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Dogs and Anthropomorphism

Additionally, it is this humanization that sometimes cause "accidents" where someone gets hurt and the dog gets the blame. Some will expect the dog to behave with human like qualities and understanding and to exercise discretion and judgment as a normal human would.  It is unfair to the dogs.

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      Why do we apply anthropomorphism characteristic behaviors to dogs or other animals? This is a common approach among humans of all types. It is done in the science community as shown in the article below. Yet they do these things and say it is proven. Do dogs have emotions? Does a dog feel? Does a dog love it's human master/companion?


      I for one do not believe a dog views this world as we humans do. I do not know that a dog can have empathy or any other emotion that humans display. There is no way to prove that a dog feels sorry. But we will say look at him/her they are sorry or they are guilty. Is this just a figment of our imaginations. Do dogs dream? Do they inspire to one day be the Best in Show? Does Fido want to be the best herding dog, guard dog, or leader of the pack? Do they wake up in the morning and think I can't wait until my master comes and play with me and I really want to please them and make life easier for my human? The reality is we don't know what the dog is thinking. We think thing and say this is going on in the dogs. I have read articles that stated that when a dog wags its tail to the right it mean one thing and if the tail wags to the left it mean another thing. After reading such things I began to pay attention to my dogs and which direction their tail wagged. However, having several dogs when presented with the same stimuli they did not all wag their tails in the same directions when the same condition and environment was the same. Therefore I concluded that each dog was different. One dog may just wag its tail more to the left and another dog wags its tail to the right. Some dogs wag to both sides. There was no stimuli that caused it to wag in a specific direction. I've discovered that I have applied too much anthropomorphic characteristics on my dogs. I have believed that does feel like humans or more specifically like me. They feel like I think they feel. They conceptualize this world like I do or through the eyes of humans. I have come to understand that they do not see the world as I do. There is no way to prove that a dog has feelings. There is no empirical facts that suggest that they understand like humans. There is no way the dog can communicate its level of understanding to us. We can teach it to respond to us they way that we want it. We can exchange one behavior that a dogs have for another behavior that the dog has already. We do not teach a dog to sit, stay, down, etc. It already know how to do those things. We teach them to perform those behavior upon our request by providing them with stimuli to do them.


      Another article I read last week stated that the reason a dog growls is fear. While I can't quote it verbatim it went on to say that the dog growls when someone comes near its property because for fear. It growls when you or another animals comes near its food (resource guarding) because of fear. It gave some other examples of times when a dog growls and concluded that it is all fear. This got me to thinking. Could this be true? It is my personal belief that when a dog is resource guarding it is fearful that someone or something will take away the resource whether that is food of other items that the dog values. I do believe some dog bite out of fear. Yet I do not believe that every time a dog growls it is because of fear. I believe that sometimes when a dog growls it is a warning. Sometimes it can be a bluff. This is no different than when they bark. There is a different bark that says I'm home. There is a certain bark for there is a stranger walking bye. There is a different bark when someone is acting strange or aggressively. There is a different bark that they make to say I need to go outside to potty. I have learned to tell the difference in each of my dogs. They are all different.


      Let me know what you think. Do we give give dogs anthropomorphic behaviors or do dogs view the world like we do? Do dogs have feelings? Are they capable of seeing the world as we do? Are they capable of understating the world like humans? If so what then separates the dogs from humans? Why do they work for us instead of us working for them? Please explain your position. There is no wrong or right answer. We all have our opinions.


      Please take a look at the article below.



      "The Real Reason Why Dogs Tilt Their Heads"


      "But why do they tilt their heads? Are they being inquisitive and wondering what we are thinking or are they trying to tell us something much more meaningful?

      Well, according to Mental Floss, there's a science behind it: Dogs are trying to tell us that they care (heart melts instantly). Apparently, when a dog tilts its head, it's a symbol that they are showing us empathy and that they are engaged. It's not surprising, really, as we all know how in tune with our emotions dogs can be.

      If you think about it, we humans do it, too. When someone tells us about a sad story or some unfortunate news, we often tilt our heads in a caring way.

      It is also said that dogs tilt their heads so that they can hear us better. Although they are known for their amazing hearing, they can sometimes find it hard to locate exactly where the sound is coming from. And tilting their heads adjusts their ears and allows them to pinpoint the exact source and tone of a voice more clearly.

      In short, dogs are adorable. Maybe they really do have the credentials to be our best friends or, at least, excellent listeners."

      • hello ,

        i think that your interpretation of the sunject is correct . when master of a german shepherd returns home he/she shows that "this is a good time for me " by whatever the nature gave him/her : low screaming like sound and his/her eyes . they do not have mimics like humans and thjs will make it impossible at preset time to state that they have or have not humanlike emotions , but they really have some simple forms of affections .  

        • Emotions and feelings are the most primitive thing there is just about, mostly governed by the reptilian core of our brain or at most the basic mammalian brain so everything from a rat to a dog to a man is literally sharing hardware for emotions. Anthropomorphising a dog would be attributing it with reason and logic. Humans can't lay claim to a patent on emotion it predates us by hundreds of millions of years.

          • Of course, you can wrongly anthropomorphise a dog by thinking it's emotions will be triggered by the same things as people, like my mum thinks her dog will be sad if you tell him to get off the couch and sit on the floor, lol, but no he of course can feel sad and scared and excited and etc, these are very basic things.

            • hello ,

              thank you very much . this humanization ofdog's behavior seem to be the cornestone of all misunderstanding and wrong attitude toward dogs by dog owners .

              • Additionally, it is this humanization that sometimes cause "accidents" where someone gets hurt and the dog gets the blame. Some will expect the dog to behave with human like qualities and understanding and to exercise discretion and judgment as a normal human would.  It is unfair to the dogs.

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