disease.

Dog owners are aware that their pets can’t live forever, but it would be nice not to remind them of it all the time.

#10 I Heard This Breed Is Dangerous.

adorable puppy sitting on the sidewalkadorable puppy sitting on the sidewalk
Photo credit: Pinterest

Rottweilers are dangerous, Pitbulls are aggressive, Dogo Argentinos shouldn’t be around kids…

These are just some of the statements I have heard during the last few years. A well-trained dog will rarely display any sign of aggression, and that doesn’t have anything to do with its breed.

A Labrador Retriever can be just as aggressive as a Pittie if it’s not trained properly.

People who own “aggressive dog breeds” know that these doggies can be great family pets, just like any other breed, and they’re strongly against any kind of stereotype regarding canines.

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#11 Your Dog Can Survive One Night Without You

dog leaning his paws on chair in housedog leaning his paws on chair in house
Photo credit: Pinterest

I have a few friends who said similar things to me before, but only before they became dog owners, too.

Of course, sometimes I have to leave, but it’s usually just for a couple of hours until I get back from work. 

It would break my heart to leave him alone in the house for more than a day, and I can’t even imagine how painful that would be for him.

#12 You Shouldn’t Take Him Out Without A Leash

dog walking on a road with leash in his mouthdog walking on a road with leash in his mouth
Photo credit: Imgflip

Dog owners are usually irritated by this “advice” because they spend so much time training their pooches and socializing them just for someone (who probably never had a dog) to come and share their unreasonable concern.

I know this might sound harsh, but trust me… if you see a dog without a leash with the owner nearby, you can be sure that the pooch is well-mannered.

#13 Why Are You Spending So Much Time With Your Dog?

woman hugging her dog while holding him in armswoman hugging her dog while holding him in arms
Photo credit: Pinterest

Some people love to travel, others prefer to go to concerts, restaurants, cinemas, or other places.

Dog owners usually prefer spending time with their pooches, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

If you don’t want to insult a friend or a family member who owns a doggie, try to avoid this type of question.

Final Word

These are just some of the things you shouldn’t say to a dog parent – the list could go on for days.

If I had a penny for every time I heard any of these questions and statements, I’d probably be a millionaire by now.

If you have a friend or a family member who owns a pup and wants to maintain a good relationship with him, try not to mention any of these things to them (anymore).

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Or, get a dog (if you don’t have one). Then, you’ll see just how beautiful life can be.


1. WebMD Editorial Contributors. (October 25, 2021.) “What Is Cynophobia?” WebMD Website.

By Andy Marcus

Hello, my name is Andy Marcus, and I am a passionate dog lover and enthusiast. For me, there is nothing quite like the joy and love that a furry friend can bring into our lives. I have spent years studying and learning about dogs, and have made it my mission to share my knowledge and expertise with others through my website. Through my website, I aim to provide comprehensive information and resources for dog owners and enthusiasts. Whether it's training tips, health and nutrition advice, or insights into dog behavior, I strive to create a platform that is accessible and useful to everyone who loves dogs.

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