Do dogs really feel shame? - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Do dogs really feel shame?

Updated:
NEW YORK -

If you've ever loved a dog, you've probably seen the look: that unforgettable guilty expression on your pet's face after getting into trouble.

Dogshaming.com makes it a point to record canine wrongdoing by featuring photos of dogs with signs written by their humans that explain the transgression.

"I have a fetish for all things stuffed...and I will somehow pull them into areas they should not fit....please help."

Many photos feature dogs looking shameful, but that may not be what they're feeling at all.

The site features good dogs gone bad:

"I ate the trampoline."

"I broke grandma's iPad."

"I got into the coupons."

Their heads are down. They won't look you in eye.

Their shame appears to be written all over their face, and in some cases around their necks. With 58 million page views, dogshaming.com is one of the most popular places on the internet.

No matter how guilty you think they look, some researchers say your pup is feeling no shame for destroying your shoes. They just don't have that ability.

They may not feel shame, but they do know how to read our moods. If you're happy, they'll want to play with you, and if you're sad maybe they'll come over and lick your face.

In fact, scientists in Budapest recently conducted MRIs on 11 pooches. They found, just as in humans, dogs have a little patch of neurons that respond to emotional sounds.

Hence when your dog is being scolded for doing something wrong, it's your temper, some say, and not their guilt that's making them cower.

But not everyone agrees.

"They definitely feel shame," argued Jon Ortiz with Playground Pups, explaining that a dog may choose to go into his cage even before getting scolded.

Animal behaviorist Warren Eckstein doesn't buy it, either.

"There's no doubt in my mind they're embarrassed. The way they turn their head, the way they look away. It's almost like they don't want to make that contact with you because they are really ashamed of what they did," said Eckstein. 

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