Dogs are often good mirrors of those they live with.
Guvnah, the dog I'm pictured with, lived at a house I used to share with a recording engineer I used to work with. Beautiful house on a lake in the wilderness of Val des Monts in western Quebec.
Smartest dog I've ever met, and probably the most well adjusted room-mate I've ever experienced.
Friends who had dogs with behaviour problems used to drop their dogs off for a week or two. Brent (my house-mate) and I would only feed them, let them in the house at night and out in the morning. They spent all the rest of their time with "Guv". After a week or two, they would lose their bad habits and transcend them.
The best dog-trainers in the world are mostly ...other dogs.
I have a cat and a dog and appreciate their idiosyncratic strengths. Both are very affectionate intelligent animals, but if I had to choose it would be the dog for the following reason.
If I was shrunk to a smaller size on par with each animal, I would expect my dog to lick me and want to play most of the time. He would still have good memories of me as a larger person. He might get too rough and accidentally hurt me. I would expect my cat at some point to decide to torture me to death very slowly. Have you ever seen that insane look a cat suddenly gets in its eyes before it decides to grab you and kick very hard with its back legs? All those years of affectionate petting and feeding of my cat would be forgotten by my cute little kitty. And she would be purring while deconstructing me.
My wife and I have both and your are right about the cats being free-thinkers and dogs being followers.
You (as well as pretty much everyone else here) realize, I hope, that neither species exhibits freethought because they don't actually do much in the way of thinking, free or otherwise. They respond instinctively. (Mind you, so do we. We're capable of critical thought but, mostly, we don't do it.) So, what matters is to what extent our non-human companions enhance our lives.
If you want companion that gives a shit about you, not about what you can provide in the way of service but about *you*, then you want a dog.
Oh that is so BS!!!!! LOL
Cats, properly raised ones anyway, give just as much affection as dogs do, but there's a difference between "affection" and CO-DEPENDENCE!!!! Dogs don't "care" more than cats, they're both running on instincts, and it just so happens that humans have bred dogs to be co-dependent, this is not been the way cats have gone. I've had both, they can give equal affection.
But I dislike co-dependent dogs just as much as co-dependent people. If you're looking for total obedience and adulation... might as well get a slobbery robot!!!! LOL
I never could abide that co-dependency of dogs or people, but a robot......, well, I just might go for that, as long as it doesn't slobber. :)
Cats have a brain the size of half a walnut. For that reason alone they are much more of a challenge to connect with.
Dogs, are obviously much more intelligent, but that intelligence has too many drawbacks . Mostly because it makes them much more needy and demanding. I just can’t live with that. Or, I should say, I choose to give attention to the needs and demands that my human contacts have.
That being said, it makes my heart soar when my cat appears to return affection.
Sometimes I get the same feeling I get when I look up into the night sky and ponder the cosmos, that I get when I consider my personal connection with an entirely different species, sitting here on my lap.
Truly an amazing world.
We have both too. We even have one cat who copies most of what the dog does. She's confused. lol. Sometimes our dog won't do what we say though. :)
yeah - just get both and then you are set!
Not me. I love dogs. Don't hate cats, but prefer dogs.
They are both (dog and cats) good companions James.
I always thought of myself as a cat person only. Then we got a Lab and now I am also a dog person. I will always be a cat person first though! lol. I told my husband when we got married that I would ALWAYS have a cat or 2 or 3. Just thought he should know beforehand!~ Melinda