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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.

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smiret February 28 2014 at 1:48 AM

I say call the dogs into court. Judge Judy would know the appropriate punishment or not.
The little loves give so many rewards, we are lucky to have them around, guilty or not.
I have a Jewish dog and her name is Sarah. When it comes to white bread, wheat bread, or challah, she always steals the challah from the kitchen island. Dogs have good taste She is a dalmatian and we love her, no matter how many spots she takes care of.

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bostonpd203 February 28 2014 at 1:01 AM

Obviously the dog did not like the chair!

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elrod.porkmore February 28 2014 at 12:45 AM

that dog would have went to the dog pound so fast he wouldnt have had time to wonder

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I LOVE YOU MOM! February 28 2014 at 1:27 AM

Would have WENT? Really? Wow.

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gghinmass February 28 2014 at 4:22 AM

You can't love dogs very much to send them to the pound for that. Better you don't have any pets. Just saying.

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Ken February 28 2014 at 12:03 AM

That's nonsense. Dogs know what they've been scolded for. That's why you can housebreak them; it's why you can teach them all sorts of stuff.

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Denise February 28 2014 at 3:07 PM

The "guilty" behavior that dogs show is a behavior that says, "Don't attack me. I don't want to fight". It is not guilt. You can increase or decrease a dog's behaviors by providing immediate results. For example, when he sits I treat him. The sit behavior increases. Or when he poops in the house I interrupt him. When he poops outside he gets an immediate treat. Any animal with a spinal cord learns from immediate results of behavior. That's not my opinion; it's a description of how animals behave.

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Michael February 27 2014 at 11:52 PM

Well, as a sociopath, I can say that when I've done something deemed "wrong" I am capable of understanding that I may get in trouble for it. That doesn't mean that I have any feelings of guilt or shame because of it; simply that I am aware of the fact that my actions may have consequences.

Long story short, every dog is a sociopath.

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animal2605 February 27 2014 at 11:51 PM

I have seen many dogs later act if they are thinking about repeating what they were yelled at for, It sure looks to me as if they are pausing to think about it first. Sometimes they might try if they think they arent being watched, but if they are sure, they wont do it.

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dfoster February 27 2014 at 11:46 PM

I'll believe the dog - the "experts" apparently have never seen the guilty dog cower long before a word was spoken.

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Dawn February 27 2014 at 11:54 PM

You are 100 percent right, dfoster. Just last night I was laying in bed upstairs and my Ger. Shepherd creeped (instead of running) up the stairs and tried to crawl under the bed. I KNEW she did something. I went downstairs and she had a garbage can knocked over and junk strewn all over.

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JerryG February 27 2014 at 11:43 PM

I am the dog whisperer. Your dog is saying "I'm sorry". He probably doesn't know what for but he's reading your disapproval.

Cats on the other hand could care less. They're thinking, "What the f's with him"??

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William February 27 2014 at 11:15 PM

I'm not sure about the shame part. But when I had two dogs, both cocker spaniels there was a clear understanding by the older one what was right and wrong. When the puppy got into trouble...shredding paper, eating remotes...the older dog would get as far away as possible to avoid blame. When we came home to these messes, the young pup didn't have a clue he did something wrong...but we'd find the old dog off somewhere with a look of worry...as if he thought the was going to get the blame. Now, the old dog has passed and the young "pup" is now perfectly behaved....and truly knows what is going on.

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Denise February 28 2014 at 3:31 PM

The older dog learned that messes on the floor = scolding. He knew there was a mess on the floor, so he did what he could to avoid getting scolded. That doesn't mean he felt guilt. If he hadn't made the mess why was he showing the submissive behaviors? The submissive behaviors are the dog saying, " I don't want to fight. Please don't attack." They are not evidence of guilt. He's learned that mess on the floor = scolding.

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chazlv54 February 27 2014 at 11:14 PM

I dont belive this story My dog pees on the floor when you scold him

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