So, you know that sad look your dog gives you when she or he chewed one of your shoes or finished off your sandwich when you turned your back for five seconds? Well, science has revealed why dogs make that adorably guilty face! According to molecular biologist Nathan H. Lents and his article in Psychology Today, dogs inherited this expression from another four-legged creature — the wolf.
He notes that this particular look is called an “apology bow,” and it’s an inherited behavior.
via giphyIf you’ve witnessed a full-on apology bow, it’s pretty hard to continue punishing your dog. Even when they’ve just consumed your entire slice of pizza.
Lents goes on to explain how this learned behavior has become their default action for when they’ve done something wrong.
He also points out that there are similarities between the apology bow and the submissive posture that wolves make toward a higher ranking animal. The tail goes in-between the legs, and they hang their head while avoiding eye contact. Just like human behavior, there are differences depending on the situation and personality of the canine.
via giphyBut one thing is clear: This makes us wanna go and squeeze our furry friend!
Because whether they’re behaving like an impossibly perfect creature OR trying to share our dinner, we love all the expressions they throw our way.