What dogs really mean when they look guilty

You know the look of guilt your dog has whenever you catch them doing something naughty.

They cower a bit, get all doe-eyed and stick their tails between their legs.

Now we know what dogs actually mean when they look guilty, according to animal behaviorists.

It's meant to be an "apology bow," according to a new write-up in Psychology Today.

Dogs get it from their wolf relatives.

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Meet the rescue dogs of 9/11
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Meet the rescue dogs of 9/11

BRETAGNE, age 13, Cypress TX. Denise Corliss and Bretagne were at the World Trade Center from September 17 to the 27th with TX-TF-1.

Almost three thousand people died in the attacks of 9/11 and in the immediate days that followed nearly 100 search and rescue dogs and their owners scoured Ground Zero for survivors. Ten years later, only 12 of those heroic canines were still alive, victims of the passing of time and commemorated in a touching series titled 'Retrieved' put together by photographer Charlotte Dumas.

Traveling across nine states in the US from Texas to Maryland, Charlotte, 34, captured the remaining dogs in their twilight years in their homes where they still lived with their handlers, a full decade on from America's worst nightmare. Noted for her touching portraits of animals, especially dogs, Charlotte wanted 'Retrieved' to mark not only the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks, but also as recognition for some of the first responders and their dogs.

(Photo by Charlotte Dumas / Barcroft USA / Getty Images)

Bretagne taking a nap with Denise while working at 9/11 site.

(Photo by Blake Wallis / Barcroft USA / Getty Images)

BRETAGNE, age 13, Cypress TX. Denise Corliss and Bretagne were at the World Trade Center from September 17 to the 27th with TX-TF-1.

(Photo by Charlotte Dumas / Barcroft USA / Getty Images)

TUFF, age 12, Ashland MO. Tuff and Tom Andert arrived in New Jersey with the MO-TF-1 at 11:00 pm on the 11th to start working early the next day the World Trade Center. (Photo by Charlotte Dumas / Barcroft USA / Getty Images)

MERLYN, age 14, Otis CO. Merlyn, owned by Ann Wichmann, was deployed with handler Matt Claussen and worked the night shift while Ann and search dog Jenner worked during the day as part of CO-TF-1. They searched the rubble of the World Trade Center for five days starting on September 24.

(Photo by Charlotte Dumas / Barcroft USA / Getty Images)

SCOUT, age 14, McCordsville IN. IN-TF-1 was activated on the morning of the 11th. Together with Blake Wallis, Scout was deployed to the World Trade Center the same afternoon. Their last shift was on Wednesday the 19th.Almost three thousand people died in the attacks of 9/11 and in the immediate days that followed nearly 100 search and rescue dogs and their owners scoured Ground Zero for survivors. Now, ten years on, only 12 of these heroic canines, survive, victims of the passing of time and commemorated in a touching series titled 'Retrieved' put together by photographer Charlotte Dumas. Traveling across nine states in the US from Texas to Maryland, Charlotte, 34, captured the remaining dogs in their twilight years in their homes where they still live with their handlers, a full decade on from America's worst nightmare. Noted for her touching portraits of animals, especially dogs, Charlotte wanted 'Retrieved' to mark not only the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks, but also as recognition for some of the first responders and their dogs. (Photo by Charlotte Dumas / Barcroft USA / Getty Images)
Collect picture of Scout and unknown dog working at 9/11 site.Almost three thousand people died in the attacks of 9/11 and in the immediate days that followed nearly 100 search and rescue dogs and their owners scoured Ground Zero for survivors. Now, ten years on, only 12 of these heroic canines, survive, victims of the passing of time and commemorated in a touching series titled 'Retrieved' put together by photographer Charlotte Dumas. Traveling across nine states in the US from Texas to Maryland, Charlotte, 34, captured the remaining dogs in their twilight years in their homes where they still live with their handlers, a full decade on from America's worst nightmare. Noted for her touching portraits of animals, especially dogs, Charlotte wanted 'Retrieved' to mark not only the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks, but also as recognition for some of the first responders and their dogs. (Photo by Blake Wallis / Barcroft USA / Getty Images)
ORION, age 13, Vacaville CA. Orion and Robert Macaulay were part of the third wave of deployments and worked with the CA-TF-4 at the World Trade Center from September 23 to October 1.Almost three thousand people died in the attacks of 9/11 and in the immediate days that followed nearly 100 search and rescue dogs and their owners scoured Ground Zero for survivors. Now, ten years on, only 12 of these heroic canines, survive, victims of the passing of time and commemorated in a touching series titled 'Retrieved' put together by photographer Charlotte Dumas. Traveling across nine states in the US from Texas to Maryland, Charlotte, 34, captured the remaining dogs in their twilight years in their homes where they still live with their handlers, a full decade on from America's worst nightmare. Noted for her touching portraits of animals, especially dogs, Charlotte wanted 'Retrieved' to mark not only the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks, but also as recognition for some of the first responders and their dogs. (Photo by Charlotte Dumas / Barcroft USA / Getty Images)
ABIGAIL, age 13, Ojai CA. Abigail and Debra Tosch were deployed together with Duke and Howard Orr, arriving on the evening of September 17 at the World Trade Center and then searching for 10 days.Almost three thousand people died in the attacks of 9/11 and in the immediate days that followed nearly 100 search and rescue dogs and their owners scoured Ground Zero for survivors. Now, ten years on, only 12 of these heroic canines, survive, victims of the passing of time and commemorated in a touching series titled 'Retrieved' put together by photographer Charlotte Dumas. Traveling across nine states in the US from Texas to Maryland, Charlotte, 34, captured the remaining dogs in their twilight years in their homes where they still live with their handlers, a full decade on from America's worst nightmare. Noted for her touching portraits of animals, especially dogs, Charlotte wanted 'Retrieved' to mark not only the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks, but also as recognition for some of the first responders and their dogs. (Photo by Charlotte Dumas / Barcroft USA / Getty Images)
Almost three thousand people died in the attacks of 9/11 and in the immediate days that followed nearly 100 search and rescue dogs and their owners scoured Ground Zero for survivors. Now, ten years on, only 12 of these heroic canines, survive, victims of the passing of time and commemorated in a touching series titled 'Retrieved' put together by photographer Charlotte Dumas. Traveling across nine states in the US from Texas to Maryland, Charlotte, 34, captured the remaining dogs in their twilight years in their homes where they still live with their handlers, a full decade on from America's worst nightmare. Noted for her touching portraits of animals, especially dogs, Charlotte wanted 'Retrieved' to mark not only the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks, but also as recognition for some of the first responders and their dogs. (Photo by Blake Wallis / Barcroft USA / Getty Images)
MOXIE, age 13, Winthrop MA. Moxie and her handler, Mark Aliberti, arrived at the World Trade Center with MA-TF-1 on the evening of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, and searched the site for 8 days.Almost three thousand people died in the attacks of 9/11 and in the immediate days that followed nearly 100 search and rescue dogs and their owners scoured Ground Zero for survivors. Now, ten years on, only 12 of these heroic canines, survive, victims of the passing of time and commemorated in a touching series titled 'Retrieved' put together by photographer Charlotte Dumas. Traveling across nine states in the US from Texas to Maryland, Charlotte, 34, captured the remaining dogs in their twilight years in their homes where they still live with their handlers, a full decade on from America's worst nightmare. Noted for her touching portraits of animals, especially dogs, Charlotte wanted 'Retrieved' to mark not only the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks, but also as recognition for some of the first responders and their dogs. (Photo by Charlotte Dumas / Barcroft USA / Getty Images)
RED, age 11, Annapolis MD. Red and Heather Roche were deployed to the Pentagon from September 16 until the 27th. They were part of the Bay Area Recovery Canines and later joined the MD-TF-1.Almost three thousand people died in the attacks of 9/11 and in the immediate days that followed nearly 100 search and rescue dogs and their owners scoured Ground Zero for survivors. Now, ten years on, only 12 of these heroic canines, survive, victims of the passing of time and commemorated in a touching series titled 'Retrieved' put together by photographer Charlotte Dumas. Traveling across nine states in the US from Texas to Maryland, Charlotte, 34, captured the remaining dogs in their twilight years in their homes where they still live with their handlers, a full decade on from America's worst nightmare. Noted for her touching portraits of animals, especially dogs, Charlotte wanted 'Retrieved' to mark not only the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks, but also as recognition for some of the first responders and their dogs. (Photo by Charlotte Dumas / Barcroft USA / Getty Images)
HOKE, age 13, Denver CO. Julie Noyes and Hoke were also part of CO-TF-1. With Julie by his side, Hoke was deployed to the World Trade Center on September 24 and searched for 5 days.Almost three thousand people died in the attacks of 9/11 and in the immediate days that followed nearly 100 search and rescue dogs and their owners scoured Ground Zero for survivors. Now, ten years on, only 12 of these heroic canines, survive, victims of the passing of time and commemorated in a touching series titled 'Retrieved' put together by photographer Charlotte Dumas. Traveling across nine states in the US from Texas to Maryland, Charlotte, 34, captured the remaining dogs in their twilight years in their homes where they still live with their handlers, a full decade on from America's worst nightmare. Noted for her touching portraits of animals, especially dogs, Charlotte wanted 'Retrieved' to mark not only the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks, but also as recognition for some of the first responders and their dogs. (Photo by Charlotte Dumas / Barcroft USA / Getty Images)
GUINNESS, age 15, Highland CA. Sheila McKee and Guinness flew the evening of the 12th with CA-TF-6 and started working on the morning of the 13th. They were deployed to the World Trade Center for 11 days.Almost three thousand people died in the attacks of 9/11 and in the immediate days that followed nearly 100 search and rescue dogs and their owners scoured Ground Zero for survivors. Now, ten years on, only 12 of these heroic canines, survive, victims of the passing of time and commemorated in a touching series titled 'Retrieved' put together by photographer Charlotte Dumas. Traveling across nine states in the US from Texas to Maryland, Charlotte, 34, captured the remaining dogs in their twilight years in their homes where they still live with their handlers, a full decade on from America's worst nightmare. Noted for her touching portraits of animals, especially dogs, Charlotte wanted 'Retrieved' to mark not only the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks, but also as recognition for some of the first responders and their dogs. (Photo by Charlotte Dumas / Barcroft USA / Getty Images)
Almost three thousand people died in the attacks of 9/11 and in the immediate days that followed nearly 100 search and rescue dogs and their owners scoured Ground Zero for survivors. Now, ten years on, only 12 of these heroic canines, survive, victims of the passing of time and commemorated in a touching series titled 'Retrieved' put together by photographer Charlotte Dumas. Traveling across nine states in the US from Texas to Maryland, Charlotte, 34, captured the remaining dogs in their twilight years in their homes where they still live with their handlers, a full decade on from America's worst nightmare. Noted for her touching portraits of animals, especially dogs, Charlotte wanted 'Retrieved' to mark not only the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks, but also as recognition for some of the first responders and their dogs. (Photo by Blake Wallis / Barcroft USA / Getty Images)
TARA, age 16, Ipswich MA. Tara and Lee Prentiss arrived at the World Trade Center with MA-TF-1 on the night of the 11th. They were there for 8 days.Almost three thousand people died in the attacks of 9/11 and in the immediate days that followed nearly 100 search and rescue dogs and their owners scoured Ground Zero for survivors. Now, ten years on, only 12 of these heroic canines, survive, victims of the passing of time and commemorated in a touching series titled 'Retrieved' put together by photographer Charlotte Dumas. Traveling across nine states in the US from Texas to Maryland, Charlotte, 34, captured the remaining dogs in their twilight years in their homes where they still live with their handlers, a full decade on from America's worst nightmare. Noted for her touching portraits of animals, especially dogs, Charlotte wanted 'Retrieved' to mark not only the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks, but also as recognition for some of the first responders and their dogs. (Photo by Charlotte Dumas / Barcroft USA / Getty Images)
ABIGAIL, age 13, Ojai CA. Abigail and Debra Tosch were deployed together with Duke and Howard Orr, arriving on the evening of September 17 at the World Trade Center and then searching for 10 days.Almost three thousand people died in the attacks of 9/11 and in the immediate days that followed nearly 100 search and rescue dogs and their owners scoured Ground Zero for survivors. Now, ten years on, only 12 of these heroic canines, survive, victims of the passing of time and commemorated in a touching series titled 'Retrieved' put together by photographer Charlotte Dumas. Traveling across nine states in the US from Texas to Maryland, Charlotte, 34, captured the remaining dogs in their twilight years in their homes where they still live with their handlers, a full decade on from America's worst nightmare. Noted for her touching portraits of animals, especially dogs, Charlotte wanted 'Retrieved' to mark not only the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks, but also as recognition for some of the first responders and their dogs. (Photo by Charlotte Dumas / Barcroft USA / Getty Images)
BAILEY, age 14, Franklin TN. Bailey and Keith Lindley were deployed to the Pentagon with TN-TF-1. They arrived the morning of the 12th and searched for 9 days.Almost three thousand people died in the attacks of 9/11 and in the immediate days that followed nearly 100 search and rescue dogs and their owners scoured Ground Zero for survivors. Now, ten years on, only 12 of these heroic canines, survive, victims of the passing of time and commemorated in a touching series titled 'Retrieved' put together by photographer Charlotte Dumas. Traveling across nine states in the US from Texas to Maryland, Charlotte, 34, captured the remaining dogs in their twilight years in their homes where they still live with their handlers, a full decade on from America's worst nightmare. Noted for her touching portraits of animals, especially dogs, Charlotte wanted 'Retrieved' to mark not only the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks, but also as recognition for some of the first responders and their dogs. (Photo by Charlotte Dumas / Barcroft USA / Getty Images)
MERLYN, age 14, Otis CO. Merlyn, owned by Ann Wichmann, was deployed with handler Matt Claussen and worked the night shift while Ann and search dog Jenner worked during the day as part of CO-TF-1. They searched the rubble of the World Trade Center for five days starting on September 24.Almost three thousand people died in the attacks of 9/11 and in the immediate days that followed nearly 100 search and rescue dogs and their owners scoured Ground Zero for survivors. Now, ten years on, only 12 of these heroic canines, survive, victims of the passing of time and commemorated in a touching series titled 'Retrieved' put together by photographer Charlotte Dumas. Traveling across nine states in the US from Texas to Maryland, Charlotte, 34, captured the remaining dogs in their twilight years in their homes where they still live with their handlers, a full decade on from America's worst nightmare. Noted for her touching portraits of animals, especially dogs, Charlotte wanted 'Retrieved' to mark not only the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks, but also as recognition for some of the first responders and their dogs. (Photo by Charlotte Dumas / Barcroft USA / Getty Images)
KAISER, age 12, pictured at home was deployed to the World Trade Center September 11, 2001.Almost three thousand people died in the attacks of 9/11 and in the immediate days that followed nearly 100 search and rescue dogs and their owners scoured Ground Zero for survivors. Now, ten years on, only 12 of these heroic canines, survive, victims of the passing of time and commemorated in a touching series titled 'Retrieved' put together by photographer Charlotte Dumas. Traveling across nine states in the US from Texas to Maryland, Charlotte, 34, captured the remaining dogs in their twilight years in their homes where they still live with their handlers, a full decade on from America's worst nightmare. Noted for her touching portraits of animals, especially dogs, Charlotte wanted 'Retrieved' to mark not only the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks, but also as recognition for some of the first responders and their dogs. (Photo by Charlotte Dumas / Barcroft USA / Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: Rescue workers and search dogs look for survivors in the debris of the World Trade Center twin towers collapse early 12 September 2001 in New York City. Both towers of the World Trade Center collapsed after hijacked airliners collided with them 11 September. AFP PHOTO/Marcos TOWNSEND (Photo credit should read MARCOS TOWNSEND/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: Policemen use rescue a dog 16 September 2001, at the World Trade Center in New York. Rescue and recovery efforts continue after the twin towers were destroyed in an 11 September 2001 attack with hijacked commercial airliners. AFP PHOTO Roberto SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
394558 05: A rescue dog is transported out of the debris of the World Trade Center September 15, 2001 days after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. (U.S. Navy Photo by Jim Watson/Getty Images)
A rescue dog is given a drink of water during a rest break from searching through the rubble from the fallen World Trade Center towers in New York September 13, 2001. The World Trade Center towers collapsed September 11 after being attacked with hijacked commercial airliners.
A team of search and rescue dogs and their handlers from New Jersey head into the area where the World Trade Center towers collapsed in New York, September 13, 2001. The World Trade Center towers were destroyed after being struck by two planes in an attack on September 11. REUTERS/Mike Segar MS
A group of rescue workers with dogs leave the "ground zero" site of the World Trade Center in New York City, September 29, 2001. New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said it could take a full year to complete the cleanup. REUTERS/Jeff Christensen JC/ME
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Young wolves exhibit that same look as they learn what they can or can't get away with when they take playing too far, like some dogs.

It's a way for them to learn the pack's social rules.

If a wolf nips too hard, he'll be shunned by the group.

So, with his tail between his legs, he'll give an apology bow so he can get back on good terms with the pack.

But it's really more about submission than admitting they did anything wrong.

The guy who wrote the article says if a dog gives you that look, they're basically trying to say, "can we be friends again?"

That's because they're social animals and any kind of rejection is hard for them.

So the next time your dog does this, don't yell.

It's their way of apologizing.

Even though you'll be sorry you have to clean up the mess.

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