Who keeps the dog after a breakup?


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  • The couple should make a rational decision, based upon with whom the dog has bonded the strongest and whose future living arrangements would be most suited to a dog.
    When my last cohabitation situation ended, I got custody of the cat.
    There was a mutual loathing between the human female and the cat.
    He showed himself to be a much better judge of character than I was.
    I learned to not trust anyone who did not like cats, or whom cats did not like.

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What Girls Said 106

  • Whoever bonded with the dog more. My ex didn't take our cat because she was def my cat she didn't have much to do with him.

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  • We don't have a dog right now. We have a cat, though. If we were to part ways Franki (the cat) would come with me. I found her in my family's barn as a kitten and more or less just informed him that he was now a cat-dad.

    We were dating at the time and now we're engaged - have never lived together. Franki lives with me. When we marry we will live together and Franki will come too.

    My sister (being the gem that she is) asked him who got the cat if we broke up and he said I did.

    Not sure how it'd go down if we parted ways after adopting a dog.

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  • That's a good question, and it entirely depends in the jurisdiction you live in. Pets are legally considered property, no different than material property like a car or household appliances, etc. I know that sounds terrible to say, but that's just how it is. Pets are not children. The couple in question has to get along well enough to decide where pets will go, if they don't want a judge to decide for them.

    My husband and I have two dogs. One is older than the other, but they are both very bonded to each other. Ideally, we would take one each if we ever split up. That's actually the agreement we have in place, but on the other hand is it fair to split up a bonded pair? THAT'S the hard question that would have to be answered. I hope I never have to answer it, though. Lol.

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  • the dog owner... if they both bought him together than the dog should go to the person he/she is more attached to..

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  • Let the dog decide, its only fair

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  • If it was a gift then the person it was gifted to. If it was something you decided together then whoever paid for it, if both did then either whoever can afford to keep the dog or do stone, paper scissors or something of the kind. Or if the dog is more attached to a specific person by a large margin then the person the dog is most attached to.

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  • Usually, a dog can be considered like a baby. If you want to have joint custody then that's your choice. Also, it would be the best decision if you both want the dog. Or you can decide among yourselves. If one is living further away like in another city then you're going to have to choose. Usually it's the one who is more capable or financially stable to keep the dog since they can provide for her/him.

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  • If the dog was owned by one of the partners before the relationship then that person should retain ownership after the breakup. However, if the dog was brought into the partnership by both parties then whomever is the primary caregiver should get the dog. If both parties shared responsibility for the dog equally & no agreement can be reached, then it's fair game to take it to court.

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  • whoever bought/adopted a dog
    pays for dog care + needs
    takes care of the dog more
    whoever the dog likes more

    factors such as these could probably contribute to who gets the dog. lel

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  • Whomever has been taking care of it already, and has the time to do so. If responsibly was shared equally, then whomever paid the most money, unless the animal seems to have a stronger connection with one over the other.

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  • I would say the person who wanted the dog BUT it also depends on the dog and who ever he is attached more too but more importantly whoever takes the dog needs to be the responsible one that will have time to take care of the dog's needs cause his well being is a priority its like a child.

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  • I think whoever has a more stable home for the dog. Whoever can afford the dog, whoever can provide an area of the dog to roam
    , and whoever has the means to take care of the dog should keep the dog.

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    • What if that's both partners?

    • @CebuanoWildcat ooh that's tough. In my experience with people there's always one that's slightly more able than the other in terms of pet care BUT that's not everyone's.

      If both partners are completely equal, I think the dog should go to whohas bonded with the dog more. Is there a noticeable favorite? They get the dog.

      If there is no noticeable favorite, then the dog should go to whoever is on the adoption papers. If the dog was adopted as a gift, them the dog should go to the original gift recipient.

  • I can't say for all situations, but my sister and her boyfriend broke up a few weeks ago and she got to keep the dog because:

    1.) She bought it with her own money

    2.) She, unlike him, has a stable job, makes good money, and doesn't waste her money on stupid stuff.

    3.) She actually has a home for the dog, unlike him, who has decided that LA is "the place to be". Last I heard, he quit his job so he can bum off his friend on the other side of the country.

    So I guess for others, the dog should go to whoever can actually take good care of it.

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  • Former roommate went through this with his terrible ex-girlfriend.

    Even though he bought the birds, took care of the birds and generally wanted the birds more than her, he wasn't around very much after he got his new job up north. She took them back to her family's farm while she looked for the next sucker to try and buy her new boobs.

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  • If it's not obvious which one of the two owners is the more responsible one who can offer the dog a better life and who the dog has more of a bond with - then splitting your time seems like the right thing to do.

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  • We share two of them, I had one of them when we got together. My husband said that if we ever separated I could take them both, as my old girl was originally mine and they're completely bonded as a pair. It wouldn't be fair to separate them

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  • Whoever can care for and provide the happiest and healthiest life for them

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  • If you are mature enough then you should both get time with the dog however that isn't always practical. i. e one of you might move away or you just may want to put that person behind you. I can also see some people using the dog as an excuse to stay in contact with you. So whoever the dog is bonded to more. If people want to complain about money and say "Well I paid for it!" then ask your ex to pay you for the dog. At least half of what you paid. If they won't then you have to decide if you want to let it go for the dog's sake or take it from it's chosen master.

    My parents are divorced and they own three dogs. It's very clear what dog belongs to whom and they don't argue about it. Plus my mom literally lives down the street from my dad and one of their dogs goes back and forth as she pleases.

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  • Let the dog choose

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  • I guess whoever takes more care of the dog and has more time to look after him.

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  • Try asking the dog itself

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  • Let the dog decide.
    Each person goes away for a couple of days, look at the dog's reaction when each person comes back. Then decide from that.

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  • It varies with every relationship. It depends on who cares for the dog more, who wanted the dog, and many other things.

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  • Whoever turns out to be a better cook πŸ˜‰πŸ’• If it happens to me, I'd surely win and get to keep the dog πŸ˜‡πŸ’–

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  • it depends.
    if #1 gives #2 the dog as a present, it's #2's dog,
    if they both adopt it together then someone has to compromise.

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  • In the netherlands (where I live, not sure what the laws are around dogs elsewhere) a dog is considered property. So whoever purchased the dog is the owner. If there would be a fight surrounding ownership that person should get the dog.

    But in all fairness, most people just decide that who has the most time, money and who has the best bond with the dog gets it.

    by the way, this is also why I will never get a dog with anyone else. I'll make it very clear that this is my dog, you may love it and if they want to care for it too but it is and will remain my dog. Jenna & julien have this as well, marbles and kermit are def jenna's dogs and peach julien's.

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  • Whoever bought the dog.

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  • Whoever the dog is more attached to

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  • The one that walks it, feeds it, cuddles it... etc... so.. me :)

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  • My husband and I have an agreement about our future children and pets, that whoever calls off the relationship leaves with nothing.

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    • what if the reason for breaking up is the other person's fault? hypothetically like cheating and the other person finds out and breaks up with them

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    • the way I see it is you're saying there is zero chance of you two breaking up so you're unable to answer the hypothetical question objectively.

    • Obviously I can't answer these questions objectively since I am a part of this. My husband and I are best friends, we communicate a lot and work very well together. We are both determined to work hard to make our marriage work for us both, that's all there is to it.

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What Guys Said 189

  • OK, this should be easy. Who feeds the dog. Who walks the dog? Who is staying at the residence the dog knows? Who bathes the dog? Are you both not fighting for the dog to spite the other? The last one is thrown into this because thats exactly what my ex did. We had three cats & 1 was found by me and literally I saved her life. I was keeping her and 2 were going with her. As soon as she got situated in her new room, she & her friend took the two cats back to the shelter! That got me angry & hurt all rolled into one. She never called me to get the cats! Thats evil.

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    • Did u get to adopt then back? by the way that was a selfish thing ur ex did to u if she didn't care for the cats she should have just let u keep them... some peopleπŸ™„

    • No, because her brother didn't get ahold of me until it was too late.

  • Whoever brought it home in the first place, or if it was as a gift, the person to whom it was gifted. No one can really deny that any pet belongs more to one party or the other. There's always someone who loves on it more than the other. Whoever loved it more should probably keep it.

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  • Simple, the person who purchased or received the dog or the person who genuinely cares for the dog more. If the person who purchased the dog loves and cares for the dog dearly, then he or she should keep it.

    If the person who purchased the dog, does not take care of it or mistreated it and the other person in the relationship is the more loving/caring type then he or she should have it.

    If both individuals love the dog dearly, my guess is it should still go to the person who purchased the dog. If purchasing or receiving the dog was based on a couple decision, that's tough. I am not trying to be mean but it's a dog, I understand the symbolic feeling it is for (man's best friend) but the other person who does not receive the dog can buy a puppy and care for it, raise it properly, in a new home, in a new environment.

    I'm sure animals who care for their owners deeply will be confused or upset if they do not see 1 particular owner but unfortunately, like children, they have to deal with it. Life throws curve balls and it's not always ideal or fun to deal with but when it comes to breaking up/relationships it is hard to the individuals involved as well.

    Best of luck.

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  • first off, if your not married it is irresponsible to get a pet. I don't care if you have "intentions" on getting married or not. If you do, then you should plan for who gets the pet before you even go get it and have it in writing.
    If your married it is trickier. Right now our dog goes where the kids go. So they spend 2 weeks with me, 2 weeks with her. She goes wherever they stay. After they move out, then we will figure something out. But I don't see changing the every 2 weeks.

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  • It really depends on how the dog was brought into the home. Besides that, say that the dog was adopted and not a present for example, the dog should go to the home with the person who has the most stable home. Has ebough time for the dog and knows how to take care of it.

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  • One of many reasons I am old fashioned, and would be hesitant to have any gal move in with me unless I married her first. And I can usually weed out the bad gals long before the altar is even a discussion.

    Divorce - and pseudo-divorce - are very cruel things, especially for children and pets. Better to remain alone, if I do not yet trust myself with that kind of responsibility.

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  • the local Chinese restaurant

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  • you both stand at opposite ends of a room and call it. repeat this six or seven times to see who it comes to more

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  • I don't care who she is, or how many dogs has has or will have. If it was mine, or we got it together, I'm keeping that little shit with me till it grows old and dies. It'll be much more loyal than she was anyway.

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  • I'd let the dog choose. If the dog is ambivalent, then it should go to the person who spends the most time and/or money on the dog. The dog should be allowed to visit the ex for a bit, as the breakup affects them too.

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  • Rule of thumb priority
    1. Whoever is best suited to raise the dog. If both people love the dog, then they'll know who that is.

    2. Whoever purchased the dog.

    Simple. If I knew the dog would be better taken care of by my ex, then I would let her keep the dog and just ask to visit the dog. But if I were the better person to raise the dog, even if she bought the dog I would compensate her the difference and take the dog.

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  • Yeah children, dogs / pets are properties who don't have a right to either choice or freedom

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  • Likely the one that has the means and desire to care for it. Should it be something else?
    If they equally do, is the animal closer to one or the other? Most dogs have a preference for one or the other. Usually the one that feeds them and walks them regularly.
    Otherwise, flip a coin. Or flip her. :)

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  • If it was a joint purchase a flip of the coin

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  • Me. Always me.

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  • Depends on who likes the dog more. If she bought a Pomeranian for her purse she can keep it (also i probably wouldn't date her anyway. Im not attracted to valley girls). If i bought a Rottweiler then im keeping it, thats my dog. If we got a dog together and love it equally as much then whoever has the money to support a dog should keep it.

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  • I had to let my ex-wife take the dogs because she was moving into a house and I was just able to rent a room

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  • cut the dog down the middle...

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  • I wouldn't care tbh

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  • whoever can take care of it the most and the best. who has the most space. generally the one who doesn't move.

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  • Who does the dog want?

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  • I desperatly miss my dog after my breakup but because of problems it would be unfair for me to keep him

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  • I kept the cat, she always liked me more anyways. And I have a house where I can have animals, she didn't.

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  • Let the dog decide do a call off

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  • Whoever is willing to really take good care of the dog. Dogs should have a single owner. It usually is like that. So that person should take her. πŸ˜‰

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  • whoever bought the dog. If they both did than you might as well flip for it because other then that you'll both feel unsatisfied without the dog

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  • I got the dog for our 20th wedding anniversary for her. It's her dog. English Bulldog. She kept it, but I babysit it if the ex leaves town or whatever. The dog comes trucking with me.

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  • it is normally who ever loves the animal more. In most cases women want the pet. I suggest that you not try to keep the pet and let the other person have that pet, You can always replace the dog or cat and fish or etc. if have to you can fight in court to get the pet, but it is better to just replace the pet

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    • no it's not... that's like saying it's better just to replace a child after a breakup... witch I personally would be more willing to do then with a dog!

  • The dog owner. Whoever had the dog before the relationship. Or if it was bought during, whoever did most of the work (if they still want it.)

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