Can a dog feel guilty? Have you ever seen a Guilty Dog?
No dog is perfect, they all make mistakes and they seem to have a bad conscience as a result like we humans do.
Sometimes you may feel angry because your dog had done something bad. He has eaten the cake or done his business on the carpet or God knows what..
The dog seems to know what he has done as he behaves as if he is feeling ashamed of himself. He knows that he has done something wrong as he hides under the sofa or looks in a guilty way or his tail is low between his legs. But does he really feel guilty?
Researchers found that this is not the case. The dog has not a bad conscience like humans do. He just knows that we will react with anger about what he has done. To protect himself and to avoid that you get angry the dog shows a submissive behavior – active submission -, that is designed to avoid your anger and punishment. It is an avoidance behaviour where he shows that he considers you as the “higher ranked dog” in the pack and wants to calm you down in order not to get punished. You should not punish or shout at your dog when he shows this behavior. This would be against the rules.
One of these dogs did something wrong… Find out which one did it!
See the great video below which had over 31 million views, where you see the face of a dog consumed with guilt for eating the treats. He cracks under pressure when his owner starts to question him about it and shows his teeth. Really funny!
The Guilty Dog
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