In recent months there have been some fun pictures posted on the Internet that are said to demonstrate dogs guilt and "shame." Halloween is a good time to discuss this, since there may be some furry candy-raiders stalking the trick-or-treat bags very shortly. Some of these pictures are caught-in-the-act pictures of pooches chewing the wrong object or in the aftermath of scattering the garbage, and the owners have attached written "confessions" that provide the humor.
Poor doggies--they illustrate the true meaning of a "hang-dog" expression!
But do dogs feel guilt and shame? Does your puppy apologize for wrong-doings? Their behavior certainly does seem to mimic what we'd think of as these emotions. And...does it work? When the puppy or dog "apologizes" does that make you more angry--or do you instead smile and forgive the cute miscreant? Hmnnn. That begs the question, does the pooch KNOW that offering you a hang-dog expression will lower your anger threshold and maybe even help him get away with mistakes?
My latest article takes a closer look at puppy guilt, apology behavior and what's REALLY going on in this Puppy Emotions: Guilt and Shame post. What do you think?
Image © Amy Shojai, CABC