So you think your dog looks guilty?
Maybe not. One of the most common statements from dog owners across the world is ‘he knew he’d done wrong’. Couple this with ‘when I came home to a snow scene of stuffing ripped out from my cushions, my favourite designer shoes in pieces, a puddle on the carpet’ and it’s easy to see why.
However, think about how you react when you walk in to a scene like that. Not all smiley and cheerful I can bet. Whether we react buy shouting or simply sighing angrily, your dog picks up on this and immediately uses body language to appease you.
This includes ears flat to the head, lowering of head and lowered body. This isn’t him realising he’s done wrong, it’s him reacting to what he sees from you and avoiding conflict.
Dogs live in the now, and any unwanted behaviour needs to be worked on when it is actually happening. He simply has no idea why you are angry with him as he could have caused the mayhem and destruction 5 minutes after you walked out the door.
Also, destructiveness while you are away from your dog can be a sign that he is experiencing a separation disorder. You reacting angrily on your return can make this worse.
Our dogs will display the same body language to us as they would to another dog. The only thing is, we can be rubbish at the interpretation of it!