Friday, October 21, 2005

"Expert" on Dog Behavior Says Dogs Are Not Capable of Getting Upset With Owners

So, there's this guy who is supposed to be an expert on dog behavior. Yeah. 'Cause just like people, alllll of the different breeds and mixes and types of dogs are the same. Right. Anyway, he talked to someone at MSNBC (click here to read it) and he says that dogs are not capable of complex emotions or reasoning, and he says that people "humanize" their dogs and attribute emotions to their dogs that dogs are not capable of. For example, he says that dogs are not capable of being mad at their owners.

When my mom read that, she laughed and said "This guy has never seen a Husky throw a temper tantrum!" Once, we say my buddy Maxx fake a foot injury at a Tails of the Tundra event. He kept holding his foot up as if it hurt to put it down, and he kept it up until his mommy and some other people fussed over him, checked his foot, and gave him a couple of treats. Then his foot was fine.

So speak up everyone - do you think dogs can get mad at people?

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  1. Ok.. so I have to say that this guys is over simplifing things.. I personally don't believe dogs to things to "get back" at us (he says the same in a different article "Do Dogs Think").. I also agree that people do overhumanize (anthropomorphise) their critters..

    AT THE SAME TIME, however, dogs are capable of being drama queens, tugging our heart strings (intentionally.. bullmastiffs pout.. it's hysterical!) etc etc. .. My kids have not ever been mad at me but they have certainly been disgusted with me.. (it's great when you belch and your dog looks at you like "oh my dog, you are disgusting")

    In all my communications with critters, I have seen and heard all kinds of things.. I have never seen them mad or angry, but I have learned of a few "games" they play.


  2. Hi Jen,
    I don't think I've ever really been mad at my mommy, but I certainly have gotten pouty and let her know it!

  3. A friend of mine pointed out to me that my Turbo stomps his foot when he's angry just like I do.

  4. Jena,

    Yup, I stopm my feet as well! And whine, and cry, and sometimes I can scream as if I'm being tortured. Once I did that becaust mommy went into Starbucks and Daddy and I stayed outside, and I couldn't see mommy in the store. Then I wanted to cross the street to visit another dog, and daddy wouldn't let me. So I screamed bloody murder and made everyone stare.

  5. Indy,

    My Lex honked the horn on my car when he had to wait for me while I went to the grocery store. He wanted everyone to know that I'd (temporarily) abandoned him.


  6. Hi, Michele sent me.

    I've definately seen my boxer dog, Casper get if not mad at me, well then annoyed.

    And I know that they do have an emotional life. Both of my dogs are very vocal about their feelings. They yip if they are excited, whine if they are sad - like when they meet someone new that they like who just left, they walk around the house pouting for a while wanting that fun person to come back and play some more.