The Humanization of Dogs Part 1

Has society taken things too far in regard to the Humanization of dogs? Lately I have been giving this a lot of thought because of some of the things I have observed and weighing the pro's and con's of the effects it has had not only on our pets but the perceptions that we as humans have. I think its important to discuss this humanization, so I intend to make several different posts in regard to it. This of course is part 1.

Recently, Miranda and I were in our local mall and surprised to see a pet shop that had gone out of business recently reopened. So Miranda and I went into the shop to see if it was the same owners. We were very disturbed by what we saw.

As we entered the shop we saw a bunch of white baby cribs lined up on both sides of the shop. In the cribs were plexiglass boxes with puppies inside that were for sale.

The marketing scheme and tactics used to sell these puppies are pretty clear. Lets humanize them and make them as cute an cuddly as a baby. After all lots of people think human babies are cute, so lets take it one step further and put them in cribs so they are associated with human babies. This type of marketing will certainly tug at the heart strings of those who wish to have a baby.

So what do you think about this? Are you comfortable with the association?

Jason

Houston

I can't believe that was actually OK to do. Sounds terrible, and I, unfortunately, can see why irresponsible petowner wannabees would just fall head over heels for this..sad..

Petstores in malls should be illegal all together, I personally hate them, and refuse to set fot on them as a way to mark, at least to my children, that it is unexceptable to support that kind of business.

NO I am not comfortable or for this type of exploitation what so ever. It should be iilegal I think, but don't know how to get there.

Mr. Jason:

I am in full agreement with you on this issue. Dogs are dogs. They have their own communication methods and societal rules as far as pack dynamics and order. There is no way to expect a dog to understand our thought processes, as they tend more toward instinctual rather than intellectual methods of pack arrangement.

My own experience with dogs of all breeds is they have to know where they stand in pack order. When "humanized" they tend to become either confused and timid or unbalanced and aggressive. This is excellent discussion material.

Cheers.

I also agree… by doing this (or any puppies in a pet store, cage or window) makes it an emotional, knee jerk, purchase. This with no thought to the fact that they are purchasing a living/breathing animal that they now have to care for.... and 99% have no idea what they are getting into. Nor the committment to care for the pup for its lifetime...

Dogs are dogs... it is an animal, not a human... they do not have human emotions regardless how much we would want to think they do....

I agree we certainly shouldn't humanise Dogs, why spoil a good thing 😃
Seriously though the shop sounds terrible. Apparently there are Dog trimming services that will perfume your Dog for you, i have a problem with that.
I think your post will promote loads of discussion Jason

Houston

My other real beef is all these "silly" accessories that they are coming out with for pets…like the pet stroller? What, are they not meant to walk?
Can we take the dog further away from their natural environment and being?
..and the painted pawclaws (i.e toenails)??
I just don't get it..and I seriously think, I am not supposed to get it, I am not wired like that, thankfully.

Look what happened to people trying to treat chimpanzees like human kids. The guy in So Cal getting ripped up during a birthday party for 1 of them and 2 got jealous and the lady in Connecticut who's chimp just about destroyed her friend. They're wild animals folks!!


Police say Travis, seen here as a younger chimp, was like a child to his owner, Sandra Herold.

@ComicDom1:

Has society taken things too far in regard to the Humanization of dogs? Lately I have been giving this a lot of thought because of some of the things I have observed and weighing the pro's and con's of the effects it has had not only on our pets but the perceptions that we as humans have. I think its important to discuss this humanization, so I intend to make several different posts in regard to it. This of course is part 1.

Recently, Miranda and I were in our local mall and surprised to see a pet shop that had gone out of business recently reopened. So Miranda and I went into the shop to see if it was the same owners. We were very disturbed by what we saw.

As we entered the shop we saw a bunch of white baby cribs lined up on both sides of the shop. In the cribs were plexiglass boxes with puppies inside that were for sale.

The marketing scheme and tactics used to sell these puppies are pretty clear. Lets humanize them and make them as cute an cuddly as a baby. After all lots of people think human babies are cute, so lets take it one step further and put them in cribs so they are associated with human babies. This type of marketing will certainly tug at the heart strings of those who wish to have a baby.

So what do you think about this? Are you comfortable with the association?

Jason

I find that creepy….

@nobarkus:

Look what happened to people trying to treat chimpanzees like human kids. The guy in So Cal getting ripped up during a birthday party for 1 of them and 2 got jealous and the lady in Connecticut who's chimp just about destroyed her friend. They're wild animals folks!!


Police say Travis, seen here as a younger chimp, was like a child to his owner, Sandra Herold.

Well, technically, dogs ARE domesticated animals…so there may be a little more leeway in the acceptability level of using them as surrogate children. Wild animals don't thrive when kept as humanized pets...lots of dogs do.

Personally, I find it disrespectful to force animals into the role of surrogate children, but I can understand why some people like to do it. And I also think there is a wide range between just how far you go in treating your dogs like humans. It is one thing to spend more on their food than yours, and quite another to furnish a room for them with baby furniture.

@Quercus:

Personally, I find it disrespectful to force animals into the role of surrogate children, but I can understand why some people like to do it. And I also think there is a wide range between just how far you go in treating your dogs like humans. It is one thing to spend more on their food than yours, and quite another to furnish a room for them with baby furniture.

Exactly what I was thinking. Yes, I consider my dogs full fledged members of the family unit. I treat them with the same amount of daily care and attention I do my child and my husband, just not in the same way. (If that makes sense)

I have NEVER treated any dog I owned as a human infant or toddler. I find that really creepy. The Gerber baby food, the dressing up, the diapers instead of house training, etc… Not good for the dog or the family.

Perhaps severe behaviors in this area are more indicative of a human mental disability than anthropomorphism.

Marketing in the way that you mentioned is heinous (although clever). It encourages impulse buying which is I'm sure in some way directly related to relinquished dogs, feral dogs, and unplanned back yard and oops pups.

(OT!! Trying to talk sense to some of these "breeders" or buyers is useless. A person I work with continues to promote and talk-up her fathers "rare breed"--the Labridoodle.)

Labridoodle….Isn't that another word for mutt? Even though it seems to be a popular enough breed for even our current president to consider as a member of his family, I still think the AKC has the right idea in trying to keep the breeds pure. Don't get me wrong...mutts can and do make excellent pets, but each breed was for a specific purpose. Sometimes there is a reason for creating a hybrid, as was the case for Australian Cattledogs, but, really, do we have the bases covered yet?

Back to the original subject, some of the nastiest creatures I have ever met were small humanized dogs who had no idea their place in the family pack. Selling puppies in cribs only encourages human behavior such as perfuming, painting toe nails, putting clothing on dogs (and I'm not talking about protective gear like boots and coats), furnishing rooms, talking to them like, "How's my widdle pookie-wookie today...." I find the marketing tactic to be nauseating and if I had the time, would try to set up a picket line outside the offending store.

Cheers

I agree, protective gear is one thing, but there are those that go to extremes just because they believe their dog looks cute all dressed up and fashioned out like a barbie doll, but then I think that will be a subject we can discuss more in another post.

Thanks to all that have posted their thoughts to help bring to light the impact and damaging effects that the humanization of dogs contributes to. I feel this is a growing problem in our society and does affect not only physical care, but also the obedience and socialization of what has become acceptable.

Jason

I'm in agreement on this – I know there are folks here that like to dressup their pups in cutsie clothes and no offense to you -- but dogs are dogs. They deserve our love, our respect, our assistance, our laughter, and our tears. But dogs (and other pets) are not human; they don't have the same instincts and training needs, the same health issues, the same nutritional needs. We should not expect them to become one of us; but accept them for who they are.

Although I sometimes treat Medjai as a kid person, I find that type of stuff ridiculous. Dogs have a much better purpose than to replicate babies. Medjai's main purpose in my house it to keep me company, and chase the birds out of the back yard when he feels like he didn't get enough running out at the dog park, or walks around the neighborhood.

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