Skip to comments.How Did Dogs Acquire a "Guilty Look?"
Posted on 09/18/2009 3:06:19 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
A little while ago I made my wife laugh by doing an impression of a dog acting guilty. After the laughter subsided I started thinking: How does a dog even know how to act guilty? Guilt is not an emotion in any part of the rest animal kingdom except perhaps to a much lesser extent in cats and maybe chimpanzees although I am not sure about the latter due to little contact with chimps. Cats have such a superiority complex that they really don't show much guilt about anything.
But dogs go completely overboard in the guilt department. You come home and if your dog did something it shouldn't have done, such as leave a "deposit" on the floor, you can often tell right away. The head is down, you might hear some whimpering, and the eyes give away a great deal of guilt. Not only can dogs act guilty, it is much more exaggerated than in humans since people often tried to hide their guilt.
We take this feeling of guilt for granted in dogs because we are so used to it. However, guilt is a very complicated emotion. How did dogs pick up feelings of guilt? It's really amazing when you think about it.
So a French Poodle living in an arctic wilderness could be known as "Fifi of the North?"
Personally I suspect that doggies read minds. Not well, but they do. Prove it ain't so! ;-)
I’ve stared at my cousin’s goldfish a lot. Not a trace of guilt.
Domesticated animals are too clever by half for their human caretakers.
That would be a frozen fifi of a fificicle.
Be careful, he might be one of those sociopathic goldfish that just doesn't have a conscience.;-)
I hope I never get so mad that my dog can smell it! She only weighs five pounds. Mine puts up with me cause I love her to death and spoil her rotten.
I have not seen guilty gerbils, but I have seen ones that have been scared for life.... :) paging mr. Gere
Absolutely beautiful dog <3
What about Patsy’s “don’t mess with me” look?
SODS is right, Peej. Don’t turn yer back on that there goldfish.
Social pack behavior is in the genes of dogs. As you are the alpha leader of the pack, your dog will display certain behavior traits to show subservience to you. One of these is what we as humans would interpret as guilt. It is not guilt per se, but your dog knows that it needs to defer to your authority and circumvent your displeasure in order to remain part of the pack.
My theory: Dogs are pack animals and they will assume submissive postures to members of the pack that have a higher status. A dog that gives you the “guilty” look has broken a pack rule and views you as higher ranking pack member that is about mete out discipline.
I have no idea. But they are so damn cute when they do it.
LOL! That video really does present a guilty dog. And what other animal looks so guilty? Somewhere along the road, dogs picked up the guilt trip from humans. There are also other dog looks similar to humans.
Good boy! No need to look like that, you are a good boy!
Dogs in many cases are a step above most humans or at least Democrats.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.