19 March 2011

Who ate the kitty cat treats?

This video has been posted at lots of blogs (1.8 million views) this past week, but I want to store it here as well.  An informed commentor at Reddit explains that the toothy grin made by Denver...
"is known as "grimacing" and in the breeds that demonstrate it, it is a sign of submission."
So the dog may be responding to the filmmaker's tone of voice rather than actually expressing guilt.  Maybe Macy is the actual thief.

Addendum:  A big tip of the hat to Daniel, who found a report of a study which may support my speculation -
Dogs looked most “guilty” if they were admonished by their owners for eating the treat. In fact, dogs that had been obedient and had not eaten the treat, but were scolded by their (misinformed) owners, looked more “guilty” than those that had, in fact, eaten the treat. Thus the dog’s guilty look is a response to the owner’s behavior, and not necessarily indicative of any appreciation of its own misdeeds.


  1. I don't know about other dogs, but our dog would not look us in the eye when he had done something he knew he wasn't supposed to do. And it wasn't tone of voice, because he was born deaf. Although he's in puppy heaven now, I still laugh over some of his escapades. He was a lovey.

    Dogs are such wonderful beings.

  2. I think he was framed by the cat.

  3. While I always think it's the kitty cat's fault, Denver knew what was going on. I agree with Cathy. We had a golden and she behaved the same way when confronted with something she did knowingly wrong. Did not matter how you said it, she knew better.

  4. Another example


  5. I'm dog sitting, and Eddie loves the bed I bought for him. He stopped playing and came over to me, and didn't want to get on my lap or go out, just kept looking at me. I got up, and he had torn the bed and pulled stuffing out. He was really upset. He wastched me every second I was sewing, and hopped right in the minute I put the bed down. He knew he had done wrong, was sorry, and wanted his misteake fixed. Dogs are amazing.

  6. "So the dog may be responding to the filmmaker's tone of voice rather than actually expressing guilt. Maybe Macy is the actual thief."

    In fact there is an interesting experiment, which seems to demonstrate exactly that:


  7. Thanks, Daniel. I added your link to the post.


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