This video shows two dogs, a Chihuahua and a Yorkshire Terrier, being interrogated by their owner about who pooped in the kitchen. Viewers can hear someone asking the two dogs “who pooped in the kitchen?” and the two dogs sit still. The Terrier then pokes the Chihuahua on the head as if to let their human know that the other dog did it.
I can’t help but admire the two dogs, especially the Terrier, which was so quick to answer the question. This dog showed great intelligence and looks very well-trained. Their guilty faces are just too adorable and funny!
But can dogs really feel guilt? Many would think so – but surprisingly, experts say no. Dogs can feel a range of emotions but any perception that they feel guilt or shame is likely to be misconceived. Research suggests they are simply reacting to their owner’s body language rather than actually experiencing more complex feelings. Dogs that are timid will get frightened more quickly by their owner’s reaction that’s why they do the ‘guilty look’.
When assuming that dogs look guilty, we are merely projecting human feelings onto them by context of the situation. When in actuality, our dogs are just reacting to our reaction. We’ve conditioned them to understand and respond to our happy greetings as well as our angered and frustrated ones.
image © http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07T6nqiYI3Y