This question by a prospective puppy owner got put on hold even after being cleaned up and focused on one particular aspect because it is "hypothetical" rather than "a problem the OP actually faces". While this is true, the OP doesn't have a dog, so he doesn't have a problem with it biting, I would love to encourage non-pet owners to come to this site and ask questions that help them make an informed decision about whether and what pet to get. So many problem behaviours can be avoided if people start out with the right knowledge rather than trying to correct them after they manifest. I appreciate that there is a possibility for this site to get flooded with hypothetical questions, but I'd like to believe that we can prevent that from happening by ensuring that questions are of interest to not just the OP but a wider audience. I'm confident we can come up with some requirements/benchmarks as to what constitutes a question from a non-pet owner that is on topic and useful to visitors of this site. As it stands, I don't see why a person thinking about getting a dog, and anxious about its biting behaviour, cannot ask how to teach a puppy bite inhibition.

  • Related. meta.pets.stackexchange.com/questions/120/…
    – user87
    Oct 10, 2013 at 22:03
  • My 2 cents (I already agree with Skippy, so no need to add another answer)... This is not "hypothetical". It is a real issue. The problem in my book is it is not specific. Generalized questions are fine, but they still need to be specific and don't need a book to answer. Oct 10, 2013 at 22:45

2 Answers 2


I agree with your stance on Hypothetical questions. I think that as long as they are squarely rooted in reality and is a situation that pet owners face, or could realistically face, the question should be allowed.


Hypothetical questions are not on topic for SE (I will find a link later, am on my phone).

There is a difference between a realistic preemptive question, a hypothetical question and a broad question.

  • we are getting a puppy, is it ok to socialize him with other dogs before his final vaccination?

  • what if I buy a cat and a dog, and they don't get along?

  • how do I feed fish?

Is it a realistic, answerable question?

  • 1
    That's exactly the type of requirements that I had in mind!
    – ThomasH
    Oct 10, 2013 at 22:11

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