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BT 258CanadianWikipedia, the free encyclopedia tells us "Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human traits, emotions, and intentions to non-human entities and is considered to be an innate tendency of human psychology." In other words we all do this...

In many ways it can have a positive effect for those pets who need veterinary care. But in other ways, it can work against pets when it comes to healthcare. There is also the opposite of anthropomorphism.¹


This especially becomes a concern when owners are trying to interpret whether their pet is experiencing pain. There are some owners who expect pets to exhibit signs of pain the exact same way they do. As a result , owners may ignore exhibition of pain from their pets if they are not literally “crying”. Therefore they will often not seek veterinary care for them.¹


Some examples could include not recognizing when a pet is suffering because of the guilt to keep a patient alive despite a debilitating condition. This could also involve pursuing treatments for medical conditions that are obviously terminal.  Another problem is that some pet owners may get so desperate they may seek dangerous home remedies to treat their pets.¹


as one reader commented "...balanced emotions and attitudes are very important to the welfare of our pets. They are also very important to our own welfare."





 Your dog, you note with certainty, has a “guilty look" on his face because he knows he's done something wrong. This is a perfect example of anthropomorphism.


 Some dog trainers dismiss these claims of "guilty looks" on a dog as nothing more than conditioned behavior.The dog only looks that way because he remembers the way you reacted the last time you came home to a similar scene. He's not looking guilty, but rather he knows you will react badly and it's this expectation of punishment that causes the look on his face.²


 As the number of kids per household declines, the number of pets is increasing.


 By buying pets human-type gifts, we are making ourselves feel good and making them happy." says Bob Vetere, chief operating officer of the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association. According to marketing strategist Lisa Lehr, this trend suggests a hugely profitable strategy for entrepreneurs in the pet business to position pets as members of the family. "People are eager to spend a lot of money on their pets. You might as well be positioned to receive your share," states Lehr. The unfortunate consequence, however? A misguided view of canine psychology that's given rise to undesirable dog behavior in thousands, if not millions, of homes across the country.


 All but the most chronic anthropomorphic dog owners can improve their relationship with their dog and ultimately their behavior if they make a valid effort to understand their dog's unique emotional makeup. Whereas throwing your dog a birthday party (hey, I've done it!) or filling a holiday stocking with treats is not a heinous dog-behavioral crime, people should be wary when their own actions impinge on providing proper timing and fair corrections for their dog.

When a dog is in any other state than being calm and submissive (e.g., if he's aggressive, obsessive, scared, hyper or anxious) and we give him a hug or pat on the head and tell him it's OK, it is comforting to us, but it only feeds the state of mind for the dog, making the experience more intense. While we think we're soothing the dog, the dog sees us as being a weak leader³


Anthropomorphic "parents" often discover that their dog has separation anxiety (sometimes manifested by destructive behavior). In a pack, the leader is allowed to leave, however the followers never leave the leader. If your dog instinctually sees you as the follower and you leave him, the situation causes so much mental anguish that he begins to take it out on your house, or worse, on himself. Owners may want to think twice before buying that $3,000 four poster canopy doggie bed and catering to their dog's every humanistic desire.³