Dog or Human?

Posted by Zsolt in Dogs

“As a result of the latest technological developments, turning dogs into humans will soon become a reality…” This might have been an appropriate line to start this post with if we were to prepare the ground for some kind of a sensation. Fortunately, that is not the case. However, this idea may not be as far fetched as it sounds. Can it be possibly true that dog owners have started the process of turning dogs into humans already? Let us see where the truth lies.

Dogs Treated as Humans

Dog or Human?

Leo, the Neapolitan Gangster Mastiff. Contribution of Steve Palmer.

There are lots of myths around in all fields of life. Let’s take a look the most widespread misconceptions in the dog world that tend to polarize public opinion.

Contrary to common belief, dressing up a small, light coated dog can even be beneficial as it helps the dog to keep warm. Decorating dogs with jewels and different accessories is one of the best examples of treating dogs as if they were humans, since the sole purpose of doing so is to make them look stylish and fashionable. However, this is only a question of good taste and with safe accessories it causes no harm to the dog whatsoever.

Allowing the dog to sleep in our bed is considered appropriate by many, provided the dog is well maintained and kept clean. Some still think that sleeping in the same bed with a dog can never be hygienic. One thing seems certain though: this will never harm the dog in any way, but could provide it with human company and attention most dogs seek.

Many dog owners kiss their dogs. People who have never had a dog tend to be disgusted when they see it happen and there is probably nothing that could change this. Yet, it is quite clear that the only negative consequence of kissing your dog might be a couple of by-passers expressing their dislike.

Seemingly harmless, but potentially harmful situations

We all make inconsistent or silly decisions in our everyday lives, which is due to the lack of information or our negligence. Fortunately, in most cases such decisions have little or no effect on the quality of our lives. However, such thoughtless actions can turn a dog’s world upside down.

When the dog gets scared while walking and lies down whining, most owners would try to comfort the dog by hugging and stroking. This, however, is perceived by the dog as a praise and reinforces the unwanted behavior. The best thing to do in such situations is simply ignore the whining no matter how hard it is and continue the walk once the dog has calmed down.

When passing through a door we tend to let the dog go ahead. On the contrary, the owner should always be the first to enter, because that simple action establishes the dominant role in the relationship.

It is extremely difficult not to feed dogs human food, especially chocolate and different snacks, because they seem to love it. Still we should never do it as it poses health risks and can lead to obesity.

What makes a dog happy?

Human company. Even the least affectionate dogs seek human attention and care as a result of their evolution and our bonded history.

Consistent training. Petting and praising are the best ways of reinforcing good behavior. Ignoring the dog when it does something wrong is usually enough to discourage unwanted actions. Growling at and attacking people should never be tolerated though.

Appropriate feeding. Leftovers and human food in general should be avoided as they cannot satisfy the dogs nutritional needs and may lead to discomfort or different diseases. We should stick to quality dog food to ensure a long and healthy life.

Sufficient exercise. Some breeds need a lot of exercise, while others can do with little. We should understand the specific needs of our dog and provide it with the appropriate amount of exercise to keep its mental and physical fitness.

Dogs need love

Maintaining our dominant role and giving the dog all the love and attention it needs are the most vital conditions for a dog to live a happy and healthy life.

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