This seems to be a common belief on another forum. What's the opinion of people here? Personally I don't know! This is one thing I haven't been able to decide on.
Exactly. The best training experiment I've seen to represent this was with a dog who got into the trash every day and scattered about the floor. One day, the trainer dumped the trash all over the floor before she left. When she returned home, the dog cowered and put his tail between his leg. "Guilty" of something he never did.Dogs know when WE think they've been bad, and they are extremely sensitive to it (even if we don't yell or otherwise carry on.) I believe they have no idea what we're upset about, but people are fond or interpreting THAT look as "guilt."
Chemicals?I agree with Ron. Mine definitely know when *I* think they've been bad, because I give off body signals and even chemicals from my body when I am upset (all humans do).
This is my feeling. Action -> Consequence. If the action leads them to expect a negative consequence, they probably can link the two just like they can link the click of a clicker towards expecting a reward. If they can do it for the positive, why not the negatative?I kind of think my dogs know when they've been "bad"...but it doesn't make any difference. They don't have the capacity to think BEFORE they do something that it might be a bad thing to do and maybe they shouldn't do it. Just enough capacity to realize after the fact that maybe it wasn't a great idea.