Dogs are known for their loyalty. So much so that the term “man’s best friend” is used to describe them. However, it’s no secret that dogs have an almost eerie sense of loyalty and devotion towards their humans. While it can be endearing, it can also lead to some rather strange situations that aren’t always beneficial or healthy for our canine companions. Imagine this: You have a new puppy who you’ve been caring for from birth. You feed him, play with him, clean up after him, and basically do everything in your power to show him that you are his mom. Well, not really his mom… but as close as you can get. This is the life of many puppies and dogs who are adopted by their owners as quasi-moms. And while it might sound odd at first, there is some science behind it – sort of Keep reading to discover Does My Dog Think I’m His Mom?
Does My Dog Think I’m His Mom?
There is no doubt that your dog thinks you are his mom. However, this doesn’t mean that he sees you as his mother. Dogs are naturally packed animals, and they want to be part of a group. They see you as their leader. You are the one who takes care of them, provides food and shelter, and protects them from danger. They naturally look up to you as their mom and leader.
Why Do Dogs Tend to Assume Owners Are Their Moms?
1. You Feed Them Regularly.
Dogs are fed regularly (and when we say regularly, we mean it. It’s not a one-off thing). There’s no fixed time for their feeding times. They are fed, whenever their owners feel the need to feed them. They are fed the same food that humans eat. In other words, humans feed dogs the same food that they feed themselves. In most human households, where there are both humans and dogs, the owners feed the dogs the same food they consume themselves. They also feed their dogs at regular intervals, just like they feed themselves (and other family members). Thus, dogs figure that their owners are their moms because they provide regular meals.
2. You Also Discipline Them.
Dogs are disciplined regularly (and when we say regularly, we mean it too). There’s no fixed time for their time discipline. They are disciplined whenever their owners feel the need to discipline them. They are disciplined with discipline methods that are similar to the ones humans use for themselves. In most human households, where there are both humans and dogs, the owners discipline the dogs using discipline methods that are similar to the ones they use for themselves. Thus, dogs figure that their owners are their moms because they provide discipline too. In fact, dogs also perceive being disciplined as a sign of love from their owners.
3. You Play With Them Regularly.
Dogs are played with regularly (and when we say regularly, we mean it too). There’s no fixed time for their playtime. They are played with whenever their owners feel the need to play with them. They are played with using playthings that are similar to the ones humans use for themselves. In most human households, where there are both humans and dogs, the owners play with the dogs using playthings that are similar to the ones they use for themselves. Thus, dogs figure that their owners are their moms because they engage in play with them too.
4. Dogs Also Smell Like Their Owners.
Dogs smell like their owners (and when we say regularly, we mean it too). There’s no fixed time for their scent. Their scent is similar to the one humans emit for themselves. In other words, dogs smell like their owners too. In most human households, where there are both humans and dogs, the owners smell the same way the dogs smell too. Thus, dogs figure that their owners are their moms because they smell like them too.
What is The Science Behind the Behavior?
- In general, we’re only able to truly understand how our dogs think and feel by using the facts and figures of science. For example, when we want to understand the behavior of a dog who thinks his owner is his mom, we can look at the chemicals found in the brain.
- Specifically, a hormone called oxytocin. This hormone is known as the “love hormone,” and it’s released when we experience things like affection or are in a loving relationship.
- It also plays a part in our bonding with our children, which is why it’s referred to as the “love hormone.”
- This is important because puppies who think their owners are their moms are often experiencing a ton of oxytocin.
What Does It Mean for Your Dog’s Health & Safety?
- The truth is that dogs who think their owners are their mothers aren’t necessarily in any danger. The only time that this could cause a problem is if the owner is trying to wean the dog from breastfeeding.
- In that case, the owner would need to ensure that their dog is able to break from her dependence on the breastfeeding hormone.
- If she doesn’t, the puppy may not be able to break from it. For the most part, dogs who think their owners are their mothers aren’t in any major danger. However, if your dog associates you with breastfeeding, he may also see you as a source of comfort and security.
- This means that if you need to correct him or let him know he did something wrong, your dog might be reluctant to listen.
How Can You Help Your Dog Assume You Are His Mom?
- If you’re worried that your dog thinks you’re his mom and wants you to breastfeed him, there are some things that you can do to help him understand that you aren’t his mom.
- For example, you can wear a T-shirt and let him smell it. If your dog associates your scent with the shirt, he will know that you aren’t his mom and that he can’t breastfeed from you.
- This is often enough to break the association between breastfeeding and you.
Pros of Dogs Thinking You’re Their Mom
- If you own a dog, the above insights could be very useful in dealing with its complex behavioral patterns. Here are the pros of your dog thinking that you’re its mom:
- Dogs tend to get jealous when their owners go out. If your dog assumes that you’re its mom, it will tend to protest when you leave the house and it will follow you around as if it wants to remind you about all the fun times it had with you at home.
- Dogs tend to feel secure and safe when they’re around their owners. If your dog assumes that you’re its mom, it will feel secure and safe when he is around, just like children do when they feel secure and safe at home with their parents.
- Dogs who are raised by their “mothers” tend to be very well-socialized and friendly. They are also easily trained and have a high potential for learning more complicated tricks and commands. They also have a high love for playing and engaging in fun activities with their owners and other people.
Cons of Dogs Thinking You’re Their Mom
- Like any other animal, dogs can also have some cons to their behavior patterns. The following are the cons of your dog thinking that you’re its mom: – Dogs tend to feel insecure when they’re not around their owners. If your dog assumes that you’re its mom, it will tend to feel insecure when you are not around. This is because dogs need the security of their owners to feel happy and safe in their presence.
- Dogs tend to get jealous if other dogs are very close to their owners. If your dog assumes that you’re its mom, it will tend to get jealous when other dogs are very close to you and it will try to steal those dogs from you just like a child does when he wants something from another kid.
- Dogs who are raised by their owners as “mothers” can suffer from some serious psychological issues. Some of these issues include Anxiousness, aggression, hyperactivity, separation anxiety, and other stress-related disorders.
The Bottom Line
It’s not all bad when your dog thinks you’re their mom. In fact, it’s often a very good thing. However, it’s important to remember that they aren’t actually your children. They are dogs and they should be treated as such. The best way to raise a dog is to treat it like a dog. As long as you are providing your dog with good nutrition, exercise, and lots of love, you’re doing great. You don’t need to be strict with your dog like you would be with a child. Dogs are very intuitive and they will know how to act when they are treated like dogs.