do dogs forget things

My Dog Acts Like He Didn't Even Do Anything Bad


My Dog Acts Like He Didn't Do Anything Bad.

Do dogs remember they did something bad or do dogs just for get things. The answer is with dogs we never really know if they forget things, its a mystery to what our dogs understand and what they don’t that’s because our four-legged fur babies can’t communicate.

Nevertheless, they do know when they mess up things around, and they either try to get away with the punishment when they approach their pack leaders with apparent guilt or ask for an apology from them.

Dogs are smart and they know how to get away with the punishment. I mean, who can say no to those cute little squishy eyes and cutie-patootie face?

Who doesn’t love a dog? We all do, right? I mean, having a canine companion is one of the best things one could ever ask for. However, having a four-legged friend isn’t fun all the time; they often end up doing something they aren’t supposed to.

As dog owners, you might observe different emotions emitted by your fur baby. For instance, wag like crazy at their favorite buddy, cowering fearfully because of the voice of the vacuum cleaner, etc.

With their body language and facial expressions, dogs try to convey their emotions to their pack leaders.

But do they really understand when they do something wrong? If yes, then how long do they remember that they have messed up?

Intrigues? Let’s find out!

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Do Dogs Genuinely Feel Guilt?

Well, science pretty much second the notion that dogs display their emotions as per the studies, canine brains release hormones like human brains.

For example, the canine brain releases oxytocin,  the happy hormone, when they are happy, just like human brains do.

Nevertheless, a canine brain is more like a child’s brain, and they don’t develop complex emotions like humans.

Two Types of Emotions - Based on the Complexity in dogs

Following are the two types of emotions emitted by the dogs usually:

  • Primary
  • Secondary

Fear and happiness are the emotions that come under the umbrella of primary emotions. They are complex, and scientists are pretty confident that dogs display and feel these kinds of emotions more evidently.

However, emotions like jealousy, pride, and guilt require more complexity, and there is no clear evidence as if dogs can comprehend these emotions. By no means are we saying that dogs don’t understand their owner’s body language?

Yes, when they wiggle their tail out of shame or be submissive, it means they comprehend their owner’s actions and react accordingly. Since guilt requires more complexity to respond accordingly.

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According to research, it was further proved that guilt or submissive reaction was indeed a learned response to their humans. It was a study where they experimented with whether the dogs would eat the treat when their owners left the room. Results demonstrated that their behavior changed because of the human's reactions; they behaved when their owner scolded them.

Studies confirm that dogs have the ability to identify their owner’s actions, they know their owners aren’t happy with them. Thus, they take a submissive posture to make amendments.

How Long Do Dogs Memory Last?

Short answer is 27 seconds on average

You probably have heard that elephants don’t forget, but how about dogs? Well, for sure, a dog never forgets when they hear the sound of a cheese bag being opened or when you come home from work.

When it comes to what a dog can recall it solely depends on the scenario you are addressing. A dogs short-term memory functions similar to humans, lasting 27 seconds on average.

Also, dogs fail to recognize others if their interaction isn’t memorable, either in a negative or positive way.

This Is How A Dogs Memory Works?

Dogs usually prefer living in the moment. This means that they rapidly forget what they have learned or gone through and simply reside in the present moment.

Though this isn’t always the case. Yes, no doubt, their short-term memory is average when compared with other species; this doesn’t mean at all that they forget whatever they have done.

The short-term memory only means that they fail to recollect all of those encounters to mind at once. Instead, they store and recollect all those experiences differently than us, but it’s no less valuable.

Humans have episodic memory, which allows them to recall specific experiences down to the exact time they occurred. However, dogs don’t function the way humans do; they have associative memory.

It’s a kind of memory where the brain creates a relationship/association between two things.

That’s where memories are formed and recollected because of the involved association. For instance, your dog might show reluctance to get into the car because they memorize the time they went to the groomer.

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This is what dogs remember the most? Positive Reinforcement or Punishment?

We usually think that associative memory is linked with positive reinforcement. Little do we realize that dogs solidify all kinds of experiences, either in negative or positive ways?

Usually, memorable encounters have heavier associations; and this can go either way (whether positive or negative).

 For instance, a positive encounter would be walking down a certain path and expecting the ball will be tossed as they have done before.

While negative experiences may include being yelled at after they end up urinating on the carpet or chewing a show or damaging a furniture piece.

 It doesn’t matter how and when these experiences happened, rather it solely depends on how impactful the associations were.


Does Memory Affect the Dog Training?

It comes as no surprise that memory plays a crucial role when it comes to training your fur baby the right way. It makes all the difference between an experience that allows your dog to bond with you and a frustrating one.

The engaging and fun the training is, the more likely your dog will remember those memories for future situations.

Nonetheless, always taught young fur babies within a short span of around 15 minutes. That’s because it will be a lot easier for them to process the new information and hence, boost their muscle memory. Delay in the punishment or reward can confuse him and thus, restrict his memory.

What Are the Most Common Signs of Fear and Guilt?

Following are some of the signs that a dog displays when they are guilty or think they have upset their pack leaders:

"Do dogs feel guilty when they've done something wrong'"

6 Signs that show if a dog feels guilty for what they did.

  1. Hunched posture.
  2. Flattened ears.
  3. Not looking in the eye.
  4. A tucked tail.
  5. Yawning
  6. Licking

What’s more, they are indeed very smart to act guilty so they can save themselves from the punishment.

How to Discipline Your Dog Without Punishing Him?

There comes a time when you need to correct your fur baby's behavior so, they don’t end up feeling guilty. Yes, it is not possible that they won’t mess up next time but teaching them certain things surely corrects their naughty behavior.

Encouraging good behavior will save you a lot of time in the long run, and trust me your four-legged baby will thank you for that.

Here’s a list of some of the best techniques that you can consider to disciple your dog without punishment:

 Is Punishing Your Dog Encourages Good Behavior?

Do you know punishing your dog will only make it worse than making it any better? That’s because this isn’t only harsh and rude but is ineffective.

Your dog will probably never bond with you and will never be able to communicate with you through their emotions and body language.

Try working on disciplinary training and constructive punishment will help your dog learn quickly what’s allowed and what’s not.

Don’t know what goes into the quest of choosing positive disciplinary methods? Here’s what you can do:

4 ways to discipline your dog:

  • Stop giving them attention when they do something wrong.
  • Use your voice to put a full stop to bad behavior instead of hitting them.
  • Time-outs.
  • Taking their toy away.

These tips aren’t just efficient but will help your dog comprehend that these actions won’t be tolerated next time.

·        Effects of Hitting Your Dog

Spanking or using hitting methods will wreak havoc on the relationship you have with your dog. If you resort to negative training methods, your dog will probably develop behavioral issues.

Some of the most common problems that negative training methods will cause:

  • The instinct to run away from you.

If you are hitting your dog, you aren’t addressing the issue but worsening it. That’s because they see you as the source of their pain and only make them scared of you.

Pain-based aversive methods are too risky, they end up lowering the quality of life of the dog.

·  Try Positive Reinforcement

You need to be patient when teaching puppies as they are learning everything from the scratch, they need time. They don’t know it’s wrong to pee or poop on the carpet, or they shouldn’t chew the shoe, etc.

So, how can you raise a dog that is both well-behaved and well-socialized? Guess? Yes, you are right, via treats and praises.

Dogs love the attention and love they receive from their owners, so when you treat them or rub their belly, they will keep up with the good behavior to gain your affection.

5 Tips on how to discipline your dog if they don't listen 

Now that you know positive reinforcement is what can help you instill good behavior in your dog. But how can you use that method on your own fur baby?

  1. Focus on activities that your Fido loves, such as walk time, treats, and snuggling.
  2. You need to tell them that you are who is in control of their favorite activities and not them.
  3. When they do something wrong, instead of shouting or spanking them, punish them by not giving them their treat.
  4. Time it right and stay consistent. Dog trainers often recommend punishing or rewarding a dog within the five seconds window of the action has occurred. That’s because a delay in the response might confuse your dog; he will not be able to recognize where he went wrong. Just do it right there and then.
  5. Say no and then completely ignore your dog. Dogs are social animals and they don’t like it when they don’t get the attention they want from you. Hence, they make sure not to mess up next time.

With that, punishment doesn’t always have to be negative. Your pooh loves structure in their lives and when you make one, both your pooh and you will be the happiest.

The Bottom Line about does your dog understand what they done wrong:

We never really know what our dogs understand and what they don’t that’s because our four-legged fur babies can’t communicate.

Nevertheless, they do know when they mess up things around, and they either try to get away with the punishment when they approach their pack leaders with apparent guilt or ask for an apology from them.

Dogs are smart and they know how to get away with the punishment. I mean, who can say no to those cute little squishy eyes and cutie-patootie face?

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How Are You Making Your Dog Feel Bad?

ANS: You are probably hurting your dog if you are exhibiting any of the following behavior unintentionally:

  • Lean on them.
  • Raising eyebrows.
  • Not giving them enough playtime.
  • Looking deeply into their eyes.
  • Punishing fearful behavior.

Q: Do Dogs Feel Remorse?

ANS: Although dogs experience different emotions, they don’t feel complex emotions like remorse. They have the ability to display the emotions like a two-and-a-half-year-old child.

Q: Do Dogs Know They Have Done Something Wrong:

ANS: The short answer to this question is, yes. They recognize the bad behavior by observing their owner’s reaction.

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