These Dogs Punished Themselves For Being Bad And It’s Adorable

We all are very familiar with the phrase “Puppy Dog Eyes.” In real life that’s the first sign that shows your dog is guilty.

Everyone who owns a dog probably knows that dogs can feel guilty when they have done something wrong. Some of their sudden changed behavioural patterns include hiding their face, not making eye contact, pulling off the puppy dog eyes and trying to look innocent show that they are aware they have done something wrong.

However, the real question here is, do they actually feel remorse after doing something wrong?

Or is it just what we believe? Well, let’s just slow it down a little and look at this case.

Below, you can see a still image from a video clip of a gentleman who witnessed a dog chewing up his own bed and then regretting it moments later. But what’s more interesting is the way the dog punishes himself after realising the mistake.

Well, that’s not something you see often, now do you?

Have a look at this little angel with his innocent puppy dog eyes.

Source: Youtube Screen Shot

He might look like an angel, but I tell you, he isn’t one. In the video, you can see the guy who was pet-sitting for his friend, find out that one of the dogs’ bed has been chewed up. What follows after this is what makes everything interesting.

The chewed up bed:

Source: Youtube Screen Shot

Gideon, the guy who was pet-sitting, can be seen in the video asking the dogs as to who is responsible for this. “Who did this?” he asks while looking at the bed and figuring everything out. Moments later, as he turns around, he sees the dogs running back into their kennels, accepting their fate and giving out the clear sense that they know they deserve punishment.

The epitome of justice?

Source: Youtube Screen Shot

All of this might seem unreal to all of you, but it’s true. And with this, the claim that dogs feel remorse for their wrong actions remains uncertain.

But according to Kathryn Primm at I Heart Dogs, this is not true. Dogs don’t actually know when they have done something bad. They can’t feel remorse. However, due to their sharp instincts and senses, they just merely react to the changes in our behaviour and tone. So, it’s only natural that they get sad when they see us sad and they get upset when they see us upset.

“It is important to think about how animals are completely dependent on their ability to be tuned in to cues from their environment,” Dr. Primm says. “Being alert to subtle details can be a life or death skill for an animal and you are the pack leader. So when you come in the door and your dog sees you tense as you notice his accident, he is immediately on alert. He can’t connect the accident (which may have occurred hours ago) with his actions or your reaction, but he is heightened to your body language of displeasure.”

Apart from all this, there still is something that you guys must be wondering. All of this might explain as to why do they feel sorry, but what can explain the changes in their physical behaviour every time they have done something wrong? For instance, the way they hold their tail between their legs.

Well, there is an answer for that too.

According to Dr. Nathan Lents, Ph.D. it is a natural instinctive pose, which is actually submissive. It is an “apology-bow” that the dogs have acquired from wolves.

“Dogs have inherited this behavior and they will use it after any kind of infraction that results in being punished,” says Dr. Lents. “As social animals, they crave harmonious integration in the group and neglect or isolation is painful for them.”

Source: Youtube Screen Shot

The apology-bow is more complicated than what it seems. It primarily means acceptance of the wrongdoing with a humble request for forgiveness coupled with allowing them another chance. Also, it most definitely means submission as well. “The key,” says Lents, “is context.”

When the dog is caught red-handed, he pretty much understands as to why his owner is angry and reacts accordingly. However, if the act is discovered late, the dog adopts the submissive role and gives away the sense that he is ashamed to cool things down.

Here is the full video:


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