The puppy dog look has to be one of the hardest looks to receive when you are mad at your dog. Those big eyes seem to look right into your soul and let you know that your pet is sorry. But the question is, do these lovable pets actually feel remorse for their actions? According to John Hartigan, the author of this article, we are merely anthropomorphizing. Dogs do not understand what they did was wrong, but are excellent at understanding social and environmental cues. Apparently, dogs have evolved the use of eye contact with humans to be able to better communicate with them. When eye contact is exchanged between human and dog, they are experiencing heightened sense of oxytocin. This is a hormone that increases pleasure and bonding. This is the same hormone that is shared between mother and child. This would make sense, as most people treat their dogs as their children.
Personally, through seeing how my dog acts when she knows I am mad at her, I think she understands that I am not happy with her. She will give me those puppy dog eyes and lay down by my feet. Sometimes it is so hard to be mad at her that I forgive her right away. But for the most part, she will not bother with me until I call her name. And then she will come and sit on my lap and lay there as if she understands that she is forgiven. Dogs are not stupid animals; they are very perceptive towards how people feel, and that is why I disagree with the idea that they do not know when they do something wrong.