Monday, March 25, 2013

Musing on Monday #13

Did you know dogs feel envy ...... But not guilt
Dogs know when they're not getting a fair shake (tell me about it!)  A 2008 study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that when dogs saw other dogs getting treats for a trick they'd been performing unrewarded, the unrewarded dogs became agitated, scratching themselves and avoiding the gaze of the rewarded dogs. They also stopped doing the trick much faster than if they were alone and not getting a reward. The dogs' version of jealousy wasn't as sophisticated as a human's: The animals didn't seem to mind if other dogs got sausage while they just got bread, (point taken I get a big cookie at bedtime - the Dweeb gets little cookies and he doesn't notice at all) and they didn't care if another dog got food for nothing while they had to do tricks for a snack (yeah tell about that too - I have to jump through hoops and the Dweeb just sits there looking like a DWEEB and gets a treat too! ) But, the researchers wrote, the findings were good evidence that being green with envy isn't just a primate thing.

Those puppy-dog eyes Fido gives you when you scold him over knocking over the garbage can for the umpteenth time aren’t a sign of guilt, researchers say. He's just responding to your rebuke.
When dog owners thought their dogs had eaten a forbidden treat and reprimanded them either with words or body language, the pooches looked just as "guilty" regardless of whether or not they had actually eaten the treat. In fact, dogs who were wrongly accused of snack-snatching often looked more guilty than dogs who had really eaten the treat. Turns out those soulful eyes don't reflect any soul-searching, after all.

Personally I think we ALL know we could argue both points of view :)


  1. That is so interesting. Pip does seem to agitated when he thinks the cats are getting more treats than him. I am not convinced about the guilt thing. If Pip doesn't feel guilt, he is a darn good actor! Lol!

  2. That explains well why Mika never looks guilty; he just shows his happy-go-lucky face to us all the time.

  3. In this house it isn't cookies, we tend to give both cookies/treats at the same time, but attention. God forbid one head/tummy gets rubbed more than another or the green eyed bug is out.

  4. Hummmm I will have to think about all this. I do know that it has been my experence that if I indeed have done something wrong and MOM "scolds" me I do feel bad. But if she scolds me for something I indeed did not do I just look at her with the what are you talking about woman look.

  5. We are more worried than envious and we sure look guilty when we have done wrong. Not that we do much wrong anyways. Have a marvelous Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

  6. yep i agree..maggie didn't care at all that she wet in my new bed!
    stella rose

  7. I know it. I am beginning to give Finn treats for things that she knows how to do so she doesn't get mad when I give them to Charley too.

  8. I've never seen Keltic look guilty, Beckett on the other hand does sometimes I guess that's because he's more in tune with me.

  9. Ooooh Oooooh, would you believes mum and Mr. Vet had dis same very conversation da udder day! Then her came home and was tellin' me bouts it and I was like duh...I has never felted guilty of anything...hehehehe.


  10. We prove envy here all the time
    Benny & Lily

  11. Boy howdy do we hang our heads in shame sometimes, Dad don't yell or ready get on us, he real calm says "that was a bad pup" and point his finger at us, thats when we understand, the index finger of shame!
    Your Pals
    The Mad Scots

  12. Very interesting.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  13. With four of us here, you can imagine we all want to be treated fairly. Phantom gets spoiled with treats but Mom doesn't want the rest of us to get so many. So we get carrots or blueberries while Phantom gets a cookie. We don't care, just give us something too:)

    Woos - Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

  14. Interesting....definitely jealous dogs living in this house.

  15. Oh, that reminds me of how Rufus B Thumper would get treats just for being there and looking gorgeous while I would have to sit, lie down, stand, stay and do other stoopid stuff to get a sliver of liver.

    Don't you just love it when humans think they have us sussed out, Reilly? BWAH haha!

  16. I envy all the pretty dogs in my hood. Yep I look sad when we pass dogs with beautiful coats or straight legs. Lee always make sure about sharing treats with other dogs so that does not both me.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog today
    Sweet William The Scot

  17. Woof! Woof! Interesting!!! I don't have to worry about it. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  18. Well, since I'm an only pups, I don't feel the envy ~ I gets everythings! hehehe
    And, No, I've never felt guilty eithers!! hehehe
    Love the info guys, Ma has always wondered abouts my behaviour....

  19. Bonnie, our sheltie before Katie would get those sad eyes if we even THOUGHT about yelling at her...we never had to correct her other than gently. Katie, on the other hand, NEVER has sad eyes...and it wouldn't matter how much we corrected her...she'll always do what she wants. Cause she's a princess.

  20. Did you say "treats." Yumm I want treats now!

  21. I've always been envious of people who can train one dog in front of the other without the non-training dog getting agitated. I never got the hang of that with Mango and Dexter. Maybe this explains why. The more I worked with Mango, the more agitated Dex would get (and visa versa). The worst (for me) would be when I had one dog out and one dog in and the non-training dog would cry and press his face against the window.

    Mango Momma


Thank you for woofing at us - we read each and every one of them