No, You Shouldn’t Bring A Dog On a Date


Alias (DO NOT USE A REAL NAME!!): Beth

Comment: Is it normal for a guy to bring his dog on every date? I recently went out on 4 dates with a guy, and he insisted bringing his dog on every date. Our first three dates were outdoors, so having his dog around seemed normal. For the 4th date, he asked me out to dinner and a movie, and I thought this would be a great chance to spend some 1:1 time and get to know each other better. He then told me he was bringing his dog so we would need to go somewhere dog friendly.

I asked him if it could just be the two of us so that we could have some 1:1 time. He flipped out and told me that his dog was his best friend, and if I couldn’t handle the dog coming on all our dates he didn’t want to waste his time on me. I like his dog, but don’t want to date his dog.

Is this normal?
Age: 32
City: Tulsa
State: O


Nothing about this is normal.

I’ve spoken before of how I think it’s counter-intuitive for single people to have dogs, and this is a prime example as to why. He’s likely bringing the dog because a) he’s a fucking weirdo and b) so that he doesn’t have to cut the date short to go home and walk/feed/massage/read a bedtime story to Snickers. WHO BRINGS A DOG TO A MOVIE?

Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love dogs. But being a single dog owner is impractical. Your schedule revolves around that animal, which means you can’t just go with the flow and hang out for four hours on a date. Fido is back home doing the wee wee dance waiting for you to come home.

Actually, cats are pretty problematic, too. My two cats are my babies, but they create a ton of work for me when it comes to dating. Cats = allergies, and many people are allergic. You can’t keep a cat locked in a bathroom, which means there hair gets EVERYWHERE. If someone is allergic to cats or dogs, that too poses a big problem. Luckily , my cats are brilliant and self-sufficient. I mean, the girl is. The boy cat is a needy mother effer that won’t ever leave my side. He is on me from the moment I get under the covers. And when I have company, he’s all over them, too. He’s very well trained. When ever the UPS guy or a delivery person rings my buzzer, my cat waddles over to the exact same spot in the middle of the hallway and flops on his side so I will rub his belly. Literally every time that buzzer rings, he knows exactly where to go.

OP, this guy sounds like he might be a wee bit attached to his dog. The dogs are usually just excuses for the owners to grab for attention. They take the dog everywhere, including work, so people will stop and play with the dog. I think it’s safe to say that people who do this have issues. The dog is an excuse for this guy to reject people. Bringing a dog on all your dates is ridiculous, and most adults know it. By inviting along his pup, he’s sabotaging every possible relationship that comes his way. If he really is that close to his dog, that could be a sign of some pretty serious attachment/intimacy issues. Some folks just don’t relate well to other people. They prefer engaging with animals because relationships with animals involve less stress and emotional intimacy.



Sometimes the love of your life is the love of your life. (R)


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16 Responses to “No, You Shouldn’t Bring A Dog On a Date”

  1. The Original D Says:

    That’s just weird. I have both a dog and a cat and while I have to be mindful of the dog’s pee schedule, I can’t remember a single time I’ve had to cut a date short because of it. And taking her (my dog) to a movie? Yeah, no.

  2. fuzzilla Says:

    Just the title of this made me laugh out loud. Is this for real? (Okay, in case it is…take the dog out of it. Do you really want to date someone who “flips out” over normal, reasonable requests? Do you not believe your request to be normal and reasonable? Why is that?).

    I’m lucky I shacked up with a cat person who likes/puts up with my meanie-fo-feenie cat. Before him guys I dated would at least tolerate my cat (and no, the cat doesn’t need constant attention every few hours. That’s a plus of owning a cat and not a dog). If a guy said he was allergic, then usually things were nipped in the bud and we didn’t bother meeting. It’s not rocket surgery.

  3. Jim Says:

    I’ve got the single dog-owning thing down to a science. Installed a doggie door and on the inside a have a large kennel. So my dogs have access to outside at all times and can also be comfortably inside during bad weather.

    I don’t think anyone can love their dogs more than I do. but id never suggest bringing them on a date. Run for the hills!

  4. Bryan Toder Says:

    Yeah… I dated someone like this and it lasted 3 dates. On the last date, she insisted that we take her dog to the street festival.

    Now, I did see many other people with dogs, but I really just wanted to get to know HER.

    When we talked, she always interrupted when another dog had to “play” with her dog, or if he needed to pee or something. Ugh.

    The flow, so to speak, was always interrupted and very frustrating.


    Do you notice people who put more photos of their dogs (what *IS* it with women who do this..?!) than themselves?I usually don’t contact these people.

    Yeah, I “get” that you love dogs, so do I… but, I’m looking for a girlfriend, not a pet owner.

    Just saying…

    • Cooldude Says:

      Depends on what kind of dog. Larger dogs tend to be a bit more independent. I grew up with a lab so if a girl wanted to date me and she had a lab I could spend time with, huge bonus. The ugly small yappy dogs that fit in purses are obnoxious to be around.

  5. Ashley Says:

    Dog people are the worst. There are dog owners, and there are “dog people” who treat them better than they treat most humans. Stay far away from those people.

    • Laure Says:

      I’m a dog person. I love dogs but I don’t have one. But I get your point. This advice goes for all animals. I never contact people who are “crazy about animals” or who have multiple pets.

      I have a theory about this: the more animals, the more marginal the people who own them.
      The same goes for people holding snakes, spiders, lizards, etc.

  6. Nia Says:

    I had something similar happen when I met a guy online who lived a couple hours away (in Colorado, outside of Denver, this is pretty common, the state’s large and spread out). He wanted to come up and hang out in Denver for the weekend…no problem. He wanted to bring his dogs with…uh, kind of a problem.

    I think people are maybe erring on the side of “love me, love my dog” and wanting to test the potential partner, but that’s a mistake. The focus should be on getting to know one another slowly, and with critical thinking plus a dose of understanding and benefit of the doubt. It shouldn’t be a series of hoops you have to jump through to prove how much you want to be with this person you barely know!

    • fuzzilla Says:

      If I had kids, I’d want someone I dated to have at least a cordial relationship with them. If he didn’t, I could see how that might be a deal breaker – but that doesn’t mean you bring the kid on the first date. Oy.

      Maybe you’re onto something that the dogs on dates thing is a regional thing.

  7. mark Says:

    Well, this is a question that is different than the ones usually posted.

    Frankly, I would agree with you about the dog/outdoors bit. I would also agree about bringing the dog on the dinner date.

    People have pets. Yes they may love them and enjoy their company. For a host of reasons. Where I would draw the line is when that love for the animal(s) materially interferes with our human relationships. You illustrated this with the guy’s comment about bringing the pet on all the dates. This is where it crosses the line from normalcy into…well… something else.

    This highlights the difference between a passion about something and an obsession. One is a sign of gusto and adds to our enrichment. It is something that means something special in your life. The other is an unhealthy fixation. A fixation that can hinder our dealings with others.

  8. Noquay Says:

    As the owner of multiple pets, I can see taking a dog on a hike if that’s what you’re doing for the date. Even if one of my dogs werent blind and strictly outdoor-only, I still wouldnt consider taking them on anything not outdoor oriented. What the OP describes is just plain weird. I myself eventually want to meet a potential suitors pets in case there’s a problem with them and vice versa. I have found that my critters are pretty good judges of character; my big dog scared away a stalker. She knew him, had been walked by him numerous times, yet understood he had no business showing up in the middle of the night and behaved accordingly. If a person wants a totally no strings, no ties, perfectly convenient life, he is not right for me anyway. I dont buy the singles excuse that theres no one to take care of their pet. ln addition to the pets, I run a small farm and usually have no problem finding folk to do critter care if I want to be gone a few days. I help folks out, they help me. Tis called having social ties, living in community.

  9. Joe L Says:

    This guy clearly has a serious attachment disorder, and should seek immediately professional help.

    Putting a dog (or any pet) before real human connection and relationships is never normal or healthy behavior. (Granted, I strongly believe the vast majority of dog owners do this to a strong degree, especially single people, as in almost all cases the pet is a surrogate for a child or romantic partner; but this case is more extreme than that seen even among the most hardcore dog-lovers.)

    To further prove this is a sign of a larger pattern of unhealthy attachment/emotional issues, imagine the pet were a real human child (which i’m sure he considers it to be, “his baby”, as virtually all dog owners do). He cannot function in any normal social situation without his attachment being present 100% of the time. This would not even be healthy if it indeed a human child! Even well-adjusted single parents do not insist on bringing their child on *every single date*…think about that!

    Now imagine what is going to happen when his dog eventually dies one day (as it will)? How do you think this would affect this guy? Sounds like would most likely have a mental breakdown, possibly to the point of needing to be institutionalized, given how unhealthy his attachment disorder has become.

    Now think about what happens when/if (hopefully never) this guy becomes a real parent. Who is going to come first, his dog or your child? Is he going to develop an equally unstable, unhealthy attachment to your child as well and be unable to ever leave the baby/child with a sitter or in the case of others? Think about the scary, obsessive type of parent this guy would be (and already is, to his pet)…the need for constant companionship and attention.

    He has some really serious issues. And sadly, his dog probably does too, now, as he’s raised a completely co-dependent animal. Please talk to him seriously about getting professional help.

  10. Chris Says:

    I had a dog-owning FWB and every time we would get busy, the door opened, the dog came in and sat down to observe. Super weird.

  11. Dave Says:

    Ah…the dog issue. The lady I’m seeing now got a little rescue dog a few weeks into dating…and as a non-dog person it definitely has caused me to proceed with caution. I don’t think she thought of the bigger picture and just how much it would change her life down the road…from my view, she’s not the same person I pursued in the beginning (her not having a dog was one of the reasons I chose to keep dating her).

    I may take some heat for this, but I have always been a little suspicious of people who form incredibly close bonds with animals, yet have difficulty with their own human species. If a relationship has a strong foundation and is healthy, both people can decide on bringing an animal into their lives. But to force the “love me, love my dog” as a ultimatum right up front (say, for instance, in their dating profile)…or to bring a dog (especially an untrained, needy one) into a very new relationship which has no foundation to fall back on…it would be an understatement to say that you’ve just thrown a gigantic monkey wrench into the works.

  12. Beau Says:

    I have two mastiffs, they are awesome. I take them to work with me (to the office.)

    I usually get lunch at the local food truck court. Lots of other people bring their dogs out there, they have a dog park on one side.

    I like hanging out with my dogs, the majority of my clients seem to like my dogs more than they like me! If I meet clients in the meeting rooms or out front 9 times out of 10 they want to know “where the dogs are” and I take them back to my office.

    There are tons of dog people in the world. There are tons of cat people in the world. For God’s sake, there are tons of people into ferrets, potted plant, bowling, or almost any hobby/ lifestyle/ activity you can think of.

    This guy who brings his dogs on dates is probably a little out there, I dont even do that. But the guy probably is looking for someone who enjoys dogs as much as he does and that is OK. That person is just not you.

  13. Lovely Says:

    Well I absolutely love my dog. It’s just me and him and he’s my best friend. And yes I put right there in my profile that I own a dog and we’re a package deal. Why waste time communicationing or dating someone who doesn’t like dogs or would frown upon you bringing your dog to their place? Having a dog is much like having a child, if you love the person, you have to at least accept and embrace their dog. All of that being said I wouldn’t take a dog on the first few dates. In fact I’ve been dating a guy for over 2 months and he’s never met my dog. I just make arrangements for my dog prior to the date, make sure he’s had his walk and he’s good to go until I return from my date. Now eventually, my boyfriend will have to meet my dog and get used to both me and the dog coming to his place and chilling. THAT is why I always go out of my way stressing how important my dog is to me. Can you imagine dating someone for over 2 months and having to end it because he doesn’t like dogs and never wants your dog around??? That would be terrible. And that’s why open and honest communication upfront is so important. My boyfriend and I have actually made plans for me to bring my dog to his place for the first time this week. He has a dog too! I’m very excited and hope everything goes well :)

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