Our Dogs Are Turning Out to Be Better People Than Our Children

Maybe we should raise kids the same way we train our pets

Aditi Balaji
The Pink


Photo by Sofia Shultz on Unsplash

Dogs are the new children.

It’s true. The old trend used to be — get married, enjoy the honeymoon phase, then work towards the next big milestone of having a kid. Today, a new milestone has been inserted into this timeline. Getting a dog. Plenty of couples now see that as the next big step after marriage, myself included. This step helps many couples figure out the kind of parents they’re going to be.

When my partner and I first discussed getting a pup, we debated a lot about whether to get a male or a female.

I personally thought both were equally adorable, but having a female would mean always being scared around male dogs and their incessant humping instincts. I was afraid that I would live in perpetual fear of her getting pregnant.

But the feminist in me couldn’t bear to make this decision based on how the world would behave. How would I be any different from the backward village folk of centuries past who aborted female foetuses because they couldn’t afford the dowry someday?

So I left the decision to my partner. He decided that we would get a female pup.

And I braced myself for the year to come.

Having a female pup has been full of pleasant surprises

Inside our little house, the experience of having a tiny pup scampering around was every bit as beautiful as I had imagined it would be.

During the first few months, when she was still a baby, I made sure to socialize her with all the dogs in my neighbourhood. She grew up to be a super friendly and lovable pup who got along with everybody. Thanks to the lockdown, plenty of others had gotten a dog around the same time, and she made many friends of the same age.

As all these lockdown pups reached the 6–8 months range and hit puberty, I found something unexpected and wonderful happening.

Yes, some of them were horndogs. Yes, there was the incessant sniffing and stalking that I had expected. But the amazing thing was — the dog owners took responsibility for their dogs.

Every time a dog even approached my pup’s nether regions, the owner immediately took charge and distracted their pup with a ball or a stick. Usually, the dogs responded well and listened to their owners. In some relentless cases, the owner found a way to take the dog away from her.

I didn’t have to do anything.

Nobody asked us to get her spayed. Nobody said boys will be boys.

People recognized that their own dogs were their own responsibility.

We need to show the same level of ownership when it comes to our children

Granted, children don’t sniff each other’s butts or hump each other.

But they do learn a lot of shit from YouTube. They pick up on rape culture through all the subliminal things happening around them.

Pop culture is still largely derogatory towards women. Consent is still being fought for. And small children are laughed at and encouraged when they touch someone else inappropriately.

My neighbourhood — the same neighbourhood that takes responsibility for its dogs — has kids under 10 who write “I love tits” on dusty old cars.

Somehow, that’s even worse than dogs humping each other. At least you can talk to kids and teach them to do better. That’s not possible with dogs. And yet people don’t take this opportunity to shape their children into better people.

Children are not dogs. We cannot wait until a physical offence happens before we take corrective action. Because they will be well into their teen years and it will be too late.

Every time your son (or daughter!) does something shady, imagine your dog humping someone else’s. And treat it with the same level of seriousness.



Aditi Balaji
The Pink

Writing about relationships. feminism and books. I’m an introvert, a fantasy/sci-fi nerd, and a dog mom.