Dogs’ tendency to behave like dogs has become frowned upon these days – it is not uncommon that their barking, chewing, chasing, digging, jumping, growling, snarling and biting is labeled “abnormal.” Dogs are suspected to have psychological problems when in fact their only problem is that we routinely assign thoughts and intentions to our dogs which exist in our imagination only. Australian dog Trainer Sylvie Martin of Crosspaws delivers another unflinchingly clear vision of how we humans can greatly increase our own happiness as well as our dogs’ by better understanding and respecting the nature of our furry friends rather than constantly projecting human intentions onto their behaviors, which only leads to conflict and stress for both parties.
“My dog is stubborn!” “My dog has an attitude.” “My dog is needy.” “My dog is acting guilty.” Have you ever used one of these phrases? Heard someone else say it? We humans tend to project our human qualities onto other species, including dogs. Dogs aren’t stubborn, mean, brats, guilty-looking, out for revenge, or needy in the sense the word is usually used. When we let go of human-like labels and treat and train our dogs like the amazing, unique species that they are, it deepens our bond with them, sets up realistic expectations, and opens the door to a much happier and cozier existence. Dog trainer extraordinaire, Kristi Benson, discusses what our dogs’ behavior actually means when we label them things like “stubborn,” and how we can set them up for success when we stop anthropomorphizing them.anthropocentrism, Anthropomorphizing dogs, dog behavior, dog training, Dog with attitude, Guilty dog, Labelling dogs with human-like characteristics, Needy dog, Stubborn dog