Another dog person here. cats are fairly independent, true but although dogs demand more input than cats, needing regular walks etc, they give so much back with their unconditional love. You are their pack leader and - if they're trained properly! - they look up to you and are very loyal. Generally speaking, they are not a threat to garden birds or prone to getting stuck up trees, either, though if bored or lonely they may chew the furniture. Personally I haven't had that problem. Both dogs I've shared my home with have been rescues, not highly bred, and have been good friends to me and mine.