The Pros and Cons of Treating Dogs as Fellow Humans

The New Yorker spoke with a number of humans who either live or work with dogs to find out why some treat their canines as fellow humans, while others warned against doing so. The human accompanying Tinkerbell, an anthropomorphized pup who’s become an Instagram star, believes that people are attracted to “Tink” because of her human qualities.

Kerry Brown of D Pet Hotels believes that dogs need to be respected as dogs, but are deserving of a little pampering. Dog training expert Annie Grossman of School for the Dogs, however, believes that dogs should be treated as the animals that they are.

Sometimes it’s problematic when we anthropomorphize to an extent where we’re trying to treat them like we would want to treat a person because humans and dogs do have different needs. … dogs evolved to have jobs. Dogs evolved to do things, to problems solve, to find food, to kill things, to guard. I think dogs are bored because they just don’t have enough to do. We give them everything they need in the world and is that really giving that dog the best possible life? … I want to give my dog a good life for a dog, not a good life for you know a kid.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.