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Forget Dog Shaming, Experts Say The Dog Has No Idea What You Are Talking About

Photo Courtesy of DogShaming.com

Dog shaming, it can be funny online but according to canine behavioral specialists your dog feels no shame. In a recent statement Dr. Bonnie Beaver, a professor at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and executive director of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists advised to remove the tempting item from your dogs available area and get over it.

I know you are thinking no way, my dog looks SO guilty. And that may be true, however experts recently conducted a study to see if shame was possible in dogs and what they found  is that the shameful reaction your dog has is a trained response. They have learned over time that if he/she looks guilty, i.e. head cowered, ears back, eyes droopy you’ll stop yelling. These researchers add that they are confident your dog has no idea what you are going on about particularly if the incident happened hours ago.

So get a good laugh from all the dogshaming sites…dogshaming.com and shameyourpet.com or videos like those posted on youtube.com/crackrockcandy. But in your own case save your energy the dog doesn’t get it and they won’t. They do wish you’d stop yelling though.

Even the founder of Dogshaming.com Pascale Lemire was recently quoted saying “I don’t think dogs actually feel shame,” Lemire said. “I think they know how to placate us with this sad puppy-dog look that makes us think they’re ashamed of what they’ve done. My guess is that their thinking is: ‘Oh man, my owner is super mad about something, but I don’t know what, but he seems to calm down when I give him the sad face, so let’s try that again.’”

She does think the online dog shaming memes are all in good fun.

“People come for a laugh and camaraderie,” Lemire said. “They see that their dog isn’t the only one who does awful things. People don’t shame their dogs out of anger, they do it out of love.”

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