Can your dog REALLY tell if he's in trouble?

Does a dog really know if he’s in trouble?  And what does that really mean?

Just because your dog tucks his tail and runs, does that mean he knows he’s been bad, or is it something else, behavior specialists call an avoidance response?

For an interesting perspective on this question check out this article:

Do dogs know when they’ve done something naughty?

You might realize that if your dog is consistently “misbehaving” and you think he’s doing it on purpose… that you have a much bigger problem on your hands.

This is often a sign that you are not communicating clearly with your dog in a way he understands, and that you probably are effectively listening to what he wants either.

This is a common problem with people who try to stop dog barking.

Their dog’s will tuck tale and run when their owners yell at them over a long period of time.  This causes the dog to fear the owner, and doesn’t necessarily mean the dog knows what he did was bad.

And it certainly doesn’t even begin to address the owners complete lack of understanding the underlying issue of what’s really causing the dog’s barking in the first place.

Take this as a reminder to always try to get at the root ’emotional’ cause of your dog’s problem if you want to have the most success.

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One Comment

  1. BoxxerLover says:

    I have two loving boxers that I love more than anything that walks the earth. They are very smart and fairly obedient – for dogs that belong to a “non-dog trainer,” although, I am an RN who minored in psychology so i have a facination with reading about dogs and watching how my dogs react. I have even dropped on the floor “play dead” to see how they would respond. All that occured was licking and sniffing to the point of my laughter getting the best of me. I have a very strict rule, nobody, including me lays a hand on my dogs. I had a friend who smacked my dog in the face out of instinct because my boxer wouldnt leave her be…. Lets just say that was the last time it ever happened. Two things I am curious about. 1. Why does my female boxer always attack the back of my leg and her brothers leg, is it instinct of her hunting nature on how to take down prey? It really hurts sometimes and I feel like at 3 yrs, she should know her own strength (funny, she only does it when she wants to play and she’s been doin it since birth) taught by mom?? 2. I rolled up a foil that had a cheeseburger, left it on my dresser an went to the restroom, as soon as I stepped out of the restroom (nowhere near my bedroom), she met me at the door and looked at me in such pitiful guilt before I even had a chance to form a response. Did she know she did wrong? I didnt see the foil until a minute later. Of course when I did see the foil, I looked down at her and said “dont worry girl, it was my fault for leaving it out for you.”


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