Posted: June 7, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Do Dogs Feel Guilty?

I walked into the house, and he was acting strange. I could tell he had done something wrong,” she told me. I pressed for further details. “His head was down, and he wasn’t making eye contact,” she explained. “Then, I found it. Under the bed.” She had spent weeks training her dog, Henry, not to crap on the carpet. And there it was, under her bed. Evidence that he had transgressed. “He knew he had misbehaved, that’s why he was acting so guilty,” my friend insisted, sure that her dog knew that he had violated her rule. Seventy-four percent of dog owners believe that their dogs experience guilt. One owner described her reasoning as follows: “I behave in a particular way when I feel guilty; my dog behaves in a similar way in equivalent circumstances; I know intuitively that my behavior is motivated by guilt; therefore the behavior I see in my dog is also accompanied by feelings of guilt.” Almost sixty percent of dog owners claim that their dogs’ guilty behavior leads them to scold their dog less. (via Do Dogs Feel Guilty? | The Thoughtful Animal, Scientific American Blog Network)

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