Anthropomorphizing

Anthropomorphizing
 is normal in the thinking of humans, but how well do you know your dog? If you think that your dog feels something, chances are that they do, but if you think that they have feelings, think about the times in your dog's life where they experience something so many humans take for granted. Think about the times in your dog's life when they experience Something. If you can  come up with an example of something you experienced that may surprise you, but makes sense, to anthropomorphize your dog, you're ahead of the game. But they aren't all guilty, dogs ARE capable of feeling fear and guilt, though not as much.  You have now anthropomorphized your dog. But it's more than just that, dogs, unlike humans, don't see things in purely black and white. The heat and colors play a large role in your dog's world! You may have noticed that your dog's tail will droop to the side when they're scared. It's their way of looking at the world. The same way that our parents told us not to look at things too straight. The same way your dog's tail will droop for emotional indications, such as if they're sad or upset. Now, let's say that it's crack-time in your home. Your dog hears the clicking of the lock at the door, and decides to investigate. They nudge the lock, and hear a terrible crack, and you realize that your dog has heard that terrible crack before. And, you are afraid. You pull the poor dog back from the door, and it's scaring the poor dog back to its hiding place. Now you've just anthropomorphized your dog. You've put them on a leash, and told them to " chill", " be calm". It's like little kids and you can even see the parents putting the kids on little whiteAuthority tests. What does that tell your dog? That they aren't to be afraid. That they can be calm. So, next time your dog hears that horrible crack, and again, and again, you anthropomorphize them. You're putting their lives in danger! Right? Wrong! When I'm in conversation with someone who has a dog that is afraid, and has used some form of positive reinforcement training, they'll tell me about how their dog will come up to them wagging their tail, as if to say, "I'm so glad that you're not afraid. I really, really wanted to play with you, but you scared me. Could you please stop screaming and acting all crazy?" The poor dog is suffering from a phobia, and has conditioned themselves to respond in that way. They've needed to bite other dogs, or jump, or eat grass, or play in order to avoid these feelings. The change from fear to confidence may take some time, but it can happen. It can happen to you.

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