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Bark Magazine

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A Taste of Dog Science

A few researchers have explored the “guilty look” in dogs. What does it mean when a dog just looks so guilty -- head down, looking away and freezing? Does he know that he has done something wrong? Or might something else be going on?

I made the below video, Is Denver Really Guilty? to discuss a viral internet video where Denver, a beloved companion dog, is accused of eating cat treats.

Is Denver Really Guilty? explores the “guilty look” by reenacting one of the four conditions from Dr. Alexandra Horowitz’s 2009 “guilty look” study. For more discussion of the video, visit the Dog Spies Blog:

  1. Part 1: What’s the “guilty look” all about?

  2. Part 2: But my dog looked guilty before I

   even saw the mess!

  1. For Dr. Patricia McConnell’s summary of

   the Horowitz 2009 study, click here.

Published Research

Hecht, J., Miklósi, Á., Gácsi, M. 2012. Behavioral assessment and owner perceptions of behaviors associated with guilt in dogs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science.

What’s the “guilty look” all about?

Read the summary on Scientific American.

Articles by
 Julie Hecht, MSc

Join Our Research!

At the Horowitz Dog Cognition Lab, we are studying dog-human play. Live in NYC? Join our latest study. Contact for details.

Canine Science Forum Conference

What happened at the 3rd CSF in Barcelona, Summer 2012? CSF 2012 Abstracts. A brief summary of the conference.

Get Practical!

Want to become an animal behaviorist?

What’s it all about? Check out my article on Dr. Patricia McConnell’s website.

Published Research

Horowitz, A., Hecht, J. Dedrick, A. 2013. Smelling more or less: Investigating the olfactory experience of the domestic dog.

Learning and Motivation. In Press.