Dog Lovers Speak Out: Should Dogs Be Split Up During a Divorce?

We posed some etiquette questions to our dog lovers. This particular topic was about divorce and what is best for the dogs.

This question was:

A woman and her husband just split up – the dogs have always been together and really seem to love each other but each really wants to keep one. What is best?

The results were as follows:

Most dog lovers believe that it is okay to split up the dogs.

Dog Lover Comments Included:

1. Keep the dogs together – share custody
2. do a shared custody sort of arrangement
3. Have joint custody of the dogs
4. Who does the main veterinary and feeding of the dogs – that’s who should get them…and keep them together
5. Keep the dogs together and negotiate visitation so that no one loses a relationship
6. Give the dogs to best ability and resources to care for them.
7. share like visitation etc
8. Depends on the separation. Why not share custody?
9. keep the dogs together and share custody
10. Keep the dogs together-share the dogs!
11. The dogs should stay with whoever has the most time for them if not arrange “visitation”
12. How old are the dogs? They may do fine spilt up
13. Keep the dogs together and the other person get another dog or dogs.
14. Keep the dogs together and have joint custody.
15. Keep the dogs together – they have to decide who gets them.
16. Split dogs, but arrange for time together maybe in a dog park.
17. keep dogs together
18. keep dogs together who should take them depends on who is the better caregiver, let the other one have visitation rights
19. Maybe set up “visitation” as is done with children. This way the dogs can still get together and the couple can each have one of the dogs.
20. Try splitting them up… if they don’t adjust, one person gets both and the other adopts another dog
21. Regardless of who gets the dogs keep them together and have visitation just as you would have for children
22. Share them equally like you would children from a divorce
23. alternate houses
24. one person should keep the dogs or adopt them out together
25. my girlfriend sendya this one ? Essentially this just comes down to the one better off or has more. . . .because whomever has more will have more/bigger rooms, generally time and obviously money. Because this is better for the dogs doesnt suggest theyre where/with the human they want or the one that loves them. This life is a shitty exsistance as it is – dont make it so for the dogs too keep’em together.
26. If the dogs are split up, organize frequent play dates.
27. Dogs should stay together. They can have joint custody.
28. whoever the dogs like best should keep the both dogs. Keep both dogs together
29. share both dogs every other week they go to a different house
30. each get a dog, but must have play dates 1x a week.
31. Splitting the dogs is fine, but arrange play dates for them
32. keep the dogs together with whoever gives them more attention
33. Treat the dog situation as you would with kids. Each should have equal time with them since they both love them
34. Joint custody; share the dogs alternating weeks.
35. Keep the dogs together; I don’t care who gets them
36. split them up and arrange playdates
37. rotate days
38. arrange “play dates”
39. The couple should take a lesson from their dogs!
40. Whoever has the most time/resources to care for them should get them together
41. keep the dogs together – but have joint custody – every other month with one person
42. Keep them together – whoever is the primary caregiver to the dogs should keep them. (probably the woman!)
43. If the dogs were not OK, they would have to reconsider the arrangement
44. take turns get women gets dogs one week man gets dogs next week
45. The dogs should stay with their primary caretaker.
46. maybe share the dogs/co-ownership
47. I personally went thru this. We has 2 german sheppards. We each took one. Mine is now 14 years old and the best thing I got out of that marraige 🙂
48. Keep the dogs together, and one of them rescue some new dogs.
49. Compromise, take turns with the dogs, but don’t split them up permanently.
50. Each keep the dogs for three months at a time.
51. need to know more
52. not really sure depends on the dog
53. Keep the dogs together and share custody
54. Get the dogs used to time apart and go from there
55. Have a custody agreement like a month with one a month with the other
56. Keeping the dogs together would be beneficial but one person would have to sacrifice, if they truly love their pets hopefully one would be big enough to let the dogs be together.
57. keep the dogs together, the person with the most time to spend with them gets the dogs
58. The dogs should not be split up. PERIOD. They are already losing A parent (it really depends on who actually has the most time to care for them), they should not lose each other. It’s not their fault that their owners can’t get along!
59. Well, I think they should be together, but it depends on who owned them together first if that is a factor and who is bettery equiped to care for the dogs. Perhaps even shared custody.
60. who will get the house? maybe that one should keep both dogs. otherwise, each gets the one they bond the best with and an agreement is made if they hav e to give it up, they give it back so both are together with thsoe they love
61. keep dogs together, whoever is closer to the dogs keeps them
62. Let the man and women have each one dog, but visit often with both dogs together.
63. the dogs should stay together but both parties need to talk it out and decide who is best suited to keep them.
64. The person most responsible (feeds them, takes them out, etc) should keep both.
65. they can take one dog each, the dogs will be okay seperately
66. whoever is alpha should get the dogs
67. joint custody
68. visiting rights for both dogs to each owner
69. this is a tough one. I think man and woman need to discuss this more. Would like to see two animals continue to live together.
70. share joint custody
71. that is what visitation is all about – after all, they are your furkids
72. it should be a question of who can better care for both dogs, they would be best in the house they are in, if both have means and time to care for the dogs, then yes, it is sad, but the dogs should be split. Athough, sad..the dogs are sometimes used as children, where one person just wants the dog or to make it more difficult on the other
73. keep the dogs together doesn’t matter if they go to man or woman
74. let them be at womans house for week then mans house for a week… shared custody.
75. Share the dogs-joint custody
76. they should have joint custody just like with kids and rotate
77. alternate visits just like you would children
78. arrange visitation
79. Keep the dogs together, whoever can care best for the dogs keeps the dogs.
80. let who ever stays in the home have them they are use to it and any other change may affect them
81. Is it possible to arrange a joint custody arrangement?
82. Man gets visiting rights!
83. one or the other takess both
84. keep the dogs together and arrange visitations
85. Keep the dogs together, with whoever will be best parent
86. Keep the dogs together. Whoever gets the dogs should be determined by who the dogs are closest to, who can provide an adequate yard, and who can afford to keep them.
87. joint custody
88. visiting rights
89. keep the dogs together but decide who they should stay with

90. Keep the dogs together & have scheduled times for both “parents” like a shared custody case with children.
91. Keep the dogs together and decide who gets the dogs themselves. Or organise visitations like a human child
92. joint custody, each keeps them one week.
93. keep the dogs together and share responsibilty like kids
94. try to arrange play dates for the dogs
95. Someone has to be the bigger person and allow the other to keep both dogs, for their sake.
96. If one person keeps the dogs the other should have visiting rights.
97. For the sake of the dogs they should be kept together.
98. dogs should be kept together and they will have to decide who gets them
99. One would have to prioritize these attachments (woman, man, dogs)

101. this is a bit tough, but what about split custody?
102. Keep dogs together-offer joint custody
103. Keep the dogs together with the person that will take the best care of them.
104. whomever has the best ability to deal with the dogs should get them, keeping the dogs together
105. who has most time for them and best environment?
106. Keep the dogs together – spouse with the better situation for the dogs keeps them
107. Keep the dogs together. Figure out which one will have the best set up to keep the dogs healthy, happy and able to get exercise.
108. rock,paper,scissors 🙂
109. Share custody and keep the dogs together
110. the dogs should stay together regardless of who keeps them

111. Shared access but keeping them together
112. keep them together no matter what
113. not enough info on the owners/ who is the alfa owner
114. shared pet custody with visitation
115. Shared cutody, let each one have them for a few weeks.
116. share custody until one partner gives up
117. visitation rights
118. Joint custody
119. don’t know
120. Keep the dogs together with whoever is home the most
121. Don’t care who keeps them as long as they stay together
122. split them up but give time each week for play dates to see if they are doing alright. If not, then they will need to stay together.
123. How wonderful that BOTH want the dogs! Perhaps each should keep one, but set up a play schedule or perhaps even a sleep-over schedule.
124. Allow visitation and get doggie support!
125. Keep dogs together with person who does most to look after them
126. take turns—joint custody
127. In every household the dogs always gravitate to that one person that is their caretaker. That is the person that should get both dogs. Visitation should be offered.
128. Keep the dogs together & share their time with each other
129. One keeps the dogs but arranges for the other to spend time with them
130. Keep dogs together — arrange custody schedule
131. Tough, one. Not really sure.
132. whichever one can provide the best home for them should keep them both, do not separate them.
133. keep the dogs together…whoever has more time to devote to them should get them.
134. shared them
135. keep dogs together-one who has most time to spend with them, gets them
136. Its not about you and him its whether the dogs will pine without each other, if not you can each get another to befriend the dogs
137. No easy way to predict what will happen if the dogs are apart, depends on the dogs. They should go with whichever person can give the best care
139. Look for new owner willing to keep dogs together.
140. If the dogs favor one person over another, they should stay with that person. But I think they should stay together, whoever takes them.
141. whoever is able to better care of both dogs
142. I think the dogs should stay together, either with the man or the woman. The decision of who gets to keep the dogs is very delicate. As for children, the dogs should go with the one who is the most capable of handling 2 dogs in terms of space, ability of being their pack leader, etc. And compensate the other person for him or her to get another companion. I know it is a difficult choice to make, but must be done in the interest of the dogs before the owners.
143. Joint custody
144. split the dogs up, but arrange play dates for several months until they get used to being apart most of the time
145. Keep the dogs together. The one who can afford the most time with them gets them, i.e. takes them for walks regularly, doesn’t plan to board them much etc.
146. depends how the dogs act when separated…..if it seems traumatic for them one person should keep them.
147. the dogs should stay together and the adult who has the most time, room, etc should get the dogs – the other can have custody visits and have the dogs every other weekend – this is what my ex and I do

148. Age of the dogs does matter, if they’re young, they’ll be OK, if they’re older I would suggest they take turns keeping the dogs
149. keep the pets together — either parent
150. They should share custody of the dogs
151. The dogs should stay together with one of them.
152. Keep the dogs. Work out who gets them both.
154. I think it would be best to keep the dogs out of a shelter, so if they each had one, it would be better than no home at all.
155. Keep dogs together – take turns keeping the dogs
156. Whoever has the most time and money for care should keep both dogs.
157. Keep the dog together, person with the most home time gets the dogs
158. It depends on the situation, but dogs are pretty adaptable. It also depends on whether both parties are able to care for the animal (S) equally well. Does the husband have the time? Does the wife have the money?
159. they could also have visitation rights – like w/ children
160. May try visitation
161. Split the dogs up but have visitation rights and weekend sleep overs (I mean the dogs).
162. shared custody,keep together….week -week ends\~take turns
163. Keep dogs together. Decide who gets them by who handled most dog chores in the past.
164. The dogs should stay together with the person who loves and cares for them the most. Who can give the dogs the best home?
165. or give the dogs to someone else and each get a new one
166. Keep dogs together, decide for one parent to be the primary and the other can have visitation rights.
167. The person with the most time to spend with the dogs should take them. Depending on their ages and the number of dogs, it may not be hard to split them.
168. Keep the dogs together.. decide who gets them before divorce is finalized.Who is better able to give the dogs what they need in the way of medical care, living arrangements, and attention.
169. Keep dogs together with the person that provides most of their care on a daily basis.
170. keep the dogs together in the place that is best for the dogs. Get court order for shared ownership
171. keep the dogs together, share custody
172. keep the dogs together – it doesn’t matter which person gets them as long as that person is a responsible and loving caregiver
173. try splitting them, and reunite if necessary
174. Share them like you would children
175. Need more information – it really depends on all the relationships involved, not just the dog-dog relationship.
176. Keep the dogs together with whoever can care for them best
177. award custody of both dogs to both parties – with a visitation schedule
178. Keep the dogs together and determine by the best living situation who gets the dogs
179. the amimals should stay in the house or apartment there in to whom ever is stayingthere
180. One person should get the dogs, the one that wants to take both
181. If the two are friendly, treat them like children. Give each a specific time to be with the pets.
182. let the dogs visit each other
183. Keep the dogs together; if the dogs have a favourite person, they should be with that person. It will be hard enough for them as it is.
184. Most animals will adjust. They have to when one of them goes to doggie heaven.
185. Make the marriage work
186. Keep the dogs together. The person who the dogs love the most should get the dogs.
187. determine who has the better situation for the dogs, and give the other visitation, same as with children. Dogs shouldn’t pay for their breakup
188. Try them apart. If it doesn’t work whoever initiated getting them should keep them
189. Or the two “parents” could share the dogs …the dogs could spend part time with one and then the other.
190. Keep the dogs together – toss a coin as to who gets them
191. the first month the dogs go to the husband the next month the dogs go to the women , and it just goes llike that!
192. split but allow visiting rights.
193. Keep the dogs together with the owner that is closest and spends the most time with them.
194. Keep them together and share time like you would with children
195. Keep the dogs together – the main caregiver should get the dogs
196. joint custody the dogs need to be together sometimes
197. If one doesn’t really care if they have the dogs then the other one should have them.
198. Keep the dogs together, one or the other should get the dogs, the other person should adopt some more
199. Keeping the dogs together would be my choice. It’s a matter of concern for the animals. Animals, especially dogs, are more loyal to one person for their entire lives. If this is the case, both dogs should stay with the person they are loyal to, rather than separated. We have cats and 1 dog. If we ever split up, hubby would get the dog. The cats would unequivically be mine, as they have been with me since day 1. Same goes for the dog, she is loyal to hubby.