Because dogs are so loyal and loving to their owners, it is easy to think of them like children and forget that they are dogs altogether. Some dogs show qualities that makes owners swear that they are truly a human friend trapped in a furry body. However, humanizing a dog can come with consequences, as dogs see the world in a different way than humans, according to Modern Dog Magazine.
Although it is tempting, humanizing a dog often means failing to recognize species-specific differences that can cause behavioral problems in the pets. Fear is an example of a situation where canines and humans require a different response. While it is helpful and soothing to comfort a small child who is afraid of thunder, the same is not true for a dog, the news source reports. By petting and soothing a dog that whines, pees or shakes when it is afraid, owners are reinforcing the behavior, which is not going to stop the dog from doing it or make it feel less afraid.
Although most dogs now solely serve as companions for humans, their purpose is more utilitarian, the publication reports. They strive to do, live in the moment, and communicate simply with behavior. They are thoroughly pragmatic, the news source explains. Humans, on the other hand, are complex and introspective – one of the qualities that likely makes us humanize dogs. Humans are also spiteful, vengeful and understand metaphor. By humanizing a dog, owners are telling them they are equal to a human – which means they have the freedom to disobey or discipline other humans, which can cause problems.
Instead of humanizing a dog, owners should try to think like a dog. This means living in the canine moment, practicing indifference and understanding posture and other movements and behaviors. For instance, if you are walking your dog on its Flexi Retractable Leash, and you want to turn left, simply move your body in that direction to allow it to follow you, instead of telling the dog to turn and getting frustrated when it doesn’t. In addition, be predictable, the news outlet suggests. Set out your dog’s pet supplies like its DuraPet Bowls in the same place every time and feed it its Merrick Dry Dog Food on a regular schedule.
By thinking like a dog, owners will find that they are much more in control of their canine’s behavior and can live much more peacefully with it.