Do dogs feel guilty when they did something they are not supposed to?

Have you ever wondered if dogs feel guilty when they did something they are not supposed to?

You sure can find many youtube videos where dogs are looking guilty when we human find out something they did what they were not supposed to.

Have you seen your dog’s guilty look when they did something they are not supposed to?

Do dogs feeling guilty when the dog looks like they are?

According to Daily mail website article written by Celia Haddon, she writes that many online video posted by dog’s downer starts with “What did you do?”, “Did you do this?” etc in cross tone of voice.

The pets respond by lifting a paw imploringly, avoiding their owner’s eyes ,ears dropped,or hiding behind chairs.

As Celia writes, you may find your dog’s naughty behavior when you come back home and when you say the word “Did you do this” or similar phrases, and look at the dog, she/he would look like feeling guilty.

However, experts say the look on their dog are not because they feel guilty inside.

Dr.Susan Hazel from University of Adelaid says there are many studies that shows dogs do not feel/show guilt, because their brain does not work that way.

Those sad eyes, wrinkled brows, and averted eyes are not signs of shame, but distress and anxiety from being chastised.

Dr Susan also says that the owners are just failing to read body language of such emotion.

Dogs will show appeasement-like behavior that some owners interpret as guilt. The dogs will also react to the person’s body language (gesture), tone of voice, or smell (human emotion smell) as dogs are quite good at picking up what we think before even we know it.

In other words, they can read us much better than we can read them from subtle body language or tone of voice etc..

Ljerka Ostojic, a research associate at Cambridge University and dog trainer says that if the dogs indeed feel guilty, they would show the look only when they have done something wrong.

Do dogs feel emotions?

If guilty looking was not from the actual feeling, then, you might wonder if they feel emotions.

Professor Jaak Panksepp, a neuroscientist and expert in emotions, believes all warm-blooded animals have seven main emotions — they feel fear, anger, lust, maternal care, social loneliness, playfulness and happiness when they get what they want. He calls these the primary emotions.

He says we humans can experience guilt, shame, embarrassment, jealousy, hate and contempt as well as pride and loyalty.

He calls these emotions ‘secondary’. They involve complicated thoughts about right and wrong, or social status.

Some psychologists call them the ‘moral emotions’.

Scientists think dogs don’t have moral ideas, but animal behaviorist says we know that dogs feel emotions but we can only read the physical signs of what they feel.

Emotions like guilt and jealousy are human ideas and we don’t know if animals feel them and she warns that we must be careful about attributing human emotions to dogs.

Because dogs do not feel guilty even if they look feeling guilty, she says often times, they are just as likely to go and do the same thing again.

You can read the full article at Daily mail website written by Celia Haddon here.

More related article at huffington post website here

What is your opinion on this topic?
Aug 02, 2016 | 0 | Miscellaneous (dogs)

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