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That Guilty Look Your Dog Is So Good At Doesn't Mean What You Think It Means

It seems so easy to tell when our dogs have done something wrong.

They won’t look at you with their big, sad eyes and they slink around the house. It seems that guilty dogs act just like toddlers, completely and totally conscious of the fact that they’ve done something we won’t like. As it turns out, though, their shameful looks are more about us than about them, and when we simply say they’re acting guilty, we might be missing the real problem.

Alexandra Horowitz conducted an experiment about the guilty look our dogs give us as part of a study published in 2009.

In the experiment, dog owners instructed their pups to not eat a treat, then they left the room. When they came back, they were told whether or not their dog ate it.

Some owners were told that their well-behaved dog had eaten the treat when they hadn’t.


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