This video features Ettore, a Labrador who desperately asks for forgiveness from his owner. He is the cutest when he climbed onto his owner’s lap while being told off. Eventually, Ettore’s charm won and at the end of the video, the two reconciled with a sweet hug.
Despite their look and actions, dogs are considered by scientists not to be capable of feeling guilt. The ‘guilty look’ is just a reaction to the tantrum their owners are throwing over the damage they did. A study conducted in 2009 by Alexandra Horowitz, a Bernard College psychologist showed that dogs still tended to look guilty in a similar fashion when they are being scolded even if they did nothing wrong.
Neuroscientist, Professor Jaak Panksepp believes that there are seven main emotions which are hard-wired to the brains of all warm blooded animals: Anger, fear, lust, maternal care, social loneliness, happiness and playfulness. These are called primary emotions.
There are also secondary emotions: Guilt, shame, embarrassment, hate and contempt. These emotions require a higher level of cognition which most animals don’t have. Dogs live in the moment and do what seems appropriate to them at the time so it is highly doubtful that they feel guilt like humans do.