The pet industry is booming –in the US alone we fur-parents bring in $70 billion a year to the economy. This makes me very happy as it means that every year there are more and more obsessed individuals like ourselves who put the wellbeing of our pets in front of our own.
This phenomenon can be seen across the world and a big reason for this is the humanisation of pets. The connection that humans and animals can share is one of the purest forms of love, and it should be fostered and nurtured to the best of our abilities. We all know how love can sometimes make us do silly things, and therefore I think its important for all of us, myself included, to occasionally remind ourselves of the following;
Our fur-babies are NOT humans they are DOGS and we should treat them as such.
Realise that when we treat our dogs like humans – this is a very selfish practice. When we behave this way we are doing it for ourselves rather than for the wellbeing of our pooch.
- When you treat your dog like a human, you are not nurturing – you are being lazy… and dare I say, borderline negligent as you are not fulfilling your pooches true, natural needs.
- Throw parties for your dog and have them wear silly hats, but do not expect them to follow human social expectations.
- STOP FEEDING YOUR DOG EVERYTHING THAT YOU ARE EATING. Even though you have been culturally hypnotised to believe that STARBUCKS is GOD – your dog has not and nor should it be. Dogs & Humans have very different dietary needs, and you SHOULD NOT BE FEEDING YOUR DOG EVERYTHING THAT YOU PUT IN YOUR MOUTH.
- Stop allowing your dog to be pushy ‘or have his own mind’ with humans or other dogs – this is not cute and admirable as it is in the human world. It is bad behaviour and it means your dog does not respect you and this can lead to very undesirable situations.
If you truly care about your pooch, like we all know you do, research & read about dog behaviour. Stop following your own ‘human instincts’ to explain your dogs behaviour.
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Classic examples of when you are treating your pooch like a human instead of a dog
- Getting your dog over-excited. We believe that an excited dog is a happy dog. This is not always true, and most of the time a calm dog is a happy dog. We often push for our pooches to be as excited as possible – but this excitement, in particular for certain breeds can turn into stress or bad behaviour.
This is very true for ZEUS – the key word in our household is CALM. When we have people over, sometimes I get judged for not letting them wrestle and go crazy with him when they arrive. I am perfectly fine with this because I am considering the wellbeing of Zeus rather than what would make the HUMANS happy.
This is our bestie Daniela and this is essentially what you shouldn’t do; there are essentially no other people that I allow this with. We have a very clear no roughhousing rule in our household – the more your dog participates in a certain behaviour the more they will do it again – to anyone, anywhere. The reason that I allow this is because I have taught Zeus a cue for playing rough with Daniela, and I am always the one who ends the play; therefore I am in control of the beginning and ALWAYS the end. The other reason I allow it is because Daniela is the best; Z & I are in complete consensus about this.
Here is an example of a typical hello when we have someone coming over: CALM is they KeyWord.
The second most classic example of treating your pooch like a human:
- Forcing your dog to participate in human social interactions that they are not comfortable with. For example, I don’t let Zeus say hello to other dogs or strangers when he is on the lead. Why? Because Zeus is more protective when he is on the lead and this can make other dogs feel uncomfortable. We have always had this rule; lead time is not play time – it is training/ work time. Either during or after our lead-walks I will take Zeus off the lead and he can then enjoy his ‘playtime’ with other dogs.
This practice works amazing for us, and most importantly for ZEUS – however some humans can have a problem with it. On occasion some will consider us ‘rude’ not to say hello when passing by or me not allowing them to pet him; or they imagine that Zeus is aggressive because I don’t allow the interaction. Again, I am absolutely fine with this and you should be as well. Always remember:
Our ultimate responsibility is to our dog and his wellbeing, everyone and everything else can frankly go smell 💩.
Love, Z & A 💜
All images © 2017 ZeusandAnna