Ever noticed your dog giving you those ‘guilty’ looks? You know, that look he gives when you’re obviously furious after he does something naughty – like chewing on your socks or your new furniture perhaps.
It is always easy for most of us to assume that the look means a feeling of guilt but if you’ll ask the experts, you’d be surprised with the explanation they have.
According to a dog expert, your dog’s ‘guilty’ look isn’t actually guilt – it is fear.
Dr. Alexandra Horowitz, dog cognition scientist and author of “Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know” (2009) and “Being a Dog: Following the Dog Into a World of Smell” (2016), conducted a study in 2009 and tells us that we, humans, have the tendency to misattribute dog emotions on human emotions.
“I look at a dog showing the guilty look and it feels guilty to me. It does! We’re kind of wired to see it this way, so it’s nobody’s fault,” Dr. Horowitz explained in an interview.
The 2009 study further demonstrates this tendency and gives us the following insights:
“Trials varied the opportunity for dogs to disobey an owner’s command to not eat a desirable treat while the owner was out of the room, and varied the owners’ knowledge of what their dogs did in their absence.”
“The results revealed no difference in behaviors associated with the guilty look. By contrast, more such behaviors were seen in trials when owners scolded their dogs. The effect of scolding was more pronounced when the dogs were obedient, not disobedient.”
“These results indicate that a better description of the so-called guilty look is that it is a response to owner cues, rather than that it shows an appreciation of a misdeed.”
So to put that in simple terms, the “guilty” look as we know it is more associated with fear of scolding (“owner cues”) more than guilt (“an appreciation of a misdeed”).
Whether or not dogs really feel the emotion of guilt remain unknown at this point in time.
What do you think of these findings, dog lovers? Hit us up in the comment section!
Bees Kill Penguins by Stinging Them in the Eyes
2000 Kilogram Sunfish Caught Off North African Coast
Man Embezzles $57K in COVID-19 Relief to Buy Pokemon Cards
Florida Man Catches and “Recycles” Alligator in Driveway
Man Shocks Reporter on How He’d Spend the Lottery Winnings
Man Joins Search Operation Not Realizing He’s the One Missing
World’s Oldest Rhino Dies in Italian Zoo at 54 Years Old
Meet Quilty – Cat Escape Artist Helping Other Cats Jailbreak
Fans Use American Flag to Save Falling Cat During Football Game in Miami
TikToker Shares How She Tricked Invaders Who Tried Opening The Hotel Door While She Was Alone
Man Iced Neighbor Who Repeatedly Asked Him “When Are You Getting Married?”
Do You Live in One of These 15 Countries With The Most Beautiful Women on Earth?
The Secret Meaning of Anklets And Why Some Wives Wear Them
Waking Up Between 3 to 5 AM Could Mean You’re Experiencing Spiritual Awakening
Divorced Man Wrote 20 Epic Marriage Advice He Wished He Could Have Had
Haunting Photos of Two Tourists Snapped Just Before They Mysteriously Disappeared
“Chastity Cages” is the Latest Thing for Men
Pork Fat Is Officially One of the World’s Most Nutritious Foods
Some Stranger Padlocked This Guy’s Earlobe And Ran Away With The Key
Three-Month-Old Baby Left Blind in One Eye After Family Friend Took His Picture