We often read discussions about whether dogs experience guilt; We have also published some. But here’s a twist I don’t think I’ve ever seen discussed: a dog owner’s guilt for something related to their dog’s property.
Many of us old enough to have dogs before the advent of positive reinforcement-based dog training, yes this was before cell phones and when candy bars cost only a quarter we probably feel some guilt and / or or embarrassment at how they trained dogs in their youth. There is a term that describes us, “cross trainers”, those of us who begin to train dogs with choke chains and collar “pops”. This was the norm for anyone who wanted a well-trained dog that would walk on a loose leash, ever. (It’s hard to understand how different and wonderful it must be for trainers and owners who are, say, 30 years old or younger, who grew up in the dog world when positive reinforcement was the norm.)
Dog ownership is a big responsibility; Their lives and their health are totally in our hands. Guilt for the things we have done wrong helps us to be alert to the possibility that we may make other mistakes, that we must be more careful with these precious lives. And, as the saying goes, when we know better, we can do better. Sometimes I just want to learn some of these lessons it wasn’t that difficult.
More information: https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/blog/guilt/