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Anthropomorphism
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6468


    Why is it that I have an inate tendancy to humanize every interaction that my dogs have with one another and with myself?



    is
    that a mistake not-so-expert dog owners make? Or does every dog owner
    somehow have a tendancy to use a human explaination for a canine
    behavior?



    i feel like i'm cheating myself of the full dog experience by doing that. ugh.

  • diggahdiggah
    Posts: 105
    It's simply because you've come factory equipped with a monkey brain.Smile Everybody struggles with their socio-cultural baggage, more so when dealing with other species. Like everything else, you have to be aware of your biases as you try to understand things outside of your realm of experience; and you also have to acknowledge your limitations. 


    Jon Katz and Patricia McConnell are two authors I’ve read who talk about the issue (specific to our understanding of dogs) at great length.

  • hondruhondru
    Posts: 529


    I think it's pretty common.  Actually, I've told people before that the biggest mistake people make in training their dogs is they try to raise them the way they would raise a child, which I think is second nature.  I don't mean that they love them as much as they would love a child, but they interact with them the way they would a child.  Basically, when you raise children, you're trying to get them to grow up and act like an adult human, so you really just keep treating them human and eventually they grow out of most behaviours (that's an over-simplification, but that's the basic idea).  Dogs, of course, never become adult humans so when people expect their dogs to grow up and know everything, they fail miserably.  They fail to realize that to communicate with a dog, you have to abide by different rules and that a dog will never get old enough that it innately knows not to do certain things.  They're not wired like people, no matter how domesticated their are.  



    Anyway, that's off topic, but that's just something I think about!

    -Heidi, with Rakka (shikoku) and Sosuke (kai ken)
  • RomiRomi
    Posts: 2722
    Yep, I totally agree.  I often catch myself getting frustrated and then thinking "what am i doing, get with it" and then i snap out of it and everything seems much better.  When I think of my dogs as dogs, I feel more confident and brave.  But when I get soft on them, it makes me an emotional wreck and I tend to get depressed.  So I just have to snap myself out of it.  I think its in our nature, especially for the women...something with maternal instincts maybe?
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6468


    Romi - yes. I think a stronger maternal instinct has a lot to do with it!!



    what are some common human to dog misunderstands you all have?



    i constantly catch myself saying "tsuki my baby" or "stop being a meany to your brother" like she knows what the heck i'm saying! but one thing i DO NOT do, and hate, is watching people claim their dog can say "i love you" and mean it. ick.

  • ljowen123ljowen123
    Posts: 3105


    But my dog can say it three languages, so it's got to be true, right? Tongue out



     I do tend to treat her like a kid or tell people that's her happy smile, when in truth it's just the way her mouth looks when she lolls her tongue out.

    LJ - owned by Queen Jazz, a Shiba Inu, Atlanta, GA
    CSC_0144
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6468
    Tsuki "waves"

  • We all do it. You just have to be really aware of it when it comes to training and discipline.



    I personally am going through it right now. I am so afraid of "hurting feelings" and that is getting in the way of me properly disciplining the pups. 

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