Book First Walk Free!
The Root of the Behavior
Dogs learn that certain situations will lead to them being scolded, so they will automatically come to you with an apologetic stance when they have performed a behavior that has earned a scolding in the past. Imagine you come home and your dog has peed in your shoes. Humans assume that such behavior is spiteful, so you become angry. You imagine he is being spiteful since you were out, so you scold him and he lowers his head, keeps his eyes averted, ears back, and approaches youslowly . He will endure the scolding in this apologetic posture in the hopes that your anger will ease. However, it is more likely that your dog was near your shoes to be near something that smelled like you. Out of separation anxiety, he urinated, and it just happened to be in the object he was near to be closer to you. He now knows you are angry. He does not repeat the behavior to make you angry, but he does repeat the apologetic posture to dispel the anger.
Encouraging the Behavior
A bored dog can be a destructive dog, so leave him plenty of toys and stimulation for when you do have to leave him alone. Second, you need to re-think how you behave when he does make a mistake. Keep in mind that one of his main goals is to make you happy. When you come home and he has made a mess, still greet him as if there is no problem and then without emotion clean up the mess and move on. Your reaction will determine how he behaves the next time he makes a mistake. If he continues to trash your house, consider hiring a professional trainer to seek out why he is destroying things and how you can better manage your household to eliminate these behaviors.