Why You SHOULD Consider Yourself Your Dog’s Parent

Anthropomorphosis means “translation into human form.” Tell someone you consider yourself your dog’s parent and they may accuse you of anthropomorphism. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

As the brilliant author, researcher, and professor, Temple Grandin, says in her book, Animals Make Us Human:

“What dogs probably need isn’t a substitute pack leader but a substitute parent. I say that because, genetically, dogs are juvenile wolves, and young wolves live with their parents and siblings…Dog owners do need to be the leader, but not because a dog will become ‘alpha’ if they don’t. Dog owners need to be the leader the same way parents do. Good parents set limits and teach their kids how to behave nicely, and that’s exactly what dogs need, too.”

She goes on to explain that the evolutionary process of dogs resulted in their being developmentally arrested, so to speak, at a young age. Less like a wolf, more like a wolf cub. As such, they need parents to guide, protect, and care for them. This is not ‘humanizing’ the dog. Rather, it is an accurate and appropriate behavior response to an animal that has been bred to retain it’s puppy-like characteristics, so as to better co-exist with humans.

You can read all about this in greater detail in Ms. Grandin’s book. But for now, know that the love, guidance, and trusting, responsible care you provide your dog is absolutely the right thing to do.