Think Your Dog Looks Guilty?

guiltypupA new study finds the guilt we see on our dogs’ faces may not signify guilt at all. In the study, owners were asked to tell their dog not to eat a treat and then they left the room.  While the owner was out of the room, sometimes the dog was given the treat and others were not.  Then the owners were sometimes told their dog was obedient and didn’t take the treat and sometimes the owner was told the dog did take the treat.  What the owners were told was often not the truth.

If owners thought their dog looked guilty, it was due to the scientist telling them the dog had taken the treat and not to whether the dog had actually taken the treat.  Dogs looked most “guilty” if their owners scolded them.

In fact, dogs that had been obedient and had not eaten the treat, but were scolded by their (misinformed) owners, looked more “guilty” than those that had, in fact, eaten the treat.

Next time you think your dog looks guilty, remember it’s your doing.

News Bites: Extreme Reasons To Train Your Dog

  • grenadeA German dog fetched a live WWII grenade last weekend.  Fortunately he was trained and set it down on command.  “Drop It” is an important thing to teach your dog even if they’re much more likely to pick up a dead animal or another dog’s toy than a grenade.

Here’s a really good tutorial on how to teach your dog to “Drop It’ or “Leave It” using non-coercive techniques.

  • Sadly in other news, a dog pulled a California woman in front of a train killing them both.  There’s a pretty small chance your dog will pull you in front of a train, but if your dog pulls on its leash, you could be pulled off your feet or into traffic.  Saffron used to pull steadily on her leash so though I wasn’t likely to be pulled off my feet, I did start having severe wrist and elbow pain.

Check out this really helpful tutorial on training your dog not to pull. We solved the problem using the Easy Walk Harness and here’s a tutortial on using no-pull harnesses.

(Note: I’m not affiliated with PetExpertise. I have ordered a number of things from them and find Jess’ articles well written.)