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"Humanizing" dogs

Discussion in 'Dog Debates' started by buddysmom, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. buddysmom

    buddysmom Good Dog

    "Humanizing" dogs

    I started this on another board and it was a good discussion ... I really want to see what y'all here think.

    Is it OK to "humanize" dogs to any degree?

    Do you do it personally? To what degree and why?

    Examples:

    putting a jacket or halloween costume on your dog
    talking baby talk to your dog
    loving your dog as you would a child
    equating the torturing of dogs to child abuse

    Do you do any or all of these things? Can you think of other examples?

    I do all of the above and don't see a problem with it, so I at least to a degree I must "humanize" dogs and in fact have been "accused" of doing so.

    But there are some things I could see as very negative humanizing:

    trying to train a dog as if it was wired with a child's brain
    feeding them everything a person likes to eat
    letting them get away with bad behavior because it's "cute"
     
  2. Michele

    Michele Chi Super Dog Administrator

    I treat these as equal acts and should be punishable equally. Unfortunately, they are not.


    No, no and no..
     
  3. Miakoda

    Miakoda GRCH Dog

    But this would in fact open up an enormous can of worms and take us right smack into the middle of the whole guardian debate. We would no longer be able to own dogs, we would have to answer to the government rules and regulations, and God forbid we do something with the dog they don't approve of (like actually make it go ouside in the pouring down rain to do to the bathroom.....you wouldn't do that to a human child, would you?)

    And I'm sorry but I don't see how shooting a dog trespassing onto your property and scaring your horses is equal to or should be equal to shooting a child that comes onto your property.

    Human life is above that of animals. Now I am in no way saying that animals don't deserve proper, kind, and even loving treatment because they do, but I will never equate the lives of my dogs to that of my human child (again, this comes from a person who used to call her dogs her "children.....yep, I sure did).
     
  4. Michele

    Michele Chi Super Dog Administrator

    Mia: I feel if someone beats the crap out of their dog, and then beats the crap out of a kid, they should get the same punishment. I'm not comparing humans to dogs. It's just the "act" itself that needs punishment. It's a violent act that needs to be dealt with.
     
  5. Miakoda

    Miakoda GRCH Dog

    I'm all for tougher animal cruelty laws and punishments. Why? Not just because of the pain the animal goes through, but because studies show that over 85% of people who abuse animals go on to commit violent crimes against other humans later on in life.

    The battle is getting the government to quit playing politics like enlisting breed bans and instead actually put the blame, the money, and the resources where they belong.
     
  6. bahamutt99

    bahamutt99 Stealth ninja

    I humanize my dog to an extent, in a fun way. I'm momma and my husband is daddy, and Loki knows who's who by those monikers. I talk to her like she's a person, and I believe she's a smarter dog than if I only spoke to her in dog talk. She learns words that I never endeavored to teach her; she just works them out. And yes, I do dress her up from time to time, if there is a specific purpose.

    I think there is harmless and harmful humanizing. If it gets to the extent where the humanizing is causing problems, leading to a lack of discipline, that's bad. If its a bit of extra for a dog who deserves it, that's harmless. If you can no longer view your dog in the context of being an animal, you've gone over the edge. Like with most things, there's a time and place for everything, and it is acceptable if it remains in balance.
     
  7. Vanella

    Vanella Little Dog

    Excellent Post Lindsay!!

    I agree with that wholeheartedly.......I do talk to my dog (and he does understand what I need him to do with certain words) he sleeps inside, he has a sweater for winter time....that kinda stuff....I think what happens tho, is that people go over board and then the dog thinks he holds the alpha position in the house.....ya know? the kind of dog that doesn't listen to anyone, who barks to be fed and you run over and feed him, that sorta thing.....

    I think it's ok for me to "spoil" my dog, but there is NO mistaking who is ALPHA in my household.
     
  8. LindsaySF

    LindsaySF Puppy

    I agree with the other Lindsay. :)
     
  9. Madeleinemom

    Madeleinemom MS Bites, My Dog Didn't Staff Member

    This past Christmas, I purchased and read Patricia McConnell's book "For the Love of a Dog'", and enjoyed it very much.

    She makes the case that the canine's brain has the capacity for all primary emotions (joy, fear, anger, disgust) and possibly some of the secondary ones, such as jealousy, sorrow, empathy, etc.

    In looking and living with my dogs, I'd like to think that she is right.

    Do I humanize them - to some extent, I/my husband do, simply because they are family members with certain priviledges, but also the obligation to play by the house rules ('thou shalt not raid the kitchen trash bin").
     
  10. monkeys23

    monkeys23 GRCH Dog

    Sure thats mean to the owner (but hey I guess they were irresponsible letting it go chase the neighborhood livestock), but I don't think that is cruelty at all.

    I think that many people care as much about their pets as they would a child, but that still doesn't make them the exact same thing as a human child--hence we can't say all circumstances apply in the same way from situation to situation.

    However, I do think that henious abuse and neglect of animals (I don't care if its a dog, cat, horse, cows, etc) should be taken as seriously as child abuse. Especially because many abusers repeat their actions with the next animal and I would bet that some who treat animals horribly also treat humans horribly as well.

    Some kinds of humanizing can be good, like putting a jacket on your dog or baby talking; but I definitly think that feeding them like a child and letting them get away with bad behavior because they're cute is bad for the pet in the long run and no one else will like their pet. Think, mean chiuahas (wow I think I butchered the spelling) or yappy poms or the personally invasive large dog that jumps all over everyone. Now that is really annoying.
     
  11. Michele

    Michele Chi Super Dog Administrator

    Monkey: that was a good post.
     
  12. Miakoda

    Miakoda GRCH Dog

    My previous post:
    1. "I'm all for tougher animal cruelty laws and punishments. Why? Not just because of the pain the animal goes through, but because studies show that over 85% of people who abuse animals go on to commit violent crimes against other humans later on in life.

      The battle is getting the government to quit playing politics like enlisting breed bans and instead actually put the blame, the money, and the resources where they belong. " ;)
     
  13. monkeys23

    monkeys23 GRCH Dog

    Thanks Michele.:)

    Precisely Mia.:cool:
     
  14. LadyRampage

    LadyRampage Puppy

    I love my dogs.... all of them... and I try not to humanize them.. Notice I said try.. lol

    Once in awhile I might dress one of them up on a holiday to get a laugh out of the kids, or try and show the public a different view of the APBT but this is a rare thing.

    I spoil them rotten, give them pet names, talk to them like they understand everything I say (good thing they can't talk and tell some of my thoughts). I demand respect from them, and give them respect in return. But I NEVER forget they are a dog, an animal that has natural behaviors that are NOT human. I don't try to feed them "human" grade food, I don't allow them to continue negative behavior, and I don't treat them as if they are children.
     
  15. I have a question & I think it fits well in this thread (but we can move it to another if need be). My question is "Am I humanizing my dog's feelings?"
    This is why: we want to get another dog someday. But Debo is somewhat DA & jealous (at least that is what it seems like to me) of us giving attention to other dogs. I think that if we got another dog, we could get to a point where the dogs could co-exist with us. They would certainly be separated when not supervised, but w/ supervisation I think Debo would be fine. We've had him around other dogs & he mostly just ignores them. But if we show attention to another dog, then he reacts w/ attention seeking behavior. So this is my conundrum! I feel like if we added another dog it would be unfair to both. Debo would not get all of our attention anymore & the new dog wouldn't have a doggie playmate, just another dog to co-exist with. Thoughts?
     
  16. Michele

    Michele Chi Super Dog Administrator

    I think you are being a responsible dog owner and weighing the pros and cons before jumping into anything.
     
  17. buddysmom

    buddysmom Good Dog

    I agree with Michele.

    Also I do think dogs are capable of jealousy. It's been debated, studied, etc. but I think the evidence points in that direction.

    I don't think you are wrong to consider your dog's "feelings," or call it his quality of life if you will.
     
  18. Australe

    Australe Puppy

    I think that dogs are wonderful pets. But they are pets, now that doesn't mean that they aren't part of the family. I think that it can be sometimes dangerous to treat dogs like children, if they forget their place in the pack then thats when someone might get hurt. No matter how much you love your dog its always important to remember that they are a dog, with the instincts of a pack animal.
     
  19. Noelle's Mom

    Noelle's Mom Banned

    I definitely humanize my dogs. They are like my children. And like my children, I am, and always will be head of the household. lol, well after my husband I guess. They know I am alpha and do not question their place within my home. I feed them the highest quality dogfood I can afford, because THAT is what they need, not people food, although every once in awhile I will give them a treat like a couple pieces of leftover meat scraps or something. Because I treat them like my children that means that it is my responsibility to make sure they are as healthy and happy as they can be and discipline is part of that.

    I know that if I do not have them under my control something bad could very well happen. If they ever bite someone or go after someone else's pet they would be taken away from me. And because I love them I would never do something that would make them think they could get away with not listening to me. They are not allowed to get away with ANY bad behaviour because that could lead to something that goes FAR beyond "cute".
    I hope to have my babies with me for a long, long time.
     
  20. ownz0rjoo

    ownz0rjoo Puppy

    You know, you dont really humanize your dog. You treat your dog as a PET, as they should be treated with care and love and affection. Humanizing is a totally different thing. Dogs should be treated the same as kids. But treatment does not qualify as humanization.

    Im pretty sure no one here expects there dog to talk back to them. Also dogs as far as animals go, feed off of our attention being given to them. I may sound like im rambling im a little sleepy.

    Let me just ask about this situation that jut happend as im writing this. Im sitting here on the laptop writing this post and my dog jumps on the couch and lays down next to me and puts her head in my lap and looks at the screen. Is this humanization? Or is this affection, i never told my dog to do that or trained her to come lay on my lap with me she just does it naturally. I think dogs breed to be pets naturally have the desire to be loved and to be treated as if they are a part of your family. Even my little sister treats my dogs as her friend when she comes over. She takes the dog on the playground goes down the slide with her and has a really good time. Is this humanizing? ok im done ranting sorry for the long wastefull post
     

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