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Why A Dog Is Man's Best Friend

Updated on December 18, 2012

Do you know why people say, "A dog is man's best friend"?

Almost everyone has heard or used this catchphrase without knowing where it originated. Well, let me take you out of your curiosity and let you know why we say, "A dog is man's best friend."

The statement was made in a courtroom speech in 1870 by George Graham Vest in Warrensburg, Missouri. Mr. Vest was representing a farmer who was suing for damages after his dog Old Drum was shot by a neighbor. Mr. Vest's speech came at the closing of that trial when he said, "The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog." The phrase was later shortened to "man’s best friend" and we have become accustomed to saying it ever since.

Now you know why the statement was made about the dog and not the cat or some other pet.

Now let's talk about what it really means for a dog to be man's best friend.

Not every dog is friendly by nature. However, many stories have been told how dogs have warned their masters and saved them from danger. We have heard about dogs being separated from families and traveling many miles to get back to the home they knew and loved. A dog is not only a man's best friend, but a dog is a woman's and child's best friend as well.

If you would ask the owner of a dog why he thought his dog was his best friend, he would say some of the following things.

  • "My dog is loyal. I can trust him more than I can trust some humans."
  • "My dog is has unconditional love. He is right by my side no matter what."
  • "My dog is a great companion. He never complains of having a headache when I want to spend time with him.
  • "I can make my dog laugh without having to struggle through a joke that is not even funny. And my dog makes me laugh."
  • "I contribute much of my good health to my dog. I am forced to take him on long walks. That means while I am exercising him, I am getting exercise myself. My dog keeps me active."
  • "My dog never fails to greet me when I come home. No matter how hard my day has been, he makes meI feel more relaxed and less stressed."
  • "A best friend is someone whom you can count on. I can always count on my dog to be there for me."

A dog is capable of being man's best friend even when the man is not literally with his dog. A dog can guard the man's property when he is at work. A dog can keep the man happy at work just thinking about spending time with his dog when he gets home.

Reports have been given that if a person owns a dog, he will be able to maintain a healthier life. He will be able to relax, cope with stress and have a lower cholesterol level and lower blood pressure. Having a dog lessen the number of heart attacks among dog owners and prolong their life expectancy. Dogs have been known to comfort terminally ill patients.

So, now you know why a dog is man's best friend.

PLEASE READ: Comfort dogs sent to Newton, Connecticut to comfort grieving community after tragic shooting resulting in 28 deaths.


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    • nadinelopo profile image

      Nadine 3 years ago from ohio

      My dogs are my best friends. They are the reason i get up early every day and the reason why i rush home when i am out. I could not imagine a world where i did not have my dogs!

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 5 years ago from Deep South, USA

      A dog is also woman's best least, for this woman, but I almost didn't learn that lesson.

      Can you believe I never had a pet in my life until I retired, then suddenly felt a strong (and surprising) need to have a dog? The miniature Schnauzer that came into my life then has given me so much joy that I wish I'd learned this truth when younger.

      She's now seven years old, I'm nearly 69, we're both a bit set in our ways (but that's okay) and we're growing older together--my best buddy and I. She definitely makes me happier and more positive. In return, I do everything I can to keep her healthy and content. It's a very fair bargain, I think, don't you?

    • profile image

      Dinanna 5 years ago

      So true yal

    • DOGS 101 profile image

      DOGS 101 6 years ago from Planet Earth

      IntelligentJenny, thanks for reading and commenting.

    • IntelligentJenny profile image

      IntelligentJenny 6 years ago

      So very true!

    • DOGS 101 profile image

      DOGS 101 6 years ago from Planet Earth

      kashmir56, I am always interested in knowing where certain phrases originated. I was curious why they singled out the dog instead of other animals, but then I found out that the original saying involved a court case with a dog and not another animal. Whenever I find out something interesting like that I want to share it.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi DOGS 101, A very beautifully written and informative hub ! Thanks for all this information i did not know who coined that saying "Dogs are man's best friend "

      Awesome hub !!!

    • Brooke.Crawford profile image

      Brooke.Crawford 6 years ago from Missouri

      nice hub. i wonder about the celine dion song choice for the video... i have a big red doberman who is definitely not a lady, but i love him dearly.

    • DOGS 101 profile image

      DOGS 101 6 years ago from Planet Earth

      Now I know the origin of the statement, "A dog is man's best friend." I often wondered why they said it about a "dog" and not "cat" or some other animal.