If you have a dog, then you are almost certainly going to have multiple situations when your pet is naughty. It happens, and for the most part it’s natural and part of normal pet behaviour. Most of us just like to patronize the dog for a little bit and then we let it go. After all, it’s important to focus on keeping your dog happy and you also want to be happy as well. So the last thing you want is excessively punish your dog whenever he is naughty, causing distress to both the animal and you, not to mention disturbing the important bond between animal and owner.
But do dogs know that they are naughty or not?
As you can imagine, the opinions are divided here. Some people believe that dogs are indeed aware that they are naughty, while others believe that they are not. It’s very hard to figure out what’s the right situation here. However, since these are pets it’s easy to see why some people believe they just do this because it’s a part of their behaviour.
Yet you have to see the other side too. Most pets are aware of the things they do and they understand when they do something wrong. Then you also have to take into account the fact that most dogs are really quite intelligent. That’s why you do need to figure out when and how your dog behaves in certain ways. Often their behaviour is a form of communication, so it’s up to you to try to decode and interpret the naughtiness, is it boredom, attention seeking or simply opportunistic because you left your brand new shoes within easy reach.
Should you punish your dog when he’s naughty?
That always depends on what your dog did at that particular time. However, you have to keep in mind that most dogs tend to react to your emotions and your body language. So if they seem like they feel bad because they did something wrong, it’s most likely because you had a negative reaction to what they did at that particular time. It is suggested that simply feeling bad, is a form of discipline in itself, given that most generally happy pets want to serve and make their humans happy.
It’s very hard to know whether dogs actually realize that they are naughty or not. They might very well know that, or maybe they don’t really understand or they are simply responding to your body language. It’s always crucial to fully focus on the situation and just adapt and adjust to your own situation.
You shouldn’t go into this with the idea that your dog is manipulating you or that he really knows when he is naughty. There are claims to say this is true, but there are also claims that discredit this theory. So for the most part things are up in the air. In the end what really matters is that you get to have an incredible and exciting time with your pet, one of the best ways to do this is remove the temptation and opportunity for the dog to be naughty, take the time to train your dog which builds a sense of self control, and finally encourage animal enrichment with lots of toys and mental stimulation.
The fact is, no one wants to have a naughty dog, and no one has been able to ask a dog why they are naughty, but as the pet parents a lot of the responsible for the dogs behaviour rests with us.