Do dogs know you accidentally hurt them? Simple and Effective Tips

When the researcher accidentally drops the treat

When the human researcher “accidentally” drops the second of the treats shes been feeding the dog, the dog hesitates only a second before rushing around the glass partition to retrieve the dropped food.

Other times, however, the experimenter showed the dog the treats through the gap in the glass partition and then deliberately withdrew them, intentionally placing the food on the floor next to her seat.

Every single time the dog failed to get food, no matter why the treat was withheld, the dog could simply walk around the side of the partition and gobble up the easily seen treats. But whether they did this, and how quickly, seemed to depend on whether the person appeared to have denied the dog the treats either “accidentally” or on purpose.

Dogs approached the food on the floor quickly when the experimenter failed to give it to them “by accident.” But when the experimenter had deliberately withheld the treats, the dogs seemed more hesitant. They waited longer before going around the partition to try to eat it.

Some dogs didnt even try to get food that was intentionally withheld. Instead, they simply sat down. That was an unexpected behavior, says Bräuer, who imagines that the dogs were maybe thinking something along the lines of: “I am being a good dog, and maybe then she will give me the food that she obviously doesnt want to give me at the moment.”

I Accidentally Hurt My Dog; Now What?

It’s vital to remember that accidents happen. If you have accidentally hurt your dog, try not to feel dejected. The one thing about dogs is they rarely hold grudges.

It can be challenging because we aren’t able to communicate effectively with our pets. Still, if you have accidentally hurt your dog, the first thing you need to do is check how hurt they are.

Dogs notably react to pain differently to humans, and not all dogs have the same pain threshold. A study entitled, “Do dog breeds differ in pain sensitivity?” found smaller dogs feel more pain than bigger breeds (source).

How your dog responds to pain will also be different depending on the dog and the severity of the injury.

After your dog is hurt, you may find that they won’t come to you. You may also notice your dog exhibiting body language, such as keeping its tail between its legs. If this is the case, you can ask someone else to check on them or even phone a vet (source).

You can offer your dog a treat and see if that might convince them to allow you to examine them. If the dog is hurt and requires medical treatment, then take him or her to the vet.

How do I say sorry to my dog?

If you want to apologize to your dog, talk to them calmly and soothingly with a slightly high-pitched voice, the one we tend to use when talking to babies or puppies. You don’t have to say “sorry”, but the words that you usually use to reward your dog when they behave correctly, such as “well done” or “good boy”.

Do dogs know when you accidentally hurt them?

How do I know what my dog is thinking and do dogs hold grudges are two questions I am commonly asked. Feeling ill will or resentment from being insulted or hurt is called a grudge. Humans display strong feelings of anger and dislike for people who treat them poorly, but what about dogs? If they are hurt, do they harbor anger, resentment, and negative feelings in their canine psyche?

Yes, in some capacity, dogs remember something negative that caused them harm. Dogs growl at certain people, wag for others, and snarl at a dog who barked at them one time on a walk. Does it mean dogs hold a grudge? Not necessarily, but our canine friends do host a full range of emotions that keep cognitive researchers busy.

Dogs seem to live in the moment, and science supports this notion to a certain degree. Dogs don’t seem angry or give you the cold shoulder for leaving them alone all day. They celebrate your return as if you are royalty. In their eyes, you are a king or queen.

Whether dogs hold a grudge against people or other animals is a mystery, but behavioral research helps. Alexandra Horowitz, head of the Dog Cognition Lab in California, says the inability to read dogs’ emotions likely begins with our inability to understand our own emotions well. She feels humans grant dogs emotions but only of the human sort. Here’s what I learned about grudges, dogs, and the reality of it all.