Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Who Says Dogs Don't Feel Guilty!

This is the "no no chair" and the "no no couch"
Notice I am sitting on the dog bed looking out the window.
Nothing to feel guilty about here, right?
I was reading a really good article the other day by Shelly Pfeifer, a dog trainer. I know, sometimes, our owners forget we are dogs and think we are human. Shelly tries to set the record straight in the article, How we Attribute Emotions to Dogs.

So Miss Shelly, tell me this. I, Cinnamon, am a DOG. I don't want to be a human. Humans are on this earth to love and wait on us. Why would I want to do that? I KNOW I FEEL GUILTY. Isn't that an emotion? You say, "Dogs are not capable of feeling guilty. To feel guilt dogs have to understand morality, have language skills, and be able to think about the past."

Miss Shelly, tell me this. When my owner is gone, and she forgets to lock the door to the den, I hop right up on the green chair, curl up and go to sleep. When she returns and the door opens downstairs and I hear her enter, I jump off and pretend I wasn't on the chair. But my body language always gives me away.

Sometimes I even run downstairs to greet her so she won't come upstairs, feel the chair and notice that it is warm. But here is what I feel. I feel like I'm going to get caught. I feel guilty because I know this is a "no no chair." I've been told that over and over.

She always knows when I have been on the chair... JUST BY LOOKING AT ME. I put my ears down and look kind of shy.

Shelly says it is because I am afraid. "If a dog comes across as “guilty” what he is actually showing is fear because he immediately senses your unhappiness, anger and frustration at him. Dogs are amazing at reading human body language and reacting to changes in their owners body language over time. There has been a lot of research on this subject, and everything recent I have seen and read demonstrates that dogs do not feel guilt."

My owner doesn't really get mad at me when I sleep on the chair. She just tells me to get down.. to get off. I'm not afraid. I just like the chair for sleeping and she thinks it should be a people only chair.

So my owner can tell if I have been on the chair by looking at me or.... by feeling the seat of the chair for warmth. I feel guilty because I am a smart dog. I've been told what the rules are and, sometimes, I choose to go against them. And then I get that guilty feeling.

I think Miss Shelly is wrong, WRONG, WRONG!!

Love, Cinnamon

1 comment:

  1. I's felt guilty before too, but it are only for somethin REALLY bad. Most stuff I do are perfect, so I do not has much to feel guilty bout.


Thanks for your comment. Love, Cinnamon