When a pet owner told her dog to get into bed, she never expected him to take her words so literally. After she went to check up on her pooch later, however, she stumbled across a scene of carnage. As a result, she decided to capture the unfolding events on camera.
While dogs might be man’s best friend, that’s not to say they always behave in a way we approve of. As many canine owners will know, animal discipline issues can arise long after puppyhood. Consequently, the internet is awash with videos of naughty dogs being busted by their humans.
And it seems that viewers can’t get enough of footage of dogs misbehaving. On the whole, the internet agrees that there’s nothing much cuter than a canine who’s done wrong and has guilt written all over its furry little face.
In one compilation video of disobedient doggies, an owner explains how her pooch has “gotten into his own bed today.” However, as she pans the camera around the room, it becomes clear that by that, she doesn’t mean he’s settled down for a nap.
Instead, it appears the dog has had some kind of tussle with his bed, leaving balls of padding everywhere and a big bald patch in his usual resting place. In short, the piece of pet furniture is utterly destroyed. And what’s more, the dog seems to realize he’s done wrong.
As the camera rolls, the dog’s owner reveals, “For some reason, he won’t make eye contact with me.” And it seems she’s right. Because as she turns her lens onto her pet, his blue eyes remain fixed to a corner before darting to the floor, as if to eliminate any chance of meeting his human’s gaze.
The next clip in the compilation features another dog that has turned on its sleeping place. However, not content with scattering feathers all across the room, this playful pooch has also managed to bend the bars on its cage, leaving its owner less than impressed.
Surveying the scene with a camera, a man says, “You tore up everything. That was a cage… There’s feathers two inches deep everywhere.” But his words appear to fall on deaf ears, as his dog looks away into the distance, barely acknowledging that he’s even there.
The next piece of footage features a case of double-trouble. In the clip, a pet owner walks into a scene of carnage, with one of her dogs stood among a slew of torn up items. “So let’s talk to the dogs. Who did this? Miles, did you do this?” she asks the pooch, which proceeds to run and hide beneath a bed.
Turning her attention to a second dog, the lady asks, “Where’s Paxton at?” And after a quick search, she finds the animal sitting in a cage. But while the dog appears to look as innocent as can be, his owner sees its sheepish behavior as an admission of guilt. “I’m pretty sure Paxton did it,” she concludes.
As the video rolls on, clips continue to show dogs caught out in various moments of madness. Household objects from bottles to rolls of toilet tissue are among the items to meet their demise in the footage, which features some pretty remorseful-looking pooches.
In one particularly adorable clip, a four-legged rascal seems so concerned about the repercussions of its bad deeds that it hides in the bathtub. Other dogs simply refuse to make eye contact with their owners, while some flee the scenes of their crimes.
Given that all of these actions could be interpreted as signs of remorse, many dog owners claim to be able to recognize their own pets’ “guilty faces.” However, some scientists believe that canines in fact aren’t able to understand complex emotions such as shame.
According to research released back in 2015, when badly behaved pets look guilty, they are reacting to their owner’s demeanors rather than reflecting on their own behavior. So, in this case, human body language and tone of voice plays a big part.
In order to test their theory, a team of scientists from Cambridge University recruited a number of dogs and their owners to take part in an experiment. In the exercise, human participants trained their pooches not to eat a biscuit within reach. They then left the room, after which a researcher either fed the biscuit to the dog or instead removed the snack.
When the owners returned to find the treat missing, they were asked to decide whether their dogs had eaten the biscuits, judging by the looks on the animals’ faces. However, the owners couldn’t. It appeared there was no difference in expression whether or not the animal had consumed the food.
Later, Cambridge University research associate Ljerka Ostojic told the Daily Mail, “If that guilty look is really an expression of contrition, they would only show it when they have done wrong. But that’s not the case.”
Ostojic added, “I had a client who had three dogs and whenever something happened like a shoe was chewed, it was always one of them that had the guilty look. Yet often she was not the dog who had done it. She was just the most timid dog and got frightened more quickly by her owner’s reaction.”
Dr Susan Hazel from the University of Adelaide agreed with the research’s findings. “There have been a number of studies, and it’s pretty clear that dogs don’t feel or display guilt,” she told The Daily Telegraph. “It’s not the way their brains work.”
Therefore, it appears the scientific community are pretty much in agreement that dogs can’t feel complex, human emotions such as shame. However, there’s no denying that there’s something adorable about the faces our pooches pull after misbehaving. So, we don’t expect guilty dog videos to disappear from the web any time soon.