You come home and dog has pooped on the carpet. You are angry and/or upset. The dog cowers or runs away. You are then convinced the dog understands he wasn't supposed to poop on the carpet. Scenario #2:
You come home and the garbage has been knocked over and there is garbage on the floor. You are not happy. The dog runs away, ears back, tail tucked and you think this is a "guilty" acting dog.
On both counts, you would be very, very wrong. Wrong to the point of causing true damage to your relationship if you react.
For the 42,552nd time, an owner told me tonight that his dog "knows" when he "did wrong" although the offense was hours prior.
Folks, dog don't think like this. Dogs don't possess this level of reasoning skill. They've forgotten they did whatever it was just seconds after they did it.
Some will say, "Oh no, that is not true! You should see the look she gives me when she did ________!! She knows
No, she doesn't.
She knows you have squinted, angry eyes and stressed body posture. Even if you think you're giving off nothing, trust me -- you are. Dogs are experts in this case and they read you very well. She knows your voice is sharp. She knows garbage on the ground makes you angry, but she does *not* connect the fact that *she* did that much earlier that day. She most certainly does not feel "guilt" -- dogs are incapable of that feeling.
So, please, before you rub your dog's nose in pee, before you punish your dog for an offense that you didn't see occur, just calm down. Can you imagine for a moment how scary it would be to have the one you love the most in the whole world speak harshly, even hit or hurt you, all the while having no idea why they were doing that?
Please don't do that to your dogs.
That was my soapbox issue for today, lol. I'd sure love to hear other owners' takes as well.