Should You Treat Dogs Like Humans? | Training | PupstoPet

Treating Dogs Like Humans

It relies upon. There’s a protracted, fancy phrase for treating canines like people, and it’s known as anthropomorphism. Anthropomorphism is outlined because the “attribution of human traits, emotions, and intentions to non-human entities and is considered to be an innate tendency of human psychology” (Oxford Dictionary, 1885).

You’re most likely questioning how anthropomorphism applies to you and your canine, which is a good query. As an expert canine coach, I’ve combined feelings about ascribing human emotions to canines. I believe there are good and unhealthy components of this puzzle, so let’s talk about whether or not or not it’s best to deal with canines like people.

DO: Treat Your Dog Like a Human

Some features of anthropomorphism are good. In my opinion, I consider pet house owners can relate to pets by attributing sure human traits to their puppies and canines. As pet house owners, we watch our fuzzy member of the family carefully. We strive decoding her facial expressions, wagging tail and physique positioning to know her wants. Of course, as pet house owners, we faucet into the one information we have now, which come from our personal feelings and physique language.

As pet house owners, when our canine or pet whimpers, we run to console her as a result of the sound resembles a small little one in want. We need to shield, nurture and love her; it’s regular human conduct. I consider anthropomorphism creates empathy, which I really feel is an efficient factor between pet house owners and their valuable canines.

When pet house owners costume their canines in darling little attire, place barrettes of their hair or push their canines in child strollers, that is an instance of anthropomorphism. Some pet specialists really feel treating canines like human kids is taking the conduct a bit too far, however actually, I don’t have a difficulty with it. When I see a canine sporting a wonderful polka dot costume or sporting a stylish bandana, I see this because the pet proprietor loving and caring for his canine intensely, and I really feel all canines deserve one of these love and devotion.

DON’T: Attribute Guilt or Vengefulness to Your Dog

Attributing human emotions and feelings can get a bit tough in sure circumstances, and pet house owners have a tough time understanding how canines actually assume in these conditions. Sometimes, a canine’s physique language will painting a sure human emotion, nevertheless it’s not all the time what it appears.


Guilt is an enormous one and doubtless essentially the most difficult half of anthropomorphism towards canines. This is the reality: canines don’t really feel guilt. I do know you would swear in your life your canine was ashamed for chewing your shoe once you confirmed it to her, however she wasn’t feeling guilt. Instead, she was scared.

When canines pin their ears again, freeze, stroll away, blink rapidly, lick their lips, flick their tongues, flip their head sideways and decrease their our bodies downward, they’re really reacting to your offended physique language. When you’re offended, your canine’s slinking conduct is making an attempt to calm you down. Your canine isn’t responsible; he’s scared. You don’t even need to say a single phrase to your canine. Just standing nonetheless, staring and respiration deeply in entrance of your canine will cue her that you just’re offended. Still don’t consider me? There’s loads of analysis proving that canines don’t really feel guilt; and, as a human, I want I didn’t really feel guilt both. 🙂

Dogs don’t really feel guilt. They simply don’t assume that method.


Dogs don’t search revenge. They don’t pee in your mattress since you left them alone all day. Your canine didn’t chew, urinate and poop in your favourite shoe since you yelled at her earlier. Dogs aren’t spiteful.

When I clarify how this anthropomorphism idea isn’t true throughout group canine coaching class, some pet house owners will have a look at one another with confused expressions after which ask, “So why did my dog do that?” Dogs chew on footwear since you left them out, canines potty on bedding or furnishings as a result of they’re scared from being alone all day or listening to thunderstorms, and canines poop as a result of they’re working towards marking conduct.

I do know, you’re most likely saying, “But my dog hasn’t chewed my shoes in over a year.” If the suitable alternative presents itself, your canine will chew your shoe irrespective of how lengthy it’s been because the final incident. Personally, I believe that is the place canine conduct supersedes human conduct, as everyone knows revenge and spite will eat you alive.

It’s not revenge your canine is after; it’s alternative. 🙂

What This Means for You and Your Dog

Continue singing your canine little songs, use child speak to persuade her meal occasions are a very good factor, costume her up in a darling costume, love her, nurture her, shield her and cater to all of her wants, however don’t assume she’s responsible or vengeful. Keep anthropomorphism in verify, please. 🙂

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