Humanizing our dogs?

Dogs are wonderful, they are loyal companions that bring us great comfort. My own dogs make me laugh and enrich my life in many ways. As humans we tend to label what we know and understand by attaching human emotions to our dogs. I hear it all the time, an owner will say to me “my dog is jealous” because that’s how the human would feel, not the dog. What humans call jealousy is one of two things in dogs, either competition or straightening out the pack order. The dominate dog will push the more submissive dog out of the way to get attention and this is pack order not jealousy. Dogs also do not feel hate, spite or guilt, this is placing human emotions to explain their behavior. Dogs simply do not have complex thinking or feel emotion in this way. Dogs will display unwanted behaviors because they are bored, lacking in exercise, or just having fun. While making a mess of the garbage may not seem like fun to a human it can be a great source of fun and food for a dog. It’s all about resources dogs constantly look for opportunities to take/guard and/or possess resources. Dogs don’t hate either. A dog will react to other dogs if the sense an imbalance, over dominance, or they may sense unstable emotions from the human around the other dog. Dogs will also react because they have temperament issues such as fear or anxiety.

Dogs have an innate ability to read body language that as humans we don’t. Trainers and behaviorists spend countless hours learning and developing their own skills to read body language so they can communicate with dogs and understand the meaning of the of the body language displayed by the animal.

Dogs do posses emotion but they are not as complex as humans. Dogs sense our emotions, but do not read the negative energy in the true meaning of emotion. A dog will read negative energy (emotions) as a weakness and react accordingly. Dogs rely on their instincts, they will be happy when their instincts are fulfilled and sad when their needs (instincts) are not being met, or if they are ill. Dog’s respond to the moment they don’t sit and worry about the past nor have complex thinking for the future. A dog will not sit at home when the owner is away planning revenge that the owner has left them their alone, but a dog will take the opportunity to get into mischief and have some fun. Dogs are opportunists and just reacting in the moment.

Often I hear people say I love my dogs more than humans, and this is because our dogs don’t think or feel as humans do. Dogs don’t hold grudges or get caught up in emotions like we do and it is for that reason they are so lovable. As humans we should love and honour our dogs because they are dogs and enjoy them for all they bring into our lives!

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