So-called "dog shaming" sites have become wildly popular lately - photos depict dogs with forlorn expressions which seem to scream "I was bad!"
Behaviorists insist that dogs are incapable of feeling shame and advise that the sad eyes are merely a reaction to their owner's displeasure.
The behaviorists' declaration comes hot on the heels of a report by a research group which conducted an extensive study on dogs which revealed something that most every dog guardian already knows...dogs pick up on emotions like people do.
Attila Andics of MTA-ELTE Comparative Ethology Research Group in Hungary said:
"Our findings suggest that they also use similar brain mechanisms to process social information. This may support the successfulness of vocal communication between the two species."
It took science years to prove, with the help of high tech tools, that dogs are capable of feeling emotion...the proof does not shock most guardians who have long-observed their own dogs showing happiness, sadness and love.
As for shame...behaviorists are certain that it is one emotion they are not buying in to.
I will try to keep that in mind the next time that I come home and my dog is sheepishly slinking around the house - a sure sign that she could not resist the tissues in the bathroom trash bin.
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