Dad Creates Extremely Detailed Family Dog Contract

This reluctant dad wasn’t too thrilled about the idea of getting a family dog. In order to ensure his many demands were met, he forced his family to sign this contract. Click through to learn how it all worked out for him in the end… [via mashable]

According to the dad:

Two weeks after contract was signed, we got a ~three year old white fluffy mutt from a shelter that weighs 15 lbs., was already housetrained and doesn’t shed or drool. We named him Kershaw (veto power not exercised). It’s been two years, and the kids (now ages 12, 13 and 15) have been pretty good about doing everything. Kershaw eats dry dog food from Trader Joe’s, and so far hasn’t created any indoor messes that have required the use of harmful cleaning chemicals. Everyone (including Dad) adores the dog, which has been a fantastic addition to (though not member of) our family.

And here’s a pic of the family pooch…

40 responses to Dad Creates Extremely Detailed Family Dog Contract

    1. You weren’t picking up any tongue in cheek tone? Not even at “remove feet”? His kids were preteen at the time of writing, old enough to get the humour and understand that the point was that they were to be primarily responsible, yet young enough that there needs to be clear rules and that agreeing on them beforehand makes it easier to make them do it. Besides, look at that dog, it obviously sheds a bit, and in the blurb it says the kids have been “pretty good” about the rules, so obviously the tongue in cheek nature of the contract meant that it wasn’t meant to be followed to the letter.

  1. All you assholes that are criticizing the dad–he did not want the dog. His kids wanted the dog. If they want something, they have to earn it and care for it. The children are not entitled to a dog.

    1. How is this making the kids earn what they want? If that was the issue, the father would explain to the children that they have to do X, Y, and Z to demonstrate sufficient responsibility before they agree to care for a pet.

      How is it in any way the children’s responsibility to make sure that the dog at no point has a runny nose or is otherwise considered “gross” by dad? How can the children possibly be expected to determine ahead of time that the dog will immediately respond to training or that it won’t shed “at all”? How are the children “earning what they want” by agreeing to not consider a pet a member of the family or decide that a different brand of pet food would be preferable?

      This isn’t a life lesson in responsibility. It’s just 13 different ways of dad saying that he doesn’t like dogs and resents his children.

      1. Somewhere in that text it says that they got a dog that fulfills the dad’s requirements. It’s almost like they adopted one in a shelter and simply ASKED what it’s like.

        It doesn’t say he resents his children. It clearly says:
        YOU want the dog, YOU take responsibility, YOU make sure my house remains intact.

        The parents probably cover the expenses (or they would be mentioned here/Dad wouldn’t emphasize that there’ll only be cheap dog food), so they have every right to make the kids take care of the dog at all times.

        What is it with you entitled people? Do your parents have to take care of your pets, too? If you don’t live with them, are they supposed to come over and do it, maybe clean your stuff and cook your meals too to prove that they don’t resent you?

        1. Holy hell, that last paragraph is quite a leap! What is with you people who think there’s no third alternative other than being a dick about outlining the rules and not having any rules in the first place?

          I am flabbergasted by the increasingly senseless contexts in which the word “entitlement” is bandied about. It’s almost as if questioning anything that an authority figure says or does is perceived as being inconsistent with recognizing any authority whatsoever, under any circumstances.

          How could you have possibly concluded from my comment that I don’t think the kids should have to take care of the dog? My only point is that dad doesn’t have to be a dick about it. And he absolutely was being a dick about it, no matter how clear it is that the contract is a joke. He’s essentially prefacing his kids’ dog ownership experience with “I hate dogs but here you go anyway, brats. Enjoy cleaning its shit. You better not get bored with this beast, but you better not get too attached to it either.”

      2. You really didn’t think that it wasn’t completely serious? He obviously doesn’t actually think that cutting the dog’s feet off is an acceptable solution to nails scratching the floors. Besides, he specifically says in the blurb at the end that the kids have been “pretty good” about following the rules, as in it’s not meant to be followed perfectly. I know it’s hard to tell if something is serious or not from just text, but really, you’d have to be pretty bitter ad humourless to assume this is completely serious.

        1. I’m not assuming that it was completely serious. It’s clearly intended to be humorous. I just don’t think it does a very good job of it. I’m assuming that as with most jokes, there is an element of truth to this one, specifically that the father really, really doesn’t like dogs and intends to put restrictions not only on how his kids care for it, but also how they love it.

          It’s funny that you say someone would have to be “bitter” to not recognize the joke, because bitterness is all I got from the joke.

  2. All. Dogs. Shed.

    Big ones. Little ones. Long haired. Short haired. Across all breed types.

    How much it sheds (or seems to) depends on breed types and hair.

    1. Even humans shed! Skin AND hair! Apparently this guy knows nothing about living, breathing creatures, humans included.

      1. Actually, even the MHT/AHT shed. They have guard hairs on the face, and sometimes the legs and tail.

        Though the HMT/AHT are RECESSIVELY hairless, they still have some hair. And all hair had by all mammals is shed eventually.

        Thank you for your beautiful display of ignorance about the breed you own!
        –a person who studies pigmentation, albinism, and hair length/hairless genetics in canines

        1. Note, for those interested:

          The Chinese Crested, Xolo, and Inca Orchid are dominantly hairless, and the hairless gene (P) is lethal with two copies. (PP: reabsorbed in the womb; Pp: Hairless; pp: Powderpuff, generally called Fluffy/has hair)

          The American/Mexican Hairless Terrier is recessively hairless. I don’t know the allele for it, but essentially, H: Powderpuff, and h: Hairless. These dogs must have two copies to display hairlessness, and the gene is not lethal.

          1. Poodles have wool, and therefore don’t shed, which is why I love them so much, and getting a toy poodle would have suited this family perfectly, they are super obedient and eager to please, and very very snuggly too, and make minimal mess

  3. This guy is clearly not a dog person, or they would’ve already had a dog. Can’t trust people who don’t like dogs.

    However, I admire his approach. Kids are all promises when they ask for a pet, and then it’s Neglect City when they tire of the pet and the work remains.

    I would’ve included a clause about mandatory training. You also need consequences; if the kids don’t live up to it, do they get rid of the dog?

  4. At the moment, my daughter has asked a couple times for a pet bird, something like a Cockatiel. I’ve owned them before and know that they are messy and sometimes very loud. Personally, I would love to have a bird again. But I also know that it would take about two weeks for the kids to defer all cleaning duties up to their mother.

    So, no bird.

  5. I was on board except for: It’s not a member of the family.

    Umm, if YOU don’t want to consider the dog a member of the family, fine. Why do you have to dictate to everyone else how inclusionary they feel about the dog? “You’re allowed to love the dog, but only to the level at which I feel comfortable.”

    Also kinda anti his stance on “plain old dog food” but I guess I can respect someone who feels that higher priced foods are a gimmick. It’s not like I can truly say for certain my dog’s Natural Balance is worth the extra money, but I guess I’m willing to pay the extra for the chance. Not to mention if it DOES make my dog healthier, I’m saving on vet bills in the long run.

    1. My dog is on non-Purina and her seizures have gone down. It costs more, but her epileptic seizure rate slowed down its acceleration rate, which was worth the cost! She had started accelerating from 1 per 6 months to about 1 per 6 weeks, and she’s up to 1 per 3-4 months. It’s been worth it… she’s eight and I do love her so!

      And my cat is on medicated food that requires a vet prescription, and runs $14 for 4 pounds. He gets UTIs, and his bladder and urinary tract were torn up. The new food is expensive, but it stops him from being in pain, and he really seems to be healthier now. He’s definitely no longer in pain!

    2. I had a cat live to 22 on Deli Cat. When my parent got a cat a few years later they started them right off with the frew-frew $20 a lb vet stuff. Eight years and the thing dies.

  6. I’m pretty surprised. I figured Dad was going to be the one walking, feeding, and cleaning up after the dog.

    Good job on Dad for keeping the kids on task.

  7. Kind of makes me wonder what kind of contract the mother had to sign before she was allowed to give birth to children (who tend to get sick, be messy, and loud, and not eat generic food.)

  8. he made a contract with females and so shouldn’t expect them to honour the contract once they move on from caring about dogs and go to college, move out with boyfriend.

  9. This dad is my spirit animal (or spirit parent, really, since we’re not into animals ☺). I pretty much agree with him 100%, so obviously we are both not dog people. He’s nicer than me though, because he conceded and allowed a dog at his house. My answer is a very hard no, no matter how much whining or begging occurs. I guess I have no soul and hate the world or whatever.

    1. “allowed” the dog at his house. As if the dog asked to be taken in by some asshole. If it’s a family pet then it’s not just for the children, it’s for all members of the family. This is merely his way of getting rid of all responsibility for the dog. If anything happens, not his fault. Something awesome happens, he’d totally take credit for it. Does his children need to sign a contract to pee? Do theI need to sign a contract to have friends? Do they need to read every night from a family bible that he himself wrote, being a long contract for living? I pity his children. I pity his dog. This man does not have a wife, and if for some inane reason he does then I pity her too.

      1. Kids love to not take care of pets. They’re kids, what do you expect? It grows boring, or they want to do something else, so it’s quickly up to the parents. So you need rules. This dad chose to write them down, so what?

        When I got a pet bunny, there was a bunch of rules too, although the whole family had access to her. I cleaned the cage, I took her to the vet, I took care of her and related messes/holes in the wallpapers. She was my pet and MY responsibilty and my parents made sure I knew. Doesn’t prove that they hate pets, or me, just that they did something for me and made sure I did my tasks in return. It’s the parents who pay the vet and the food, after all! That dog could live 15 years, and depending on how old the kids are and whether one of them can take it with them when they move out the parents will pay everything for the entire time.

        I bet you’re some pissed off teen who isn’t allowed to have a dog and doesn’t like his/her chores, because seriously, this man is just making rules, not being a horrible dictator terrorizing the family.

    2. Actually, I very much prefer your response. My entire problem with this “contract” is that it makes clear that the kids wore their father down and he agreed to allow an animal into the house that he would tend to regard with suspicion and disgust, rather than affection.

      If you don’t like dogs and you can’t get over it, don’t get one. It’s better that your kids be disappointed than that you take in an animal that will create more tension within the household. If you can get over it, you swallow your pride and say “all right, you help take care of it and I’ll try to love it.” This father did neither of those things. He started the family’s dog phase by implying, “I’m probably going to hate this mutt, but whatever.”

  10. This dad is a real slim ball.


    Making a contract that demands his kids take care of a dog…

    Setting limits on what they can get…

    I bet this guy doesn’t even do his kid’s homework for them or buy them a new Iphone each time a new one comes out.

    Yeah, a real piece of shit.

  11. I’d agree that he was within his rights to form strict guidelines for his kids to follow regarding a dog if he didn’t want one. However, the fact that he wanted absolute power over the name… that implies that he wanted ownership without responsibility. You could argue it’s his house and therefore he should have ultimate say over what goes in it. The problem is he’s made the decision to share that home with other human beings. Once you make that decision, your autonomy over what goes on in that house goes out the window to some extent, particularly when you’ve decided that specific rooms of that house belong to those human beings.

  12. Just dry dog food? What the heck mate? They need a mixture of wet and dry food.
    Also, even though you didn’t want the dog, you had power over the name? Yeah, nah man. Kids dog, they name it

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