An average dog causes 2,000 family arguments in its lifetime, a new study has claimed.
According to the study, a dog causes will causes almost 156 rows a year, or three a week, over an average lifespan of 12.8 years.
The most common cause of canine-related conflict relates to what to do with the dog during holidays, closely followed by whose turn it is to brave the elements for walkies.
A quarter of owners also regularly row about where the dog should be allowed in the house, with the most frequent battlefields being the bed, the sofa and upstairs.
Discipline is another common source of discontent, with 18 percent of couples falling out because one thinks the other is too harsh on the dog and 15 percent fighting over who should be training their pet.
So deep are the divisions that 17 percent admitted a member of the family had slept in the spare room following a heated dog-related dispute, and more than a quarter have considered giving up their pet to restore household harmony.
“Owning a dog is not dissimilar to having a baby,” the Daily Mail quoted Nikki Sellers, of insurance company esure as saying.
“Round-the-clock care and responsibility throughout a dog’s life can become tiresome for any pet owner but should never be overlooked.
“Maintaining a dog’s physical health through exercise plus regular stimulation to avoid them running riot around the house should at least help avoid some arguments.
“A healthier dog may also lead to fewer costly trips to the vet, but for advice on how to look after a dog properly, owners should seek professional help,” Sellers added.
The other most common reasons for falling out over Fido include disagreements over who should clean up the mess in the garden, how much money is spent on the dog, whether it’s acceptable to feed them treats from the table and whose idea it was to get a pet in the first place.
The top 20 dog related disputes were:
What to do with the dog when going away
Who should walk the dog
Whether the dog should be allowed on the bed
Whether the dog should be allowed upstairs
Who should clean up the mess in the back garden
Being too harsh on the dog
Letting the dog onto the sofa
Money spent on dog
Training the dog
Feeding the dog from the table
Who should babysit or look after the dog
Grooming the dog
Damage caused by dog
Who chose to buy the dog in the first place
Who clears up when dog wees or poos
Who clears up when the dog is sick
Humanising the dog
Allowing the dog into forbidden rooms
Children's toys being eaten
Shoes being chewed