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Maybe apes do experience regret, and even guilt, but that doesn't necessarily apply to canids. But who knows?

My dog has never expressed either emotion. Ever. If I'm feeling grumpy and growl at my Golden: "Knock it off or I'll @#!%* kill you!", my dog wags and does the "YAY! Daddy's gonna @#!%* kill me!" hop. I think I need to find a workshop that will help me increase my scariness.
 

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I think SOME dogs may experience guilt and others not so much.

Strauss is a good example. There have been times when I've come in the house, and he IMMEDIATELY runs to his kennel, ears back, head down....I have seen NOTHING out of order in the house, found nothing destroyed, no odors. I look at him in his kennel and he's doin gthe "Please don't kill me" tail wag with the "I am SO sorry" ears and "Do you still love me?" eyes.

I'll just be overall confused, walk away...and suddenly find the "thing that's wrong". He hasn't had time for me to actually GET angry because I don't know what's wrong yet...
 

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I don't know if I would exactly call it feeling guilty.

Regret at some level? Maybe, I doubt it's as abstract a concept as what we do with guilt or regret if they do feel it.

I'm with the researcher though, seems a necessary thing at some level for a highly social mammal in a complex social group.

As for looking guilty? Oh yes. What motivates the display I don't think we really know completely.
 

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Guilt implies empathy towards whomever was "wronged"...like "I'm sorry I upset you, what can I do to make up for it?" or maybe, an understanding of how YOU would feel if someone did the same to you or yours. There is a sense of responsibility in guilt.

Regret implies, " I shouldn't have done it because I am now in trouble" or "I should have done this instead so that I would have gotten the reward/good stuff". A sense of loss, disappointment or dissatisfaction.

This may sound niggling, even a splitting of hairs..but there is an essential difference between the two. One shows an awareness of cause and effect involving OTHERS and the other an awareness of cause and effect regarding themselves.

I do believe that regret is evident in dogs (or any animal) or else why would rewarding a behaviour work, but not rewarding it results in extinction? If you can learn a reward is coming and ANTICIPATE it, then there would logically be regret or disappointment if the behaviour did not receive the expected result...often resulting in a change of behaviour...like when a dog "throws" a series of behaviour at the trainer, trying to figure out which one is going to get the reward.

Guilt is a bit more difficult to ascertain as it is more about how others FEEL. I'm not saying it does not exist in dogs but does require a much higher level of emotional intelligence than can be proven. My friend says dogs are "innocently selfish" as they do what works for them, this is the basis of training...assuming they do not do what works for their owners, unless it is mutually beneficial.

Hope that made sense.
 

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There have been times when I've come in the house, and he IMMEDIATELY runs to his kennel, ears back, head down....I have seen NOTHING out of order in the house, found nothing destroyed, no odors. I look at him in his kennel and he's doin gthe "Please don't kill me" tail wag with the "I am SO sorry" ears and "Do you still love me?" eyes.
He's prolly been on your computer looking at PORN (work-safe).
 
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