The guilty look
We know the feeling when we come back home only to see poop
on the floor and the dog making that guiltiest face to have you show some
mercy. In another case, it’s about opening the door and see a blizzard of
pillow and the dog innocently slinks away. It is in almost every case that the
dog knows that he did something wrong. The vet says that it is incredibly easy
to humanize the pet. On a funny note, it is so much fun to read the captions on
such pictures like "Oh you’re home early, the pillow blew up”.
We all know that guilt is a human emotion but what’s
interesting to note is that this is something not only limited to us humans
because it requires a complex understanding of actions and consequences. The
passage of time holds some meaning for the dogs as well and it is their
simplicity and purity that makes them such a joy to be with.
As a dog owner, it is important to understand that animals depend
totally on their ability to be tuned in to cues from environment. They see you
as their pack leader and being alert to subtle moments mean everything to them.
That’s why when you walk in through the front door and they see the tension on
your face as a result of their actions, they become immediately alert. Surely,
they can’t connect the poop incident to your not-so-amused reaction but he can
precisely interpret your body language of displeasure.
It is our reaction that concerns them as they can understand that you are tensed because of some reason. He feels fear by interpreting your body language and scolding him will only scare him further. So it is your duty to stay calm no matter what and please do not let him know that your stress comes from his actions. Instead, it is a better idea to set up consequences which are good to both of you and your dog. If you are going to stay away from home for long, put him in a crate so to allow him to fall on his back and encourage him to hold his bladder until you come back home.