Dogs: Beyond Pets, Integral Companions in Evolving Roles

Dogs as best pets have been contentious argument among scholars with center of debate consistently shifting from basic roles of dogs in homes to scientific roles they play in research. It is not fallacious to argue for instance, that in recent decades, there has been social, economic and cultural changes that have brought fundamental shift in the attitude and values of people to an extent that dogs are not only reared as best pets but fulfill a given vacuum left due to a sense of isolation.

Scholars such as Tapper (2007) have provided evidence-based researches showing that dogs as pets provide unconditional companionship which equates effective therapeutic options that improve quality of life. However, what Tapper presents in his study should not be considered as the pinnacle in this argument. That is, debate on dogs as the best pet is so rich that argument as made by Tapper is admittedly an introductory one and only represents a research that is clearly in progress.

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Looking at recent studies such as Serpell and Paul (2010), it is clear that there are still a number of avenues which beg this assessment to explore regarding benefits of gods as pets and such cannot be explored in the confines of what Tapper argues about.

In support of studies that have looked at dogs in a wider perspective, this argument begins, as all proper researches should, that dogs are not only the best pets but work animal. As pets, they are not just fawning but seem to live with people and take their work outside seriously ---they are to be found at table and at the gate watching steadily for any intruder.

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This is not to forget the fact that families use dog as ‘guide dogs for the blind’ or ‘hearing dogs for the blind.’ Though some arguments such as Vivian (2001) have postulated that as pets, dogs can sometime tear their best friends asunder, it is possible to counter this claim in the sense that these pets could only attack their master in situations psychologist term as ‘fight or flight.’ That is, dogs as pets are have feelings and when cornered or threatened, they either fight back or run away from the danger. In fact, close study of these animals as pets brings a number of such contradictions (that dogs can aimlessly attack their masters) (Lloyd-Jones, 2003).

Arguments on whether dogs are the best pet stretches back to the early times of Greek civilization where it was, at the very best, liminal, human’s best friend compared to other animals that were domesticated (Tapper, 2007). Contrariwise, this statement remains uncertain owing to the fact that the animal is just a few steps from the wolf. In addition to this, in a confined argument, the theory continues, that dogs as pets are not as important as other animals reared as pets. The thesis statement of this school of thought lies on the premise that the animal contributes nothing to the common good compared to other pets. In as much as there may be truth in this theoretical framework, comparative studies as cited above have succinctly indicated that such a view is fraught with inherent dangers especially if they are pursued overly simplistically. The reason as to why this argument refutes opposing arguments that is strongly is due to the fact that the obvious relationship existing between people and dogs as pets is rarely that simple, regardless of the level of society the dog is reared as a pet. To argue that dogs as pets are economically worthless is fallacious in the sense that young people in the house and dogs as pets are categorized as creatures put near or in the house, fed but with return or meaningless economic services the owner.


Lloyd-Jones, H. (2003), ‘Females of the species and dogs rearing in the upper families.’ ParkRidge, NJ 2003.

Serpell, T. & Paul, E. (2010), ‘Pets and the development of positive attitudes towards dogs’, inAnimals and society. Changing perspectives, eds. A. Manning & James Serpell,Routledge, NY 2010, 127-156.Tapper, R. (2007), ‘Animality, humanity, morality, society’, in What is an animal? Ed. T. Ingold,Routledge, NY 2010, 42-72.

Vivian, K. (2001), ‘In the company of animal. A study of human-animals relationship.’Routledge, NY 2001, 390-412.

Updated: Nov 20, 2023
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Dogs: Beyond Pets, Integral Companions in Evolving Roles. (2015, Sep 01). Retrieved from

Dogs: Beyond Pets, Integral Companions in Evolving Roles essay
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