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Tag: barnard college

One study’s verdict: Dogs found not guilty

beagle_pupIt’s being reported that researchers at a New York college say dogs don’t feel guilt — that the “guilty look” on a dog’s face is all in the imagination of the human owner.

After tricking owners into thinking innocent pets had misbehaved, researchers found that owners claimed to see a guilty look on the face of dogs that did nothing wrong, proving owners were projecting human values onto their pets, the study says.

The study, led by Alexandra Horowitz, assistant professor at Barnard College in New York, looked at how dog owners interpreted their pets’ expressions when they believed that the dog had stolen and eaten a forbidden treat. In a series of tests, owners were sometimes given accurate and sometimes false information about whether their dog had stolen the treat.

Researchers found that pet owners’ belief that they could read their dogs’ “body language” was often entirely unfounded, according to a BBC report.

Far more likely, it seems to me, the dogs were correctly reading their human’s body language. Read more »