Can be family friendly
Can be expensive to keep
Could be messy unless properly trained
Having owned five different dogs over 37 years, I have concluded that dogs are great. As to the question, Are Dogs Man's Best Friend? I am not sure about the answer. One should never generalise as we have all read or heard tales of rogue dogs, attacking children and more. However, often when there are problems with a dog, and its behaviour, it is down to the owner.
Dogs are funny creatures. They like routine and they need to be trained. If they are not they are liable to revert to their semi-wild nature. When you think about modern domesticated dogs, it is often easy to forget that they have descended from wild animals. Without the necessary training, a dog may revert to being the pack animal that it would be in the wild and dominate your home. Such a dog could never be classed as your best friend.
However, give your dog the training, love and attention that it needs and your rewards will be huge.
Dogs are faithful, loyal, good fun and company, will guard you and your home and forgive your moods. Dogs ask for little in real terms. Dogs have few demands and simply require grooming, fresh water, food, exercise, a home and love.
All of my dogs, except for one, have been rescued from very traumatic situations. Despite this, each one has still wanted to please me, its owner. The cruelty meted out on these little dogs has varied from burns, abandonment, starvation and general cruelty to downright neglect.
Each dog though, once it had settled and we had got to know each other, wanted nothing more than to please us. Often a dog's eyes are constantly on its master, mistress or owner, trying to assess your mood and to anticipate what you are going to do next. Personally, I do not find this suffocating in any way. It is not done as maybe a person might. It is done as if to make sure that you are obeyed and your every wish granted.
When a young dog is in its puppy and training stage, it may be hard to believe that soon this dog will obey your every command. However if you take your rightful place as pack leader the dog will.
Rescue dogs may be eager to please, as they are so happy to have finally found a good home. However, even dogs that have never been in a rescue situation seem to want to follow the 'man's best friend' syndrome. One would think that a dog, that was cruelly treat, may simply run off at the first opportunity, but this seldom happens. If the dog has known nothing different, it will accept such treatment as the norm.
One of my current dogs was regularly thrown, quite literally, through the glass windows of the home, along with any furniture that was close by, when her horrible, previous owners were having an argument. I still cannot see why she did not simply leg it. However, she was only around eight months old and vulnerable. Such loyalty could be fear of the unknown or perhaps it is simply blind loyalty to the dog's owner.
This loyalty in a dog is something, which some people do not like, I know. Cat owners, and cat lovers, will often see this doggie trait as a failing, especially in comparison to a cat's personality. One thing with most dogs though is, that they are very faithful creatures, however misguided this loyalty may be at times.
Dogs are obviously not your best friend in lots of ways, unless you are a sad individual with no people and human friends in your life. If that is you a dog may add some comfort. After all dogs do not talk back or cause you the grief that another human being can do.
However, they are loyal, reliable, accept you and your moods, will easily forgive your ups and downs and will try to comfort you when they can. Being tearful one day, after a death in the family, I experienced this first hand, with my first dog. Young and boisterous though it normally was, at the time, my dog found me in an upstairs room and quietly lay next to me on the bed. The dog laid his head on my shoulder as if trying to offer me some comfort. A small gesture that was much appreciated.
Sadly not all dogs will be as faithfu; and loyal. Usually though, you will find that a dog is yours, come what may, providing that you treat it right. Unfortunately, as with people, dogs like friends do occasionally let you down. Still as they are classed as dumb creatures the odd slip up is to be expected.
Overall, your experience of owning a dog will be as good as the amount of effort you put into the job in hand.