Dog owners at one time or another have issues with the furry canine companion when the pet displays unruly, naughty behavior. Catching him or her in the act or after the fact can result in the same type of guilty expressions but recent studies show that your dog may not have the ability to show remorse or emotions such as guilt. Is your dog really regretful of the action or just reacting to your disappointment in the behavior?

The truth about dog shaming or that guilty look

All Dogs at some point exhibit naughty behavior and then seem to look guilty, sad and full of repentance.

So often you will come across numerous photos online showing a trend known as Dog Shaming, giving the impression that the animals do indeed exhibit remorse for their actions. According to Ms. Susan Hazel, a veterinary scientist, the way a dog reacts after doing something wrong often reflects the relationship between owner and pet. She told Simon Royal of ABC that “There have been some studies done and it’s pretty clear that dogs don’t feel or display guilt. It’s not the way their brains work.” She continued to say “Dogs will show appeasement-like behavior that some owners interpret as guilt. They will also react to the person’s body language, so dogs are absolute geniuses at picking up what we think before even we know it.”

Hazel believes hat when a dog exhibits contrition or guilt; it is the result of the animal adapting to the life of their humans over the years.

In other words, they basically learn to behave in a submissive manner when the owner expresses anger over the pet due to bad behavior. Such observation is the result of recent research by canine psychologist and expert Alexandra Horowitz of the Horowitz Dog Cognition Lab at Columbia University.

Typical dog shaming, remorseful behavior when dog misbehaves

Through her research, Hazel stated that many dogs suffer from separation anxiety. Dogs can commonly be destructive or naughty when left alone, ending up as dog shaming.

People sometimes see the behavior as amusing, taking photos of the “guilty party.” The dog is in reality distressed. Typical reaction of your dog “caught in naughty behavior” may be cowering of the animal, excessive panting, and tail between the legs. Such behavior is due to being scolded by the owner, whether the dog was naughty or not. In reality, the dog is acting submissive rather than apologetic, as if to say “do you still love me?”