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Anthropomorphic Animals

Anthropomorphic Art

Hello! Dog Artists has been painting anthropomorphic animals, namely dogs for 8 years now. Anthropomorphism is giving, (in our case painting) animals with human characteristics.  Anthropomorphic is a word which literally means “human shaped”.

dogs in uniform painting

Anthropomorphic animals in art became popular due to fables, tales and expression which began to envelop our human culture.  Aesop’s Fables for example used anthropomorphised animals to illustrate principles of life. Anthropomorphic motifs have always been common in fairy tales, for example  those told by Brothers Grimm and then later in Pinocchio and The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland.  We as humans have a close connection with dogs so it’s no wonder that painting dogs wearing human attire is so popular.

What is an Anthropomorphic dog?

  • All of these dog portraits on this page and on the Dogs in uniform page are examples of anthropomorphic dogs. Anthropomorphic dogs are dogs that have been given human characteristics and attributes.  Nearly all cultures have traditional fables with anthropomorphised animals as characters.  So in short an anthropomorphic dog is when we attribute human traits, emotions,  intentions and physical attributes to dogs.

What is an example of anthropomorphism?

  • Hugo below is a good example of anthropomorphism, here he is painted as The Count of Monte Cristo. However, other examples would be Simba from the Lion King, or the Caterpillar or white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, or George Orwell’s book Animal Farm. All of these are examples of animals behaving like humans. And whilst animals are generally the most popular anthropomorphised creatures, anthropomorphism can be used to turn all sorts of objects into human-like-beings. Take a look at Disney’s Beauty and the Beast with its talking clock and candelabra as a prime example. However,  here in these dog portrait examples, you can see these are portraits of dogs but they’ve been painted as if they are human. That is basically what anthropomorphism is.
dogs as people

Anthropomorphic animals – Hugo as the Count of Monte Cristo


Is anthropomorphism a good or bad thing?

  • Like everything there’s good and bad points to anthropomorphising your dogs and animals. For example, if we start making assumptions that dogs view  the world as we do then we are less likely to understand their canine behaviours. It could be argued, I think, that in some cases, dogs far out wit humans, they’re much better than we are at most sensations.

 Nan painted as an RAF Piolet

dogs in uniform

Nan the Beagle painted as an RAF pilot-  anthropomorphic dogs

Why anthropomorphism is used?

Anthropomorphism is often used in books as it helps brings characters to life. It makes characters more relatable as they are perceived as more human like. It can also be used to add a symbolic dimension to a character. Anthropomorphism also suggests that human characteristics are universal, although dangers come with that too.

The lovely Zita in Period Dress – Anthropomorphic dogs

Prazsky Krysarik Portrait

If you love the idea of Anthropomorphic art and would love to have your dog painted in a suit, period dress, or uniform please get in touch. Please email: or call us on +44 (0)20 8354 1818.  We are based in London and we deliver worldwide too.


What do you need to do?

dogs in uniform Poncelet Style Dog Portraits

Simply email: a photo of your dogs with an idea of size and we’ll get back to you with a quote and some ideas. If you have seen a particular style of painting that you love from the portfolio please let us know and we’ll get the same dog artist to paint your dog’s portrait.

Have a question?

We’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below or email:


About DogArtists

Dog Artists was founded in 2007 and is run by 8 pet artists specialising solely in dogs. Based in London UK, we deliver world-wide and paint beautiful dog portraits based on your photos.

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