We have all had to get upset with our dogs at some point in their lives. Whether they have had an ‘accident’ inside or they have chewed up the couch, we have all gotten upset.
Most dogs will get a guilty look on their faces when you come home and discover the couch in ruins – but do dogs actually feel guilty? Feelings, like guilt, are human emotions that require an understanding of consequences. Young children do not understand this concept. Time also plays a role in dogs. Simply put, our dogs do not understand that their actions have consequences. They live in the moment.
The moment you walk in the door and see the chewed-up couch, the dog goes on alert. You are the leader of the pack, and when you radiate emotions, your dog will respond. He or she will not connect the ‘accident’ on the floor from three hours ago to your mood. When you are upset, the dog’s body gets prepared to go into ‘fight or flight’ mode.
Your body is sending out signals that alert the dog. Your dog is not feeling guilty. Instead, he feels fear because you are tense. When you yell or scold the dog, their fear becomes fear of your actions. A guilt-free environment is best for you and your dog. If you know you are going to be gone for a long time, put your dog in a crate. They will probably be able to hold it, and no one has to be stressed!
Feature Image Source: Pixabay