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Home DOG TRENDS & STYLESDog Humanisation Breaking Down the Psychology Behind Dog Humanisation: Why We Love Our Dogs Like Family

Breaking Down the Psychology Behind Dog Humanisation: Why We Love Our Dogs Like Family

by Bella Woof
dog health



Breaking Down the Psychology Behind Dog Humanisation: Why We Love Our Dogs Like Family

The Fascination with Dogs

Dog playing in the park

Dogs have been known as “man’s best friend” for centuries, providing companionship, loyalty, and unconditional love. The unique bond between humans and dogs has led to a phenomenon called dog humanisation, which refers to the tendency to treat and perceive dogs as if they were human.

The Emotional Connection

Owner cuddling with their dog

The psychology behind dog humanisation stems from the emotional connection we form with our furry friends. Research has shown that interacting with dogs releases oxytocin, often referred to as the “love hormone,” in both humans and dogs. This hormone is responsible for promoting feelings of trust, love, and bonding, which helps strengthen the emotional attachment we feel towards our dogs.

Anthropomorphism: The Act of Humanising Dogs

Dog wearing a costume

Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human characteristics, emotions, and intentions to non-human entities such as animals. When it comes to dogs, we often assign them human qualities and traits, treating them as if they were members of our family. We give them names, celebrate their birthdays, and even dress them up in cute costumes. This phenomenon arises from our desire for connection and companionship, as dogs fulfill our need for social bonding and emotional support.

The Benefits of Dog Humanisation

Dog sitting next to a person

The act of humanising dogs can have positive effects on both the owners and the dogs themselves. Dogs treated as family members tend to receive better care, including proper nutrition, regular exercise, and medical attention. Moreover, this humanisation strengthens the dog-owner bond, leading to improved overall well-being and reduced stress levels for both parties.

Controversies and Drawbacks

Dog sitting by the dinner table

While dog humanisation has its benefits, it also poses potential drawbacks. Some argue that excessive anthropomorphism can lead to unrealistic expectations and an unhealthy attachment to our dogs. Treating dogs exactly like humans may result in neglecting their specific needs and instincts. It is important to strike a balance between treating dogs with love and care while still recognizing their unique identity as animals.

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Is it normal to treat dogs like family members?


A: Yes, many people consider their dogs as part of their family. Dogs provide companionship and emotional support, and treating them as family members helps strengthen the bond between humans and dogs.
Q: Can dog humanisation be harmful to dogs?


A: Excessive dog humanisation can potentially harm dogs if their unique needs as animals are overlooked. It is crucial to ensure that dogs receive proper care, including meeting their physical and instinctual requirements.
Q: How can dog humanisation benefit humans?


A: Humanising dogs can result in improved overall well-being for humans. They provide companionship, reduce stress levels, and promote a sense of purpose and responsibility.
Q: Are there any risks of emotional detachment when treating dogs like family?


A: The emotional attachment formed by treating dogs like family members does not necessarily lead to detachment. However, it is important to maintain a healthy balance between emotional connection and recognizing the dog’s individuality as a different species.
Q: Can dog humanisation affect the dog’s behavior?


A: Dogs that are treated like family members tend to exhibit more positive behaviors as they receive consistent care, affection, and training. However, it is crucial to provide proper training and discipline measures to ensure good behavior.


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