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Study claims dogs feel no shame

Dogs Have No Shame, Despite Guilty Look: Experts

If you've ever scolded a dog for doing something it wasn't supposed to and it looked guilty - you know, the head down, ears back, worried eyes - well ... turns out that might all just be an act.

Behaviorists at Texas A&M suggest those puppy dog eyes are just a reaction to what they're owner is yelling at them about and they don't actually know what the big deal is. They simply lack shame and are thinking, "why is this human so upset?"

So all these dogs being shamed online aren't actually aware of the distress they've caused their owners? Well, they still make great photos anyway.

The next time your dog does something to make you crazy, experts suggest you just get over it and next time, don't leave those fuzzy slippers where they might become your pups next chew toy.

Join the discussion

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Alan February 27 2014 at 5:04 PM

When are you reporters going to learn how to spell? They're owner? Isn't that an abbreviation for "they are"? Duh. Proofread your work! I thought you were college grads for crying out loud.

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eklojoe February 27 2014 at 3:52 PM

Whoever wrote this must not have a dog. If I yell at my dogs when they did something they were not supposed to, they go lay down in a corner. After a few minutes they will come up to me with their tail between there legs. they wait to see if they're forgiven or not. As soon as I pet them they jump around and you can tell they're really happy that they're no in trouble anymore. Dogs know when you are angry at them, they know they did wrong and they seek your forgiveness. They're not wondering what the stupid human is doing.

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puddycat40 February 27 2014 at 3:44 PM

what about when I come home after being away and no one comes to great me at the door?? I know right away the two are up to something and they know they are in trouble. I do not yell at them because they already know! then they try and suck up big time.! I ignore them for a little bit (lol) but.... always let them know they are forgiven, life goes on :)

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1 reply
Julie Coons puddycat40 February 27 2014 at 5:54 PM

Yes! Dogs are known for butt kissing/brown nosing! LOL

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balinakill February 27 2014 at 3:37 PM

I guess the "researchers" never had a dog as a pet. They know when they do something wrong even before you yell. I Can tell something is amiss as I come through the front door by the look on their faces and the action of their tails

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1 reply
puddycat40 balinakill February 27 2014 at 3:45 PM

Thats what Iam saying lol
should have read your post?

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cljvedelman February 27 2014 at 3:26 PM

This story is TOTALLY BOGUS !!!

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James R Partlow February 27 2014 at 3:24 PM

At least cats are honest.Thy don't give a damn what you think.They do what the want.

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batevilli February 27 2014 at 3:18 PM

Total BS. Dog would meet and greet you and be very happy on most days. If they had done something wrong, they would look guilty before you said anything, before you looked them bad, before you even discovered the misdeed.

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davel202 February 27 2014 at 3:17 PM

I spent a lot of time shaking my finger and shouting "Shame on you!" because my dog chewed up shoes, furniture, pillows, woodwork and carpeting, or other things. He always acted like this when left alone. Then I learned what seperation anxiety was all about. It wasn't his fault. It was mine, for being ignorant. He had noi idea what my rant is about. I wish I had him back. If I knew were not going to be here today, I would have been nicer yesterday.

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1 reply
SRM davel202 February 27 2014 at 3:56 PM

He'll meet you in the end Dave and forgive you as if nothing ever happened.

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mrkite129 February 27 2014 at 3:15 PM

This is just semantics. We know dogs have some ability to reason. We know they observe and interpret human behavior better than any other animal. They know when they're in trouble and if you can show them what for they generally understand why. Arguing whether they correct their behavior and use puppy-dog eyes because they are submitting to your dominance or because they feel guilt is pointless. As far as I know, there is no scientific test for guilt or shame.

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Hello, Mary February 27 2014 at 3:08 PM

Baloney! The Doxie I had as a child used to pee on anything hanging .... curtains, drapes, bedspreads, etc. My Mom used to put plastic down underneath. He did it when we were gone and as soon as we opened the door, he would slink around the house. We didn't have to say a word. Don't tell me he didn't know what he did!!!!!

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