WigWag/Sharon's Reply to a Post Got Me Thinking....
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    zoesmom's Avatar
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    DefaultWigWag/Sharon's Reply to a Post Got Me Thinking....

    Too many people think of their dogs as people and I always say that I think a dog would NOT take that as a compliment. People are always surprised that I say that I treat my dogs like dogs and not like humans because they think somehow that I love them less because of this when that is on the contrary. I love and spoil my dogs but I give them what dogs want and need and love.
    Don't want to hijack Cesar. LOL

    Anyway, how do people treat their dogs like humans? I've been pondering this since I've seen the thread, and am wondering. I agree dogs should not be treated like humans, btw... but wonder if I'm doing it. ???

    Linda and ZoŽ, the Umlaut
    Honolulu, Hawaii

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    DefaultRe: WigWag/Sharon's Reply to a Post Got Me Thinking....

    Haha! I posted something quite similar to WigWag's post several years ago when I was kind of new here. I posed the question, "When do we let our dogs be DOGS?" It made DMBarron (Dina) laugh.

    I think you already know the answer to your own question. You are the master of Zoe and you train her to be well behaved as a dog. Tricks and games and such are part of keeping a dog happy and vital. But first and foremost, you are in tune with a dog's dogness... refer to your own post about the little rottie-like lab on the beach and Zoe's response. You had great questions about dog interaction there! Not "ooo icky other doggie don't upset my widdoe zoe-zoe like that come here my little pumpkin"

    Okay... that last line is treating a dog like a spoiled rotten kid. See?

    Seamus and Flynn

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    DefaultRe: WigWag/Sharon's Reply to a Post Got Me Thinking....

    LOL @ Nance.
    Okay, I just cannot see anyone doing that to a Lab. LOL
    Linda and ZoŽ, the Umlaut
    Honolulu, Hawaii

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    DefaultRe: WigWag/Sharon's Reply to a Post Got Me Thinking....

    People think that if they simply love their dog and lavish them with affection, vet care, fancy collars, clothes, good food, a nice house, and a nice bed (dog or human) that the dog will just be a great dog.* I mean why wouldn't they right?* They know that you love them so why wouldn't they return that love by doing everything that you say ie not jump, not chew, not be aggressive with other dogs, sit/stay, etc.* It's a little different for us with Labradors since most are not dominant and very patient and kind so we can let them up on sofas, beds, and love on them a lot but that is NOT the case with the vast majority of dogs.* Letting a dog lie on the sofa is typically a recipe for disaster especially for people who do not know any about dog behavior.* People project human emotions on dogs as well thinking they are "mad" at them for leaving them and so they chewed something, or they are jealous about a new baby and that's why they are growling and/or snarling at the baby and so once they get used to him/her they will be just fine, or that they somehow know the nice neighbor is creepy for a reason so that's why they bit him, or they bark at everyone coming to the door because they are simply being protective of their family and they would know when someone is nice or not.*

    Again I think for most of us these things are second nature.* We know a lot about dogs and Labradors are easy dogs to share our lives with since they are so intelligent, easily trained, and friendly but for most people these are concepts that are new to them and the source of all their dog's problems.* *

    For example we were gone all day today at the beach with the kids. When I returned home the first thing I did was take the dogs out for a walk. I know that is what they want and need. I came home and let them cool off, fed them, and then played with them in the yard some more. That is what makes them happy - they want to run and retrieve like dogs!

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    zoesmom's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: WigWag/Sharon's Reply to a Post Got Me Thinking....

    Thanks...I guess Zoe is treated like a dog, even though she has fancy dancy collars and tags (well just one fancy tag).

    I do know people who treat their dogs like humans, but these are mostly small little ipppy yappy lap dogs. (Not Kai the Yorkie/lab wanna be, though...gosh he's great)
    Linda and ZoŽ, the Umlaut
    Honolulu, Hawaii

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    DefaultRe: WigWag/Sharon's Reply to a Post Got Me Thinking....

    Great subject.


    Eiderdowns That's My Buddy
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    theoconbrio is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: WigWag/Sharon's Reply to a Post Got Me Thinking....

    Sharon already said everything eloquently, but I just wanted to add $.02: There is a wonderful new book by Michael Pollan called "The Omnivore's Dilemma," which (among many other things) looks at the problems caused by massive-scale modern factory agriculture. One of the points he makes is that on traditional family farms, you could raise animals for food AND keep them happy at the same time basically by respecting what they were evolved to do and letting them do it. So cows roamed around eating grass and creating fertilizer, and chickens plucked out worms, and pigs rooted in compost to pull out delicious (to them) chunks of fermented corn, and all of that worked together to produce food without waste. Once we stopped exploiting the "pigness" of a pig, or the "chickenness" of a chicken, and started just thinking of them as machines without drives and feelings that we could engineer, we ended up with problems. (So now cows eat corn and have to be fed massive amounts of antibiotics to keep their stomachs from getting infected, pigs are confined and end up using their mouths to bite off the tails of their cellmates, etc.)

    It seems to me that we make the opposite mistake with our pets. We not only think of them as having feelings and needs, but we assume they have the same feelings and needs that we do. But that's a big mistake and if you look at it from their point of view, it's not the most loving thing you can do for them. Once you really clue in to the "dogness" of a dog--its social needs, drives, etc.--and try to structure their lives so they can exploit those drives in a way that is at least tolerated by, or (better) benefits human society, then I think they can be much happier. So you structure their interactions with you so they understand that you are the source of all good things, you respect the need to stalk, chase, dissect, chew, etc., and you end up with a much happier dog.

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    AngusFangus is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: WigWag/Sharon's Reply to a Post Got Me Thinking....

    Linda, it's so funny, because when Sharon posted that it got me to thinking too

    I'll bet some people would think that we (me and Kevin) treat our dogs like humans because we do things like groom them, feed them high-end food, take them to classes, etc.

    To me, treating a dog like a human is projecting human emotions on them as mentioned (they were "angry" at me or "getting even," etc.)


    Connie and "The Boys":
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    Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD

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    Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever

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    AngusFangus is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: WigWag/Sharon's Reply to a Post Got Me Thinking....

    Nathan, that was brilliant! ;D


    Connie and "The Boys":
    Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
    Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD

    Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
    Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever

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    DefaultRe: WigWag/Sharon's Reply to a Post Got Me Thinking....

    Wonderful, Nathan. Well, said.


    Eiderdowns That's My Buddy
    CDX, RE, WC, CGC, TDInc.
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