Animal Emotions

Do animals think and feel?

The Genius of Dogs and The Hidden Life of Wolves

These two fact-filled and engaging books are well worth reading and sharing widely. While dogs have many friends imperiled wolves need all the friends and help they can get because as I write this essay they are being ruthlessly and wantonly killed. This unnecessary and heartless slaughter breaks up families and has had huge negative effects on on-going research. Read More

spot on, on "guilt"

Hi Marc!
Thanks so much for alerting me to and correcting the ubiquitous error about my study, some years back, which found that dogs showed more "guilty look" when a person scolded or was about to scold them, not when the dog actually disobeyed the person's request not to eat a treat. Clearly what the results indicated was that the "guilty look" did not most often arise when a dog was actually "guilty."

My study was decidedly NOT about whether dogs "feel guilt" or not. (Indeed, I'd love to know...but this behavior didn't turn out to indicate yay or nay.) I would feel dreadful if people then thought the case was closed on dogs (not) feeling guilt, which is definitely not the case. Many secondary sources got this right, but it must require reading the study to appreciate exactly what I did.

all best & here's to the dogs, who are such terrific and interesting subjects!


I believe it is absolutely amazing that the author of the actual study responded to the article and not been a snooty snoot of it; very awesome and, while traditional case studies seem way more complex than need be, i may take a look at it if possible

As a note to the author, Thank you very much for the book recommendation, article, and view!!*


Guilty Look

On observing Dr. Horowitz's work on Nova's "Thinking Animals" or Denver I often wonder why we as behaviorists call this a guilty look rather than what it appears to be: appeasement strategy/behavior; and quite effective at that.


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Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder.


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