ANTHROPOMORPHISM. I learned, and used, this term often in my dog training days. When one treats an animal as if human, one is being 'anthropomorphic.'
We often raise domestic pets as if they are people...children in fact. Small animals in particular, seem to have this fate. Chihuahuas, Siamese cats, parrots and Pot Bellied pigs come to mind. Dressed in ruffly outfits, spoon fed and allowed to act and react in any fashion, this animal can get to be quite a handful.
Imagine a Pekinese and a Rottweiler - now see the large and powerful dog launching onto a lap... nipping, spinning and barking as it goes. One might think that aggression is in the offing. See the small, fluffy Pekinese behaving in this manner and giggles may ensue. An issue may arise when the latter begins to 'rule the roost' without boundaries and limitations.
Yes, I concede that each was bred for differing purposes... one to hunt boar and the other to be a companion. They are, however, both canines and descended from the majestic wolf. Can an animal do well when anthropomorphized? Certainly, some do fine. Others may get to be obnoxious and defiant in this role as 'child.' May I suggest that a pet be allowed to maintain its hereditary and genetic dispositions? That one respects the marvelous differences in our natures?
"Understanding a species is the key to compassion."
- Michael J. Fox, PhD. (Animal Behaviorist)