23 May 2019

Why People Treat Their Dogs Like Humans | Annals of Obsession | The New Yorker

In their zeal to treat dogs like members of the family, some pet owners are supplying their pups with everything from “pawdicures” and full-on wardrobes, ...

[Music]

this dog shall first services private chefs for dogs hot occurs for your dog we can get your nails painted or pops of color for their hair sing around the dog is a diva celebrity she's very pretty and very sassy Tinker Bell has a wardrobe larger than mine particularly in the United States generally speaking we are fortunate to have food on our tables and be able to take care of those basic needs after that comes our emotional needs and that's where dog screening it's amazing to see the way people project characters on to their dogs that actually makes me think about how we project onto people to write Tinker Bell is the best thing that's ever happened to me what have you booked Tinkerbell Ralph Lauren campaign I know Febreze Swiffer chowsie in gypsy she has done target it's really hard to self-promote but it's really easy to promote Tinker Bell I think because she's so different in such a novelty Tinker Bell came into my life when she was nine months and I adopted her at an animal shelter and I just treat her as a person more than an animal and I think that's why she's so successful too is because she's not treated as an animal

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 started being you know famous and pampered and all that stuff back in probably the late 90s or so that's when it really came to the forefront I think Paris Hilton was one our favorite thing to do is just hang out in the backyard I built this really amazing dog house for all my puppies people started to see hey my dog isn't just a dog my dog is a member of my family and so I want to treat them as such particularly in our cities across the country there's a lot of people who are choosing to stay single and dro in their careers and many of them choose to have dogs instead of kids humanizing an animal makes them more appealing to their audiences especially because why should they walk around naked she's five pounds Tinkerbell she's always cold you know there's so many aspects to treating a dog like a person so that they stay warm they stay healthy they stay happy they stay comfortable her human aspect makes people love her

[Music] we are a five-star dog hotel we have everything from a gym called pant where dogs can get treadmill workouts we have room service day and night for our dogs as well so you really can get anything you could ever need for your dogs as a dog owner or pet owner you always go above and beyond for your dog people don't think twice if they are gonna be spending a lot of money you know they want their dogs to be happy so it's like you know you're just your life to just make them happy you know for me I don't have children so he is like my children there's a special bond that you have with your dog doing those special things for one another I think they appreciate it we call them our kids so yeah part of the family definitely does a dog need a 42-inch flat-screen TV no they do not but a parent knows that by having that TV running it will keep the dog company and help the dog feel more at home alleviate the dog stress alleviate the parents stress no worries from there you think you can tell a dog is happy they have really loose body language when they don't seem easily startled you

want to see loose ears and a waggy tail dogs that are tense and stiff are usually dogs that are not happy Halloween is the time of year where people aren't respecting their dogs as dogs and are prone to treating their dogs as children and very often they are just laying body language that's showing us that they're not comfortable with humans we can talk with one another and we can understand one another I can ask you a question you can ask me a question with dogs we don't always know and so I think sometimes we overdo it with them where's my stick where's my stick dogs evolved to have jobs dogs evolved to do things to problems off 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 you know giving that dog the best possible life in like the early half of the 1900s BF Skinner did a lot of work showing how animals learn he is the one who really codified what is now called operant conditioning he taught pigeons to play ping-pong and he taught animals to do all kinds of amazing things BF Skinner also wanted to help people

understand how the science of behavior could help improve human lives - but somehow in the last couple of decades I think there's been a lot of static around trying to think about how dogs learn and how a dogs behave I think Cesar Millan aka the dog whisperer is to blame for some of that I am Whisperer and that's why we the human bean have to make sure we're calm assertive no matter what people started to train dogs and some sort of weird militaristic way as if if you say something in a certain tone of voice it's going to change things if Skinner's showed nothing else it was that you can teach a pigeon and a rat and a dog and a dolphin using the same exact methods I think as long as we maintain a perspective and allow our dogs to be dogs I think it's an exciting industry to be in if anyone throws shade at Tinker Bell and I for what - where's and the amount of money that her clothing is worth I just tell them that they just don't understand if you have something and you care for it why wouldn't you spend the money we put dogs into our homes we

force them to live in a human world and the least that we can do is to give them good lives in that world making sure they get adequate exercise and they're not spending too much time alone and that they're you know they have ways that they can like engage their brains and things that they can chew on I want to give my daughter good life for dogs not a good life for you know a kid you [Music]