What Kind of a Dog Parent Are You?

by Sundays

Back of person sitting with their dog on mountain  looking at water

One type isn’t better than another–just different. Take a look at these dog parent profiles and see which one sounds most like you. 

Do you have a dog parenting type? You may not have thought about it, but there are several very recognizable types of dog parents. You might fit neatly into one or have traits of a couple different types. 

One type isn’t better than another–just different. Take a look at these dog parent profiles and see which one sounds most like you. 

The “Fun” Dog Parent 

Everyone wants to be the “fun” one, and maybe you actually are! If so, you probably have a dog that matches your lively personality, and you see your dog as your best bud and partner in fun. And of course, you both live for the weekends. 

Your ideal weekend would start with a little doggy parkour for your walk, then you’d head out to the dog beach for a few rounds of water fetch. Later, we’d find you winning a dog and owner look-alike contest at a local dog-friendly brewery, where you and your pup are regulars. 

You would never think of leaving your pupster at home while you’re out having a good time–if your dog’s not invited, you’re not going, either.

The Free-Range Dog Parent

This one could also be called the “paws-off” parent. You see your dog as an equal being with a high level of intelligence, and you believe they should have a high level of independence, too. When someone refers to you as your dog’s “owner,” you explain that no dog can really be owned. 

But you don’t see yourself as a parent, either. Instead, your dog is more like your bestie and roommate who just doesn’t pay rent and doesn’t have a car. You don’t mind driving him everywhere, and you give him plenty of off-leash freedom. 

People are always texting the number on his collar (your number) to tell you they “found” your dog when you and your four-legged roomie are hanging out at a park or festival.

The Rule Stickler 

You may not want to claim this title, but it’s kind of hard to hide this identity. You follow all the rules of the dog park, dog beach, and other dog-human spaces. You would never leave a pile of poo behind; even if you forgot to bring poop bags, you would figure out a way to clean it up. 

Your dog is always on leash and is trained to follow the rules, too. Like the responsible pet parent you are, you took your dog to training classes as a puppy and put in the work to make sure your pup graduated at the top of the class.

You are the person who posts pics from your Ring camera of the neighbors letting their dog poop on your lawn, calling them out on Nextdoor. On the flipside, you’re also the neighbor who always posts pics of lost dogs to reunite them with their families, and you help network to find homes for stray dogs roaming your street.

The Prepared Dog Parent 

You may not have been a scout as a kid, but if there were adult scout badges, you would get a big, fancy “Always Prepared” badge. Fellow pet parents can always count on you to have a spare poop bag. 

Your dog has her own little travel bag, complete with all the necessities–leash, toys for the park, portable water bowl, blankie for the park, treats, food container and bowl, raincoat, towel, and so on. Before you head out to the dog park, you’ve already mapped your route to the nearest dog wash station for easy cleanup afterward. 

Sure, there may be something behind this feeling of always needing to be prepared for every situation that might come up sometime in therapy, but your pup is always happy and well taken care of.

The Helicopter Dog Parent

You knew this one would be on the list somewhere. People are always using this as an insult, but when it comes to dog parenting, it doesn’t have to be. 

You just want to make sure your pupster is always safe and gets the best out of life. Basically, you are the opposite of the Free-Range Parent, so you may not want to get together with that type if they might co-parent your pup one day.

The one thing you’ll want to watch out for is worrying too much about your dog’s safety. Like, if you sign your dog up for daycare, don’t be the one who calls every 30 minutes for an update.

You truly care about unlocking your dog’s full potential, which is why you spend your weekends training her to do some cool tricks, and you just ordered one of those dog button kits to see how many words she can learn. Just be sure to schedule some time for you and your dog to relax or nap.

Attached Dog Parent (Literally)

Yes, you carry your dog around in a bag, and you won’t apologize for it. The person who started the dogs in bags on the subway trend is your hero. 

You’re a cuddler, and it’s a good thing your dog loves cuddling, too. It’s mutually beneficial–you both get quality bonding time and a feeling of security from each other. You have your side of the bed, and your dog has the other.

If your dog barks or pulls on the leash, you do your best to find out what they are trying to communicate. You would never even think of scolding them or changing their natural doggy behaviors through training. 

Being so close with your pup is great–just be sure to watch for signs of separation anxiety when you have to leave your dog at home for a bit.

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