While dressing dogs up in cute little costumes may seem like harmless fun, going any further with the humanization of dogs can be a dangerous affair.
We see humans as kind and compassionate, so it is easy to begin to treat your dog like just another person, but dogs need to be treated like dogs. The canine species has different agendas than those of humans, as dogs are pack animals. This highly-tuned pack is composed of a leader and followers.
When adopted into a human family, dogs immediately see humans as their pack. If strict rules are not set down by their owners, your dog will assert themselves as the leader. This leads to bad behavior, hyperactivity – and even aggression.
Separation anxiety can also be blamed on a shift in the leader and follower dynamic. In a pack, the leader is allowed to leave. When you are the leader of the pack, your dog will accept that. However, a follower is never allowed to leave. Thus if you are thought of as the follower in your dog’s pack, they will act out if you try to leave.
Another form of humanizing your dog is to allow them to eat human food. This is a big mistake! They may give you those puppy dog eyes when you break out a piece of cheese, but a dog does not have the digestive system of a human. They need different nutrients than people, which is why prolonged exposure to human food can cause health problems.
If you have made the choice to refuse to humanize your dog, you have made the right one. While it is only natural to want to treat puppies like they are babies, in the long run refusing to humanize your dog is the best decision for both pet and master.
Dogs who are treated like they are dogs know their place and they are happy because they understand the rules that help them know what they can and cannot do. This makes for a well-behaved and well trained dog.
And by making the decision to not humanize your dog, you will be able to get a chuckle out of those that chose the opposite route. They are easy to spot – they are those people being dragged down the sidewalk by a dog that thinks they are the leader and refuses to conform to proper leash-walking!