Studies Reveal That Dogs Are Masters At Faking The Sorry Look!


Word Count

401 words

Reading Level

Listen to Article

The next time your dog chews up your homework or favorite t-shirt don't waste your energy admonishing him/her. That's because while it may seem sad and look at you with sorrowful puppy eyes and tail tucked between the legs, scientists say dogs have no idea what shame is.

This shocking revelation was made by Dr. Bonnie Beaver, a Professor at Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary Medicine. While the animal behaviorist who has conducted several studies on dogs, doesn't reveal how she came to this conclusion, she does tell owners to 'get over it' and not succumb to the temptation to go crazy, when their pooches do something wrong. As for that sorry look? That according to her is something your dog has recognized as the only thing that seems to stop the rant. Hence whenever it starts, he/she automatically settles down with a sorry look.

In case you are a little skeptical, Dr. Beaver is not the only expert that has reached this conclusion. In 2009, Alexandra Horowitz, an Associate Professor of Psychology at New York's Barnard College, conducted a study on 14 dogs. She videotaped each of them on several occasions to see what they did after they were instructed not to eat a treat placed in front of them and left alone in the room. Some obeyed, while others devoured the forbidden food as soon as the owner left.

Yet all of them had the same look of shame when they were scolded by their owners. In her study entitled Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know, she concluded that while dogs may feel some guilt, the 'look' that we humans associate with shame, is not when they are feeling it. They are just smart enough to know that it helps placate their owners and hence put it on, whenever they feel their wrath.

This knowledge is probably not going to stop most owners from getting upset when their dogs do something wrong. But it may at least take away some of the guilt they feel after they are done telling off their pet. Also, just because dogs fake this one emotion does not mean they are always lying. They are constantly trying to communicate with their owners, something the authors of National Geographic's new fun book - How to Speak Dog: A Guide to Decoding Dog Language, seem to have observed in great detail.


Cite Article
Learn Keywords in this Article
  • Abby Harperover 3 years
    every body loves puppy
    • kaitlynover 3 years
      hey have you seen a puppy in the water video they save him so sad , but at least they saved him
    • wolfdog
      wolfdogover 3 years
      Technically dogs feel shame. When a dog knows they have done wrong, they will tuck their tail in between their legs and fatten their ears when you scold at them. So yes, in a way dogs do feel shame when they know they have done something bad=punishment.
    • Muttover 3 years
      Sow cute!
      • animegirl_yt
        animegirl_ytover 3 years
        Wow i guess now i dont have to tell my dog that its bad anymore😑😂
        • Emmaover 3 years
          • Scar Scar over 3 years
            I just love puppies they are just so cute 🐶
            • Can’t loveover 3 years
              No more spoiled puppies but so cute🐶
              • Puppyloveralmost 4 years
                I never knew that.My dog has such a cute face, I never get mad at him!!! No more spoiling!
                • weeealmost 4 years
                  this puppies are so cute