People, just… NO.
Your dog is not your child. Your dog doesn’t WANT to be your child; your dog is completely confused by this kind of behavior. Your dog would be horrified if he could comprehend the statement.
Dogs who are “children” are usually the most lost and badly behaved dogs there are, because the relationship is entirely for the benefit of the “parent.” What parents do for children, the way parents behave around children, are nothing that a dog needs or even likes. They end up casting here and there for any kind of stability and strength and assurance. The soft ones go neurotic; the hard ones take over. Either way you have an unhappy dog trapped and being fed upon, asked to provide something it cannot and stay sane and healthy.
I love my dogs. I think they are just marvelous. I feel privileged to know them. But they are not my husband and they are not my children. I don’t mean that they are on the same spectrum but just further down it, like I might hand my kid a twenty but I wouldn’t do that to a dog. I mean that they are on a completely different plane; they are my dogs. They don’t need to be compared to the way I feel about my children or my spouse or my neighbor or the president of France.
I have enormous numbers of pages to read tonight, in a campaign known in my own brain as Thank You God For Giving Me A Project That Will Pay For Clue’s C-Section, so I can’t go on much longer than I already have, but just one more thing:
Why are the “baby” statements ALWAYS and inevitably and heartbreakingly followed by “I need to find a new home for my baby”? I’ve seen more “babies” rehomed than I’ve ever seen working dogs rehomed, more than I’ve seen even the dogs I consider neglected (like “yard dogs” or chain dogs) rehomed. It always begins with “Timba has been my baby for seven years, but now I broke up with the boyfriend/moved to a new apartment/got a different job/she bit someone/I am getting married and she needs a new home with someone who will love her like the baby she is.”
Dude, wake up. I have babies. You could no more wrest them from my grasp than you could tear my lung out, and the birth parents who choose to give up a baby go through the rest of their lives with one lung. You don’t give up a baby because you move to Reno.
What we have with dogs that we own is something very fine, very noble, very GOOD. It makes us better people. Turning it into a child substitution wrecks it on both sides. Don’t do it.