29 Famous Dog Quotes: Why Humans Don’t Deserve Dogs


Last Updated: May 8, 2023 | 5 min read | Leave a Comment

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For around 15,000 years, dogs have provided companionship, servitude, and, most importantly, inspiration to their human friends. In return, humans have spilled an incredible amount of ink attempting to summarize that relationship. In the end, humans don’t necessarily deserve the devotion our canine companions give us, and these dog quotes summarize that notion. It speaks to how dogs work their way into our thoughts and hearts, demanding we pay tribute to a bond that defies description.

Dogs provide their owners with a sense of completeness, a sense of partnership, and a sense of wonder that no other creature can provide. They enjoy a position in our families in a way that no other domesticated animal can compare.

While no sentence or even collection of sentences could adequately convey the special times a human shares with a beloved dog, the well runs deep with statements that try. Let’s review to find the right quote to share in a fit of joy, a moment of loss, or any time you need help finding the words to describe your dog-inspired emotions with these 29 famous dog quotes. 

Dog Quotes

Woman in cozy home wear relaxing on sofa with a sleeping cavalier dog on her lap, holding tablet and reading

“I’m suspicious of people who don’t like dogs, but I trust a dog when it doesn’t like a person.”

Bill Murray

“A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down.”

Robert Benchley

“Some of our greatest historical and artistic treasures we place with curators in museums; others we take for walks.”

Roger Caras

“I do not concern myself with my inability to feel such comfort amidst humans (other than with very few friends and family), but, rather, am simply thankful that at least dogs exist, and I’m humbly aware of how much less a person I’d be – how less a human – if they did not exist.”

Rick Bass

“We are alone, absolutely alone on this chance planet; and amid all the forms of life that surround us, not one, excepting the dog has made an alliance with us.”

Max Depree
Old woman petting old dog

“Dogs are minor angels, and I don’t mean that facetiously. They love unconditionally, forgive immediately, are the truest of friends, willing to do anything that makes us happy, etc. If we attributed some of those qualities to a person we would say they are special. If they had ALL of them, we would call them angelic. But because it’s “only” a dog, we dismiss them as sweet or funny but little more. However when you think about it, what are the things that we most like in another human being? Many times those qualities are seen in our dogs every single day– we’re just so used to them that we pay no attention.”

Jonathan Carroll

“Not Carnegie, Vanderbilt, and Astor together could have raised money enough to buy a quarter share in my little dog.”

Ernest Thompson Seton

“In his grief over the loss of a dog, a little boy stands for the first time on tiptoe, peering into the rueful morrow of manhood. After this most inconsolable of sorrows there is nothing life can do to him that he will not be able somehow to bear.”

James Thurber

“DOG: A kind of additional or subsidiary Deity designed to catch the overflow or surplus of the world’s worship.”

Ambrose Bierce

“The dog’s agenda is simple, fathomable, overt: I want. “I want to go out, come in, eat something, lie here, play with that, kiss you. There are no ulterior motives with a dog, no mind games, no second-guessing, no complicated negotiations or bargains, and no guilt trips or grudges if a request is denied.”

Caroline Knapp

“To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.”

Milan Kundera

“A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.”

Jack London

A dog reflects the family life. Whoever saw a frisky dog in a gloomy family, or a sad dog in a happy one? Snarling people have snarling dogs, dangerous people have dangerous ones.”

Arthur Conan Doyle

“Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day. It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.”

John Grogan
Human Hand Petting Young Puppy

“Petting, scratching, and cuddling a dog could be as soothing to the mind and heart as deep meditation and almost as good for the soul as prayer.”

Dean Koontz

“If you don’t own a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life.”

Roger Caras

“Every dog must have its day.”

Jonathan Swift

“No matter how close we are to another person, few human relationships are as free from strife, disagreement, and frustration as is the relationship you have with a good dog. Few human beings give of themselves to another as a dog gives of itself. I also suspect that we cherish dogs because their unblemished souls make us wish – consciously or unconsciously – that we were as innocent as they are, and make us yearn for a place where innocence is universal and where the meanness, the betrayals, and the cruelties of this world are unknown.”

Dean Koontz

“You can usually tell that a man is good if he has a dog who loves him.”

W. Bruce Cameron

“Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love, they depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog. It merely expands the heart.”

Erica Jong

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”

Will Rogers
Frightened cat defends itself and attacking dog walking outdoors

“Dogs are not like cats, who amusingly tolerate humans only until someone comes up with a tin opener that can be operated with a paw. Men made dogs, they took wolves and gave them human things–unnecessary intelligence, names, a desire to belong, and a twitching inferiority complex. All dogs dream wolf dreams, and know they’re dreaming of biting their Maker. Every dog knows, deep in his heart, that he is a Bad Dog…”

Terry Pratchett

“If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.”

Woodrow Wilson

“The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.”

Andy Rooney

“Heaven is a place where all the dogs you’ve ever loved come to greet you.”

Oliver Gaspirtz

“I can’t think of anything that brings me closer to tears than when my old dog – completely exhausted after a hard day in the field – limps away from her nice spot in front of the fire and comes over to where I’m sitting and puts her head in my lap, a paw over my knee, and closes her eyes, and goes back to sleep. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve that kind of friend.”

Gene Hill
Small Pomeranian sitting and yawning in tiger costume

“All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed. For after all, he was only human. He wasn’t a dog.”

Charles Schulz

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”

Josh Billings

“Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.”

Roger Caras

The Big Picture

Dogs have driven humans to write since the first wolves began hanging around the campfire, begging for scraps of meat. They have grown from protective services to work animals to faithful companions, carving out an ever-growing piece of our lives. When it comes time to celebrate a dog’s birthday or mourn a departed friend, it helps to have a dog quote handy for the moment.

Ultimately, no words can sum up the deeply personal relationship that a person has with their dog. Each dog is unique in its own way, and each pair has its own troubles and triumphs. But for all the diversity of personalities out there in both the dogs and the owners, certain universal truths exist.

Hopefully, these dog quotes help you find a sense of warmth. At the very least, they should bring a smile to your face. It might not be the same smile brought by the feel of a dog’s tongue on your cheek or the same warmth brought by a friendly canine curled up at your feet on a cozy night, but sometimes choice words can scratch an itch well enough to make your leg shake nonetheless.

Dog sniffing person's hand

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