Embarrassment is an emotion, one of those called secondary (reactions to other emotions), and is linked to self-awareness, to feeling the attention of others on oneself and to the fear of appearing ridiculous compared to shared norms. There are those who deny that dogs feel embarrassed , arguing that it is impossible to distinguish it from fear or anxiety; others are of the opinion that speaking of embarrassment for dogs is tantamount to anthropomorphizing them; still others say that dogs cannot know embarrassment because it would mean that they have a sense of social norms.
But dogs feel embarrassed or not.
Here’s an answer to all your doubts.
- Dogs get embarrassed (and it’s not an anthropomorphization)
- Dogs feel emotions
- What embarrasses dogs and how they manifest it
Dogs get embarrassed (and it is not an anthropomorphization)
A more than convincing answer to these doubts is certainly given by the great ethologist and evolutionary biologist Mark Beckoff.
The scientist explained that using human terms to describe something about animals – in this case, embarrassment about dogs – doesn’t mean anthropomorphizing them. It simply means using expressions that humans know, and which therefore allow us to broaden our knowledge of the animals we are observing.
This is not even remotely equivalent to saying that their way of feeling or expressing emotion or mood is the same as humans, but our four-legged friends still have their own way of expressing their feelings. Dogs feel emotions
The human being is certainly not the exclusive repository of conscience, emotions, feelings, moods: even dogs feel emotions , they are aware of themselves, they realize if they have the attention of others on them, and they have shared rules.
Among them there is the canine code of behavior, very strict, the rules of which are learned by very little ones thanks to the interaction with the mother and siblings. And they also have shared norms with humans, since they live with us.
The conditions to say among the various emotions that dogs feel there is also embarrassment, therefore, they are all there. What embarrasses dogs and how they manifest it
At this point two questions arise: the first is what embarrasses dogs and the second and how they manifest it.
For what embarrasses dogs there are still no scientific answers: it is possible that there is a strong individual component – as among humans, on the other hand – in which the cultural context also counts.
How the dog manifests embarrassment
The answer that is given and that can be deduced from its behavior: it is therefore essential that the owner knows how to distinguish the behavior of his pet –
As for me, I can say that our Eduard – strong and sure of himself – he embarrassed himself. I remember that as a child, when he had been with us for a few weeks, he had peed at home during a dinner with many guests: his reaction was not one of anxiety, fear, stress, it was different, just embarrassment .
Oban, on the other hand, has no sense of himself, and the king of insecurity, and he seems not to be ashamed of anything he does, not even to back out of the house because he is afraid of the floor. Maybe if he were a little ashamed he would avoid the scene and walk normally.