6. Recognize Their Level of Understanding
Dogs are extremely intelligent, but we give them way more credit than they deserve, so don’t be surprised when they don’t understand cues on the fly or don’t know why you’re mad. Dog owners need to understand the level of maturity and intellect they’re dealing with. Stanley Coren, a widely respected researcher of canine behavior at UBC in British Columbia, Canada found in a 2009 study that “According to several behavioral measures…dogs’ mental abilities are close to a human child age 2 to 2.5 years.”. You may have already heard this before, but a dog isn’t capable of complex emotions like guilt or embarrassment. They also lack the capacity for pride, so keep that in mind when training your dog to stay out of the trash or do as they’re told. You will have the most success treating them like two-year-old children.