LOS ANGELES (AP) — The next time you start shaking

your finger and shouting “Shame on you!” because your dog chewed up your favorite fuzzy slippers, just remember that no matter how guilty your dog looks, it

doesn’t know what your rant is about.

 

Behaviorists insist dogs lack shame. The guilty look — head cowered, ears back, eyes droopy — is a

reaction to the tantrum you are throwing now over the damage they did hours earlier.

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“Just get over it and remind yourself not to put temptation in the way next time,” said Dr. Bonnie Beaver, a

professor at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and executive director of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.

 

She thinks the online dog shaming memes are all in good fun.

“People come for a laugh and camaraderie,”

Lemire said. “They see that their dog isn’t the only one who does awful things. People don’t shame their dogs out of anger, they do it out of love.”

Another dog owner helped get celebrities into the trend. In late 2011, Jeremy Lakaszcyck of Boston started putting

shaming videos of his lemon beagle, Maymo, on YouTube. Four months later, Ellen DeGeneres ran one of them on her show and comedian Ricky Gervais tweeted it.

The popularity of the videos soared, Lakaszcyck said.

He also submitted photos to Lemire for dogshaming.com,

which made Maymo even more famous.

Maymo has a naturally sad or guilty face and senses something is wrong if

Lakaszcyck speaks in a stern voice. “They know when their owners are angry.

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“Maymo can

sit for quite a while looking sad because he’s a ham. It’s natural, and he knows a treat is coming. His tail usually wags through the wait. It’s like he’s

happy on one end and sad on the other,” he said.

 

One of the first scientific studies on the “guilty dog look” was conducted in 2009 by

Alexandra Horowitz, an associate professor of psychology at Barnard College in New York City. One of her books, “Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and

Know,” included the findings.

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