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How Did Dogs Acquire a "Guilty Look?"
Self | September 18, 2009 | PJ-Comix

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.


TOPICS: Pets/Animals; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: agriculture; animalhusbandry; canines; dogs
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To: PJ-Comix

As George Carlin said.

“Dogs got eyebrows they can manipulate. Cat’s got a bunch of s**t sticking out of their face.”


41 posted on 09/18/2009 3:25:38 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Seniors, the new shovel ready project under socialized medicine.)
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To: PJ-Comix

Not a fish or a canary, though they are usually dead when I get to them.

But the Gerbil thing... Ask Richard Gere


42 posted on 09/18/2009 3:26:10 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it.)
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To: mware

Bookmarking for more great dog pics!


43 posted on 09/18/2009 3:26:30 PM PDT by roses of sharon ( Reagan said, "When you can't make them see the light, make them feel the heat.")
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To: PJ-Comix

My sister’s cat would act guilty, skulking behind furniture, etc. My sister knew that meant there was a mess somewhere in the house. When it was found, and she gave a cat a swat, the cat was all cheerful again.


44 posted on 09/18/2009 3:26:33 PM PDT by Arthur McGowan (In Edward Kennedy’s America, federal funding of brothels is a right, not a privilege.)
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To: Yorlik803

That is a good question! Why do they put up with us?


45 posted on 09/18/2009 3:27:08 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it.)
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To: Dallas59

I did’n dooh nuttun! Scratch my belly, please!


46 posted on 09/18/2009 3:29:15 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it.)
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To: SC Swamp Fox

This may also be why dogs left packs to bond with humans. In the pack the alpha dog might just kill them. In dealing with humans - if the dog looks sad then the human usally says okay that is alright. You are a good boy or girl. Most humans are more forgiving than an alpha dog.


47 posted on 09/18/2009 3:29:42 PM PDT by Frantzie (Do we want ACORN running America's healthcare?)
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To: SC Swamp Fox

I think you’re right. My dogs have been admonished their whole lives when they do naughty stuff. They know when they do something on my “naughty” list that I’ll not be my usual happy go lucky self with them. Dogs innately understand body language and facial expressions within their own kind and also with humans, particularly with humans with which they have a long history.

God love a good dog!


48 posted on 09/18/2009 3:29:53 PM PDT by MarineBrat (Better dead than red!)
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To: Arthur McGowan

When my cat was alive, the kitty litter was along the bathroom wall near the toilet. And when I sat down on the toilet, my cat often chose that time to do her thing on the kitty litter. Strange look on her face but I chuckled at her purposeful timing.


49 posted on 09/18/2009 3:31:23 PM PDT by PJ-Comix ("They spent a trillion dollars on a guess?" ---Astute DUmmie observation)
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To: PJ-Comix
Don't have one of those yet. Hell, if a burgler ever broke into my house, she would lick them to death.

Here is Patsy caught in the act.

Photobucket

50 posted on 09/18/2009 3:32:11 PM PDT by mware (F-R-E-E, that spells free. Free Republic.com baby.)
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To: Dumpster Baby

What a cute baby.


51 posted on 09/18/2009 3:32:32 PM PDT by mware (F-R-E-E, that spells free. Free Republic.com baby.)
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To: PJ-Comix; aruanan; antivenom; cripplecreek; Dumpster Baby; Domandred; SonOfDarkSkies; 1rudeboy; ...

          Guilty

52 posted on 09/18/2009 3:35:16 PM PDT by Rodamala
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To: PJ-Comix
guilty? GUILTY?? i had a 130lb Rotty that could damn near clear a room when he farted... and as soon as somebody said Who Farted let alone did YOU fart MAXX??? he got this guilty look like he was just been whipped or something

he droop his head and turn and leave the room numerous insults were made on his way out.

yeah... he looked guilty all right

53 posted on 09/18/2009 3:36:29 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist *DTOM* -ww- I AM JIM THOMPSON!)
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To: mware

I saw a fascinating science show about dogs. What really got to me is that canines have the widest DNA diversity of any mammal which is why there are so many dog breeds. And that DNA diversity arrived long before dogs were domesticated. When they were still wolves. That got to me. Man’s best friend had the potential for the widest ranges of shapes, sizes, and colors long before they were Man’s best friend.


54 posted on 09/18/2009 3:37:03 PM PDT by PJ-Comix ("They spent a trillion dollars on a guess?" ---Astute DUmmie observation)
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To: Rodamala

Gee, I always thought the look exemplified in the Helen Thomas photo was cackling evil, not guilt.


55 posted on 09/18/2009 3:37:10 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: Rodamala

Please do not even think about comparing my beautiful, darling dog to that horrible, lying old harpy.


56 posted on 09/18/2009 3:37:17 PM PDT by La Lydia
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To: AnAmericanMother

I know Shelly never appears “guilty” because she never does anything wrong! :^)


57 posted on 09/18/2009 3:39:45 PM PDT by jla
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To: PJ-Comix
We call it guilty... Actually it's a submissive position. When the dog knows it's done something it shouldn't have it displays submissive behavior which other dogs see as being no threat.

Mark

58 posted on 09/18/2009 3:41:27 PM PDT by MarkL (Do I really look like a guy with a plan?)
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To: SonOfDarkSkies

LOL you know cats well........


59 posted on 09/18/2009 3:42:56 PM PDT by goat granny
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To: Dumpster Baby

Beagles have perfected the sympathy act. That photo can be interpreted, “I know I just chewed up your new $129 Clark loafer but if I look at you like this you won’t hit me with that newspaper.


60 posted on 09/18/2009 3:43:29 PM PDT by JimSEA
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