Merriam-Webster’s definition for “anthropomorphize”:
– “to attribute human form or personality to things not human.”
We always hear that it is not good to anthropomorphize animals. Their language should be learned and worked with, instead of expecting them to act like a human.
About a year ago, at a seminar, a fellow dog trainer shared an interesting perspective. Are there situations where it would be good to anthropomorphize a dog? His logic was that we should treat dogs as dogs and learn their language. He made a point, however, was that we are much more critical and strict of fellow humans. More often than not, parents expect more from their children and the other humans in their life, than they do of their dog. The child can’t scream in public, but… oh well, the dog can bark as much as he likes in the same situation!
So the trainer’s point was, if you saw it from that perspective, anthropomorphizing your dog might help your training. But only if you were as consistent and strict with your dog as you were with humans.
If your dog does something, ask yourself… would that be okay if another human did it? This form or “human-ising” our dogs could be beneficial to their training.
What are your thoughts? Tell me about it in the comments!