Anthropomorphism and Dog Keeping

24 Apr 2010 | by | Posted in: Wag Wiki

Many of my dog lover friends will tell about their pet- saying with pride “we keep him like our kid”, and to be honest they are actually doing it that ways. I have realised while handling my own dogs, many times I have been treating them like human beings.

When I go for counselling to our dog trainer- Nabheesh Lal, I get to know that I am at mistake while treating my dogs like human beings. He will tell me- “treat them the way they are, don’t spoil them by humanising them”. His training tips work magic while training our Golden Retriever- Mirchie.

Another example other than training is food and nutrition. As a novice we start feeding our new puppy, what is good for a human baby; however dogs like Labrador Retriever grow up to 30 Kg in 2 years. Our kid will grow 30 Kg in 12 years. Look at the difference in the growth rates of our kid and a puppy. Can’t actually give same diet and nutrition to both. Human baby will need 15% protein where as a puppy have a need of around 25% protein.

Coming with this thought I kept on applying more mind on data and realised that this is something very common across pet owners. Whether it is a fish, bird, cat or a dog we start treating them like humans. At times it can be bad for the health and behaviour of our pet.


More research around this, got me to know a term called Anthropomorphism. It literally means recognition of human characteristics in non-human creatures and beings, phenomena, material states and objects or abstract concepts. More can be read about it on this Wikipedia Link.

Anthropomorphism is what we all go through as a basic instinct. It’s not limited to pets, it goes beyond. Like sometimes we treat our cars like living beings, we will make out eyes out of the headlamps of a car. Little funny as a thought but good to realise that I keep suffering from Anthropomorphism  a human being. I feel it’s a learning and worth sharing it with you all.

Happy DogSpoting!!!


Capt Peeyush Nath
One cant help but get those feelings attached, its so very human to do. I still dont know how to treat my dog as just a dog.

By: Capt Peeyush Nath | 25 Apr 2010

I completely agree with Rana - What this blog trying to say is, please do not treat dog as human and lets keep them where they belong. Our sentiments surely gets attached with them, lets value them at the same time, these are individual and we as homo sapience need to be the place we would be and they belong to the place where they should be.

By: Hemanshu | 26 Apr 2010

About the Author


I have a Golden Retriever called Bella. I have always lived with pets since I was born. My father was a professor in veterinary sciences. I write to share my experience of pet keeping.

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