Guilt, really?

Luke giving Penny feedback.  As soon as she moves away, he stops.  

"Oh look, he's hanging his head," "he knows that he is bad."  How many videos are there out there with supposed "guilt ridden" dogs?  Honestly, stop torturing your dogs people.  Several times each week, a video comes across my FB feed that leaves me shaking my head.  Dogs being misunderstood.  Whether it is simply a behavior that is being misread or the things that humans think are cute, it makes me crazy.  The guilty dog videos tug at my heart; I can't bear that the owners consider it funny or cute when they push their dog into submissive behaviors.

A grudge is something that dogs don't do.  Meaning that when they give feedback to others, it is instantaneous and then dropped once the message is received.  Humans do grudges, we prolong the agony, stretch out the anger and resentment.  But then we dish up the negative to get a video.  Many dogs will act submissive if you start saying "what did you do?" "Did you make this huge mess?"  Their behavior is given in attempt to stop your behavior.  It is not cute, adorable or a means of entertainment for us.

Using words or tones directed to your dog to achieve submissive or appeasement behaviors is WRONG.  When we humans think that it is cute and do it for fun is just SAD.  It causes confusion in our dogs and breaks down the bond that most work to attain.  You become a volatile canine guardian; one that your dog cannot trust.  They don't know how to act with you because you are unreliable.  STOP. 

If you need to give your dog feedback for some inappropriate behavior, do so and then stop.  Timing is everything with feedback.  If you do not catch a dog in the act of whatever it is that you don't like, do not give feedback.  Dog's learn through association, what works and what doesn't work.  We let them know what is not appropriate via feedback. 

I discuss this all in my new book Feedback For You And Your Dog.

As far as the videos of people shaming their dogs for fun, ratings or likes?  STOP.  Its not cute or funny, it is disgusting.  Before you laugh, think about the dog's role in it all.  Humans, honestly.