How do dogs say sorry

Welcome to our weekly ‘Ask a Vet from the SF SPCA’ feature on 7×7.com. Dr. Jeannine Berger, DVM, DACVB is a board certified veterinary behaviorist who counsels guardians whose pets’ issues are beyond the scope of training. Think of her as a pet shrink…at your service. Ask your own questions in the comments!

Q: I never hit or swat or even yell at my dog. But as a clumsy person who is often carrying a leash, handbag, gym bag, keys, coffee and wearing heels, on the rare occasion I step on my dog’s toe. She sleeps under my desk, so I’ve unwittingly bopped her in the nose with the wheel of my office chair. She’s never actually injured, but little accidents like that break my heart. How do I express to her that I am sorry?

A: Accidents can happen, and they don’t ruin a good relationship. When this happens to one of my animals, and believe me, with four dogs and four cats it does happen, I just say “Oops, I’m sorry,” pet my dog, and move on with something happy.

Luckily, dogs do not hold grudges – if you feel there is a change in behavior, it is more likely that you simply scared or accidentally hurt your dog. If your dog felt threatened by what happened, it could lead to a dog that is now afraid of you. This form of learning is called classical conditioning, or Pavlovian conditioning. This is where associations are being made between two closely related events. Let’s say, for example, you stepped on your dog’s paw and it hurt; the brain might associate the foot with the pain. The foot predicts pain, similarly to the bell predicting food in Pavlov’s example. Therefore, the bell will then lead to drooling in anticipation of food, just as the presence of your foot will lead to avoidance because impeding pain is anticipated.

Although there is such a thing called “one trial learning,” it is rare, and usually only happens if the trauma was very dramatic and not just an accidental bump.

Dogs are pretty good at reading intent–meaning, if your intent is to punish, your entire body language is threatening and you have the intent to tell (or worse show) your dog that he did something wrong. When you accidentally bump into your dog, they can most likely tell that it was not directed at them. Should this happen frequently, he will get more careful when you move around and try to get out of your way sooner, but chances are, he will “forgive” you.

Being a dog parent you may have noticed that your pooch gets bored at home when he/she is left alone and finds something to entertain himself.

When you arrive, you may have found chewed shoes and pillows lying in your house and your dog sitting in a corner.

From stealing food from the kitchen cabinet or fridge, chewing shoes or using the bathroom, they do all the wrong things when they are left alone, but do they ever say sorry?

How do dogs apologize?

Dogs say sorry by expressing physical signs like the tail-between-the-legs pose, dropped ears, wide eyes, reduce panting, rubbing their face against the paw or wagging the tail. Usually, it’s the dog’s way to accept that they made a mistake and it is a submissione expression rather than saying sorry.

Though many dog parents assume that their dogs know how to say sorry, we don’t know for sure if they are really saying sorry.

Dogs understand that they have screwed up and their tail between the legs pose is actually an apology bow as per City University of New York researchers.

Naughty dogs hang their heads and tuck the tails to seem obedient, which is known to be a socially clever move that dogs inherited from wolves, according to CUNY biologists.

When you assume that your dog looks guilty, you are actually projecting your feelings onto the pooch in the context of the situation. But in reality, they are reacting to your reaction.

Do Dogs Know When They’ve Done Something Wrong?

As a dog owner who spends time training the puppies know that they can learn actions we state as the right behaviour.

A dog’s behaviour in front of their owners after a naughty act is a learned behaviour of acceptance to their owners’ angry expressions, stated a 2009 study conducted by Alexandra Horowitz, a canine psychologist at the Columbia University Dog Cognition Lab.

Owners usually mistaken this behaviour of their canine as guilt, but it is actually the reaction to the owners angry or displeased emotions.

You might be thinking why do they tuck their tails or run away before you notice their naugty deeds. This is because they are super smart and they learn to associate a specific event to a specific human response.

For example, your dog may hide even before you notice chewed shoes because he/she remembers that chewed shoes make you upset.

Now, you might be thinking why would they do the deed when they know that the owners would get upset. This is because dogs are not able to connect the two events to realize that chewing shoes is wrong.

Also practice positive reinforcement methods with your furry friend. Always reward good behaviours instead of punishing your dog’s bad behaviours.

Science Behind Dogs Behavior Like Humans

Dogs can copy behaviours, and understand emotions very well. Research shows that owners incline towards dogs that remind of themselves, which is not the case always, but researchers have observed that an overweight owner will have an overweight dog.

Dogs observe their owners and understand what works and what not. They are in sync with their facial expressions, and emotions. A stronger bond between the human and dog, the more chances of the dog copying his/her human, which is known as emotional contagion.

Your dog understands the belly rubs and pat on the head for behaving in a good way. He also slowly learns not to disturb you while you are cooking or behave in a certain way to get your attention. Your furry friend uses his/her emotional intelligence and tries to learn things that you like and don’t like.

Conclusion

We hope to have helped you understand how dogs apologize. We have also tried to explain how they know whether they have done something wrong. If you have ever wondered that your dog is an animal copy of you, read the section on ‘Science Behind Dogs Behavior Like Humans’ that talks about a research on the topic.

Related posts:

About Us

We are a group of pet lovers who are passionate about sharing everything that we learned while raising our pets.
We aim to make “Indian Pets” as an unltimate resource for all pet enthusiast in India that covers everything about the pets, from cost to buy to that one specific question lingering in your mind!

How do dogs say sorry

There have been many different studies about the behavior of dogs, many of which have come about from human insistence in projecting our own emotions onto our pets. Much of the research has been into whether dogs feel guilt and shame; so far, the general consensus is that we don’t really know.

But despite the scientific research being inconclusive, many dog owners believe that their dogs can and do say sorry to them when they have been bad.

I don’t believe that dogs can apologize, and I will explain why. But I do think that dogs are able to learn from the way react, knowing certain behaviors and actions can elicit certain responses – and some of those will be reflected in their body language, expressions, and eyes.

And because of this, it’s no wonder that dog owners think that dogs can say sorry.

Dog’s body language can look like they are saying sorry

For example, dogs know when we are angry and when we are telling them off. Over the years of domestication, dogs have grown to understand that things like cowering, being subservient, and puppy dog eyes result in owners calming down, and possibly giving them a treat.

I’ve seen this with my own dog Claude when we are playing. If he is mouthing during play and accidentally bites me, I will do a loud “yelp” to signal he’s gone too far. He will back down, step back a little, and does look very sorry for himself… and I then go in and give him a cuddle and lots of love.

Essentially dogs learn from their bad behavior and understand that they will get rewarded for being good or displaying certain action. If you are scolding them, they might then give you those puppy dog eyes which we can mistake, understandably so, for dogs saying sorry and apologizing.

Here’s what a few experts say about the idea of how dogs say sorry or not.

Dogs look like they are saying sorry with a sad look

“I don’t think dogs actually feel shame. I think they know how to placate us with this sad puppy-dog look that makes us think they’re ashamed of what they’ve done. My guess is that their thinking is: Oh man, my owner is super mad about something, but I don’t know what, but he seems to calm down when I give him the sad face, so let’s try that again.” (Pascale Lemire of DogShaming.com)

We do not know if dogs can apologize

“Humans have a natural desire to know what an animal is thinking, and yet we are limited to reading body language and measuring physiological reactions. The bottom line is we will never truly know because we cannot ask them.” (Dr Bonnie Beaver, Professor at Texas University of Veterinary Medicine: source)

How to dogs say sorry to each other?

Whilst I don’t believe dogs can sorry to humans, I wondered if there was any evidence into whether dogs can say sorry to each other.

From my own research and seeing my own dog playing with other dogs, they do act subservient to each other. This can take the form of bowing their heads and rolling on their backs to act submissive.

I’ve seen this behavior during rough play, and it could be interpreted as being apologetic. Perhaps this is how dogs say sorry to each other after a problem… who knows?

What about the other way around?

I’ve also looked into how humans should apologize to dogs, and whether dogs even understand an apology. You can find out all I learned in this other blog post.

How do dogs say sorry?

As I’ve established, I don’t genuinely believe dogs can say sorry, but I know that many dog owners will completely disagree with me.

So, to keep things fair and balanced, I decided to ask dog owners and on social media how their dogs say sorry to humans when they have been bad.

Here’s a selection of the best responses.

How do you know if your dog is saying sorry?

“My dog knows if he has done wrong and will act all sorry with droopy ears, wide eyes, and occasionally looking down and avoiding my eye contact. It’s hilarious to see. Dogs can apologize, and this is how they do it by acting all guilty and shifty!”

“Our French Bulldog says sorry with the puppy dog eyes first of all. If that doesn’t work, he will then shuffle up to us and get right into our personal space by rubbing up against our legs and rubbing his head into us. It’s obvious he’s saying sorry to us, especially after he’s been naughty and chewed another cushion.”

“I know that dogs lick to say sorry. I’ve seen it with loads of my own dogs down the years who will apologize by muzzling into my neck, licking me, and generally giving me as much attention as possible until I give in and forgive them.”

“How dogs say sorry is very simple. It’s the classic tail between the legs body language. Acting submissive. Looking guilty. This are all signs of how your dog can apologize to you.”

“My dog says sorry by licking me, but only once I give him the go-ahead that I forgive him. It’s super cute and adorable, and anybody who says dogs can’t apologize don’t have a heart. They can and do say sorry!”

Conclusion

Despite the studies we will never actually know whether dogs know how to say sorry of whether they even have a concept of remorse and apology.

Fundamentally dogs live for the moment, so being able to say sorry would require that they were aware of time and the past action. Personally, I don’t believe that dogs have the mental and emotional ability to offer an apology.

Dog owners around the world will disagree with me, and I understand why; your dog can look sorry and guilty when you tell it off. But I believe this is purely because they understand what response that results in when their owners are emotional.

It’s “pleasing” behavior that they have learned works in response to negative body language from us. That’s what the puppy dog eyes, sad looking face, tail between the legs, and submissive pose is all about… surely?

There are no studies that comprehensively show that dogs can say sorry, or how they apologize. If and when that ever happens, I will put my hands up and accept I was wrong.

In fact, I will say sorry!

You might also like…

I regularly blog about the way dogs act, and here are some popular posts you might also enjoy reading:

The more time that you spend with your dog, the more you begin to understand him and the more he understands you.

And with that understanding comes mutual trust and an almost unspoken form of communication.

Your dog slowly, but surely begins to intuit what you want and expect from him, and in turn, you learn that your dog doesn’t always communicate in barks, growls, whine, and whimpers.

Sometimes he’ll tell you how he’s feeling, and what he’s thinking by cocking his head in a certain way or the speed at which he wags his tail.

Actions, in the canine world at least, can and do, speak louder than words.

Of course, that interaction depends entirely on whether or not you believe that your dog can, and does understand complex emotions in the same way that humans do.

How do dogs say sorry

Animal psychologists and innumerable scientific studies have proved that dogs understand and feel basic emotions such as anger, happiness, and love.

They’ve also shown that dogs base their interaction and relationships with humans based on those factors, and whether or not they even understand anything more complicated remains open to debate.

Does your dog actually feel guilt? Does he know how to say sorry and does he understand what he’s apologizing for and why he is doing it?

Or is he merely demonstrating a series of learned responses to a situation?

Have we given dogs too much credence and are we reading far more depth into their behavior than there actually is?

Or are we ascribing a very human way of thinking to a dog’s actions and overwriting a simplistic response to a given scenario with what we want to see, and believe is happening?

In other words, are we judging a dog’s actions and the way they respond to us with our hearts or our heads?

Seeing The World Through A Dog’s Eyes

It’s a question that while being entirely valid, will usually be met with a forthright and emphatic affirmative response by most owners.

Because an owner wants to always see the best in their dog, they will automatically believe that the dog understands when they’ve done something wrong without having to be chastised or told off for doing it.

And even though it might seem like we’re trying to distance ourselves from the believer’s camp, nothing could be further from the truth.

We know, or rather we choose to believe, that dogs are capable of understanding far more than most psychologists would credit them with being able to.

How many times have you felt as though the world was about to cave in around you, and your dog has immediately understood this and tried to provide the emotional support that you so desperately need in that moment, by cuddling a little closer, offering you his paw or licking your face?

How many times has your dog reacted with a wag of his tail when he sees you smile?

The subtle references to our wellbeing and emotional state that we express on a daily basis can be sensed and understood by our dogs, and if they know how to react to our more complex emotions, surely that means that their responses are driven, in part at least, by the fact that they also feel, and experience the same complex emotions that their owners do.

How do dogs say sorry

Can Dogs Feel Guilt?

The idea that your dog knows how to say sorry is predicated on the supposition that he can also feel guilt or understand when he’s been naughty. And dogs can and do feel and understand both.

Don’t believe us, okay we’ll illustrate our point with an example, that as a dog owner, we’re sure that you’ll not only be able to relate to, but have at some point experienced.

Have you ever walked through the door of your home to find something chewed up, or cushions and furniture scattered everywhere? You have? Good, then you’ll probably know where we’re heading.

And where was your dog when you walked through the door and discovered the disarray that has befallen your humble home?

Hiding and cowering in a corner because they were too ashamed to face you and in doing so, be reminded about what they did while you were out?

That behavior is a canine shame response generated by the knowledge that you will be disappointed in them. It’s your dog’s version of feeling guilty.

How Does A Dog Say Sorry?

Dogs have a number of different ways of apologizing for their actions, all of which they can and do engage in without being told that they’ve been “naughty”.

If they dip their ears, bow their heads and walk toward you slowly with their tail curled between their hind legs, it’s a non-verbal acknowledgment of their guilt and the tentative way they’re approaching you is their way of saying sorry and asking you to forgive them.

Some dogs will often add a soft, repeated whimper that emphasizes their guilt and reinforces their need for your forgiveness.

It’s important to quickly and affirmatively acknowledge your dog’s behavior, and either greet them with a kind, but firm response or pet them and reassure them that you’re not angry.

It’s also incredibly important to remember that you are the center of your dog’s world and that to him, your forgiveness at that moment is everything.

How do dogs say sorry

How Do Dogs Know When They’ve Been Naughty?

How does a dog know when he’s been naughty?

He knows, because he learns from you, and the longer he spends with you, the more he learns through observation what you expect from him, and what is and isn’t acceptable behavior.

Once your dog understands the boundaries that have been sent for him, breaking the rules, or crossing the boundary lines will, in most cases, automatically initiate a guilt response which in turn will make him apologize in an effort to ensure a return to the status quo that both he, and you, are used to.

Can a dog say sorry? Absolutely, and whether you knew he was doing it or you didn’t, your dog has almost certainly already said sorry to you on more than one occasion.

And the next time he does it, you’ll know exactly what he’s doing.

Thanks for contacting us. We’ve received your submission.

How do dogs say sorry

Shutterstock

More On: dogs

Grandparents face murder charge after 7-year-old fatally mauled by family dog

Woman placed on life support after pet dog head-butts her while playing

K-9 featured in Netflix’s ‘Rescued by Ruby’ euthanized

NYPD officer bitten in head by pit bull on Coney Island

Who’s a guilty boy?

Dogs know when they’ve screwed up — and their tail-between-the-legs pose is actually a highly evolved “apology bow,” according to CUNY researchers.

Naughty pooches hang their heads and tuck their tails to appear submissive to their owners — a socially shrewd move they inherited from wolves, according the City University of New York biologists say.

“It’s a very interesting phenomenon that goes far beyond the dog-human relationship and actually reveals quite a bit about the nature of communication itself,” Professor Nathan Lents, a molecular biologist, wrote last week in Psychology Today.

Domesticated dogs long ago evolved from wolves, which are so social that they shun badly behaved pack members, according to Lents, author of the book “Not So Different: Finding Human Nature in Animals.”

When young wolves know they’ve done something wrong — like chomping down on a pal or getting too frisky while wrestling — they strike the guilty pose. The cowering bow illustrates to their canine compadres that they’re low-status and sorry, Lents wrote.

These days, Fido and Rover bust out the posture to “apologize” to humans for everything from swiping a sandwich to chewing a shoe.

“Dogs have inherited this behavior, and they will use it after any kind of infraction that results in being punished,” Lents explained.

“As social animals, they crave harmonious integration in the group, and neglect or isolation is painful for them.”

It all boils down to the power-dynamics of friendship, he notes.

see also

How do dogs say sorry

This is what your dog is trying to tell you

“In a sense, an apology is indeed an expression of submission. ‘I was wrong; you were right.’ Nothing could be more submissive than that,” he said.

He added, “While it may seem like a trivial action, it is actually involved in multiple fairly sophisticated social behaviors.”

Ultimately, when dogs strike the pose with owners, they’re asking, “Can we be friends again?”

When dogs hunch into the posture, they also generally stop panting, “smiling” and making eye contact, according to researchers.

“Just like humans rarely misinterpret a smile from a snarl, animals surely understand the subtleties of their own body language,” Lents wrote.

Lents’ research piggybacked off of a 2009 study from Barnard College noting that the “guilty-dog look” pops up most often when owners scold their pooches.

How do dogs say sorry

As dog lovers, we believe that our canine companions experience emotions. We observe them as they display affection toward us, cower fearfully from vacuum cleaners, alert to the UPS truck, and grin or wag like crazy at a friendly person.

With their expressive faces and demonstrative body language, dogs manage to communicate a wide range of emotions to their humans. But the jury is still out on whether dogs actually understand when they do something wrong and feel guilty.

What’s That Guilty Look For?

You’ve probably come across your dog after he’s done something naughty, like peeing in the house or shredding your favorite pair of socks. His body language seems to radiate guilt. Many veterinary experts suggest that this is a classic case of anthropomorphism — when we attribute human characteristics or behavior to an animal.

A 2009 study examined “guilty” canine expressions. Researchers observed dogs and their owners under several sets of circumstances and discovered that dogs tended to display “guilty” body language more frequently when their owners scolded them than when the owners remained neutral – regardless of whether the dogs had actually done anything wrong.

Dog cognition scientist and author Dr. Alexandra Horowitz, who coordinated the research, concluded, “a better description of the so-called guilty look is that it is a response to owner cues, rather than that it shows an appreciation of a misdeed.”

Guilt or Fear?

When we say a dog looks guilty, we usually mean he displays some or all of the following behaviors or signs:

  • Tucked tail
  • Visible whites of the eyes
  • Cowering, hunched posture
  • Yawning
  • Licking
  • Flattened ears
  • Avoiding eye contact

These are all expressions of fear and stress in dogs. While these behaviors could also conceivably communicate a feeling such as guilt, it does pose a dilemma for researchers. Do dogs truly understand that they’ve broken our rules and feel bad about it, or are they simply reacting to our voice and body language by trying to appease us with a submissive posture?

Guilt is a complex concept. It requires an understanding of cause and effect in relation to time, which is difficult to prove. Dogs don’t talk about how they feel by using words, so we don’t know what they think about while they wait for us to come home and discover a chewed up shoe.

How do dogs say sorry

Learning to Appease

Dr. Mary R. Burch, certified applied animal behaviorist, suggests that when a dog looks guilty for an action such as house soiling or chewing, he has most likely done this before and may have experienced a strong reaction from his owner – scolding, yelling, or the cold shoulder. Now the dog may anticipate how the owner will react and exhibit body language to try to appease his owner, for instance cowering, as a way of asking for forgiveness.

Poking fun at a “guilty” dog in an amusing photo is one thing, but misunderstanding guilt can lead to problems. Animal behaviorists agree that because our dogs are so sensitive to our reactions, punishment after the fact can backfire.

If you come home to find your dog has done his business on the living room rug, scolding, pointing, or focusing your full attention on your canine companion’s mistake in a stressful manner communicates your displeasure. Next time you go out, he may eliminate in the basement or in some other hidden space because what he’s learned is that it upsets you to see his mess when you come in the door.

It’s far better to figure out how to prevent situations that lead to the behavior in the first place – confine your dog to a crate or pen when you’re out, hire a dog walker, be sure he’s had plenty of exercise before you leave him.

Do Dogs Understand When They Do Something Wrong?

Dog owners who spend time training their pups know that dogs can learn what we define as appropriate behavior if we take the time to teach them. After months of consistently telling my Lagotto Romagnolo pup (a.k.a. Italian Water Dog) to “leave it” as soon as she got near the lily pond in my backyard, and rewarding her when she did, I can now depend on her to spend time in my fenced yard alone and resist her instinctive urge to swim there.

So if dogs learn what their humans consider right from wrong, and they make the wrong choice, do they feel guilty? Although some experts have used her study to conclude that dogs don’t really experience guilt, Dr. Horowitz advises that we really can’t know for sure.

“My study was decidedly not about whether dogs ‘feel guilt’ or not. I would feel dreadful if people then thought the case was closed on dogs (not) feeling guilt, which is definitely not the case,” she says.

The question of whether dogs — or your dog — experience guilt remains unanswered.

How do dogs say sorry

Every dog parent has gone through this at some point – you arrive home and find chewed slippers, shoes, pillows, or worse, couch cushions and your dog sitting in the corner, seemingly remorseful.

Though many dog parents assume that dogs know when they have done wrong, do dogs ever truly try to apologize? How?

How do dogs say sorry? Dogs express remorse and try to apologize with physical signs such as hanging their heads and tucking their tail between the legs. This is a submissive expression inherited from their wolf ancestors, often accompanied by dropped ears, wide eyes, or rubbing their face against their paw.

There is a lot to know about this apologetic behavior in dogs, which reveals the nature of communication in dogs’ eyes.

As you read through the following, you’ll discover if dogs really do know how to apologize or if they are simply reacting to your reaction.

Dogs and Remorse: What To Understand

Dogs are super smart, and they can copy behaviors and understand emotions very well, although not like humans do.

They can learn from the way we react to certain things or behaviors, and understanding our reactions can elicit responses that show in the dog’s body language, eyes, and expressions.

Do Dogs Feel Remorse?

There is plenty of evidence that animals can feel what scientists call primary emotions, like happiness and fear.

However, there is extremely little evidence about them feeling secondary emotions such as pride, jealousy, or guilt.

Secondary emotions, like remorse, require a level of cognitive sophistication, especially when it comes to self-consciousness or self-awareness, which is not likely to exist in non-human animals.

With that said, dogs can display behaviors associated with guilt, although that’s not enough evidence that they have the emotional capacity to experience true remorse.

Dogs learn through observation and training about what is and isn’t acceptable behavior.

Once they understand the boundaries you’ve set for them, crossing or breaking those boundaries, in most cases, will automatically initiate a guilt response from them as they anticipate your reaction.

In short, dogs can “act guilty” as a result of learned association – for instance, chewing a shoe (or any other stimulus) and the impending punishment.

Can Dogs Really Apologize?

Dogs are social animals that crave harmonious relationships within the group. Being neglected or isolated is painful for them.

When you reprimand them for being naughty, dogs will strike a pose, seemingly saying, “I was wrong. I’m sorry. Can we be friends again?” It is your dog’s version of apologizing.

How Do Dogs Apologize? Signs Your Dog Is Trying To Say Sorry

Although dogs don’t truly understand the concept of being sorry, they do understand when you are displeased or angry at what they did, and they will respond accordingly.

That is their attempt to maintain their position in the “pack” and remain in your good graces.

With that said, dogs have a number of ways to apologize for their actions, and they can show these without being told that they’ve been naughty.

Bowing Their Heads

One of dogs’ non-verbal acknowledgments of guilt is bowing their heads and dipping their ears.

Most often, they will also have their tail curved between the hind legs as they tentatively approach you.

Whimpering

In many cases, some dogs will get into your personal space, rub up against your leg, and even add a soft, repeated whimper to emphasize their guilt and reinforce their need for you to forgive them.

Licking

Some dogs say sorry by nuzzling into your neck and licking you. Generally, they are trying to give you as much attention as possible until you give in and forgive them.

How do dogs say sorry

How Do Dogs Say Sorry to Other Dogs?

How dogs say sorry to other dogs is simple – by expressive submissive signs, such as cowering, hunched posture, flattened ears, and tucked tail.

Do Dogs Understand Your Apologies?

Whether dogs understand what you mean when you say, “I’m sorry,” remains somewhat of a mystery. They do undoubtedly understand when your anger dissipates though.

The important thing is to reconnect with your dog and ensure him that you’re not angry any more.

Will My Dog Forgive Me for Hitting Him?

While it’s unsure if dogs can forgive you in the sense that humans forgive, what’s certain is that dogs don’t hold a grudge if you hit them once, but remember that they can learn from your responses.

So, if a dog changes his behavior after you hit him, it’s more likely that he’s scared that you will do it again. This is something he is not likely to forget any time soon.

Will My Dog Forgive Me for Yelling at Him?

While your dog may not necessarily forgive you immediately for yelling at him, he will soon simply let go of what happened.

Dogs live in the moment, and before the feelings of guilt rush through your system, your dog may have already moved on, especially if you show him affection afterward.

How To Apologize to Your Dog

Occasionally, dogs can feel terrified when you hurt or yell at them in the heat of the moment. In that case, you can apologize to them in a way that they can understand.

  • Soothe your dog by speaking to him gently. If he hides in a corner and avoids you, you can try calling or talking to him from a safe distance. Once he feels comfortable, he will come closer or allow you to come closer.
  • Dogs understand your calm and welcoming attitude more than your verbal apology. Your time and praise are the greatest way to apologize to your dog.

Related Questions:

Do Dogs Feel Bad After They Bite You?

In general, dogs won’t feel bad or guilty after they bite you unless it was purely an accident.

Occasionally, they may cower and show signs of guilt, not because they really feel guilty but because of a learned response.

Do Dogs Feel Empathy?

Many dogs show empathy, especially toward their owners. It’s because they can understand and pick up emotions and even distinguish between positive and negative feelings.

For instance, dogs can display empathetic behavior like trying to comfort you when you cry.

Conclusion

Dogs can look sorry and guilty if they know they’ve been naughty – puppy-dog eyes, a tucked tail, and a sad-looking face are common occurrences.

However, their reaction is likely not due to actually feeling remorse as much as it’s a learned understanding of your response to their behavior.

We are all familiar with those sad fluffy faces when our Frenchies do something bad. Those eyes almost ‘scream’ the words ”I’m sorry” for behaving recklessly. While their way of feeling sorry is one of the cutest things, it also makes us wonder do they really know how to show a sense of apology. Read on and find out the truth.

How do dogs say sorry? Facts to know

It’s an undeniable fact that dogs can feel our emotions. They absorb our energy like sponges, so they’re pretty much aware of the things going on in our lives. Just remember how many times have you felt bad about something, and then voila…here it comes your Frenchie from such feeling by sitting in your lap and giving you emotional support.

That’s why you can’t trick your dog when you feel pissed off him. He will quickly realize that he needs to say sorry for being a naughty boy. Floppy ears, putting the head down, hiding under the table, and showing those ‘sad puppy eyes’ are something that we are all familiar with.

If you don’t forgive your Frenchie, he will probably start rubbing and pawing his face with paws. Besides, if you continue with the ignorance, the next level of feeling sorry is to sit in your lap and rubbing the muzzle against your hand or face. Licking the owner’s hand, and whining can also be some of the signs. After all those cute sessions of showing an outburst of emotions, one of the most difficult things is to resist those huge, protruding eyes. So, the following steps will depend only on you.

Do you want to cuddle your French bulldog and tell him that you don’t mind his disobedience? Well, our advice is to think twice before acting hastily.

If you want to build a healthy relationship with your lovely pet, it’s essential to become his pack leader. By becoming your French bulldog’s pack leader, you’ll prevent your dog from causing troubles at home.

How do dogs say sorry

How do dogs say sorry? Should you ignore your pet?

The main rule to keep in mind when you notice that your dog wants to say sorry is to stay consistent with the training lessons of becoming the pack leader. We know that it’ probably very hard to ignore your pet. However, that’s how you’ll ‘explain’ to him that he shouldn’t do that.

Besides, it’s also essential to work on your mutual relationship. Your Frenchie surely doesn’t want to live in an unhealthy environment where he will be punished for every wrong step. Instead of choosing physical punishment, you gotta play a mental game with your pet.

Dogs are curious and social beings that are born to play and investigate their environment. It’s in their blood to behave like that, so you shouldn’t restrict your dog from such practice. Every dog has the right to explore items by licking, sniffing, and chewing on them. Therefore, the main way is to teach your pooch what can and what can not chew.

How do dogs say sorry

Rewarding is important

After we revealed the question ‘do dogs say sorry?’ we can’t escape mentioning that rewarding is important. To teach your dog to discern good and bad things, you have to make a positive association for every good behavior. For example, if your Frenchie has learned a specific command, the key element is to reward him with snacks. Besides, showing affection and telling praise words will also do a lot for his personality.

There’re no studies that can prove to us that dogs know to say sorry. However, many dog behavior specialists believe that dogs look like they’re feeling sorry because they understand humans’ emotions and reactions.

How do dogs say sorry

Like we humans expect sorry, dogs also expect it from us. Maybe they don’t understand English or neither can speak that, but they do have a language to speak with us. Being an owner, we will have to understand that first. We keep pets because we love them and it is our duty to take care of whom you love. Maybe you have done something that offended your dog, but it’s your duty to earn their forgiveness. But how can you do that? Learn about some steps to say sorry to your dog.

Good Timing: Timing always matters. Everything in this world should be done with proper timing. If you can see that your dog is angry with you, take some time. Don’t rush to apologize. Let the environment be cool and calm and it takes a time to happen. There are many ways by which you can tell them sorry. You can prepare a small treat and put it in a place in your home where your dog can reach. By getting that, your dog will feel that you are sorry for the incident that happened.

How do dogs say sorry

Determine the Offense: First you will have to determine what did you do. Did you make fun of your pet? Did you hurt her? What’s the wrong you have done? Yes, you will have to know that first as your dog can’t tell you about that. The next step to say sorry always depends on what you have done. So it is very important.

How do dogs say sorry

Ways to say Sorry: You know your dog very well and now as you have determined your offense, you will have to look for the best way to tell them sorry. Every offense has its different way of telling sorry. For example, if you have hurt your dog, you will have to cuddle them to show your love. Again, if you have made fun out of your dog, you will have to give them a good treat. So you will have to think about the best way to say sorry.

How do dogs say sorry

Walk Slowly to her: As we have said earlier, don’t be in a rush as it can lead to a mess. Do everything slowly with patience. First of all take some time, then walk to them slowly and try to talk with them. If your dog is moving far from you, leave and wait for some more time as she is still not ready to listen to you. Try the same thing again after few minutes, maybe again the same thing will happen, don’t lose your hope, the third time they will not show annoying behavior.

How do dogs say sorry

Notice the Behavior: Now if you see that your dog is sitting and listening to you, that means you got the passport to their heart again. You will have to know the way to melt them again. Talk with them slowly in a soft voice. Though she will not understand what you are saying, but she will notice your voice and the way you are behaving. So don’t speak loud even if that’s your way of talking.

How do dogs say sorry

Take them Close: It’s time to take them close and give your touch. Yes, they need it now. Touch their favorite spots and scratch slowly to give them some comfort. But this is the first time you will be touching her. Don’t touch before and now slowly try to take them closer, let them feel your warmth.

How do dogs say sorry

Play with your Pet: Now the best idea to be closer is by playing with them. Let them feel that you are ready to play with them. You know the game that your dog loves to play with you. So that’s the one you should choose.

How do dogs say sorry

Give them some Attention: You know very well that dogs will always need your attraction. That’s the only thing they want from you. Spend time with them for the next few days. They will just feel that you care for them.

How do dogs say sorry

Praise and compliment: Lastly, you should praise your dog for every good activity they do. Yes, you should give them compliments, but not in words as they can’t understand it. You will have to give them small treats and cuddles.

How do dogs say sorry

So follow these ways step by step to say sorry to your dog and you will be getting what you want. But remember you can always expect a good behavior from your pet only when you have trained them well. So it is very important to train your dog properly from their young age. If your pet is a nicely trained dog, you will never face any problem in your home. You should go through all the duties and responsibilities that you have towards your pet and in return, you will always be showered with love from them.

How do dogs say sorry

There was quite the dust up on Twitter last week about a blog in Psychology Today by Nathan Lents, titled Dogs Apologize Better Than Some Humans. Skipping the observation that humans have a lot more to apologize for than dogs do, (clown horror movies come to mind), Lents addresses the “guilty look” of dogs and wolves. He argues that what people often interpret as a “guilty look” in dogs is the equivalent of an apology. He says:

“A dog that bites too hard is punished by temporary shunning. They are removed from the social unit and ignored for a time. In order to be reintroduced, the offending wolf must approach with an apology bow and be re-admitted into the group.”

There’s more. The quote that got him in the hottest of water was this: “In a sense, an apology is indeed an expression of submission. ‘I was wrong; you were right.’ Nothing could be more submissive than that,” he said.

No! Nope! Nopers!” said canine researcher and Scientific American blogger, Julie Hecht. “The dog’s supposed ‘guilty look’ does not translate to ‘I was wrong; you were right.’ ” I agree completely with Julie. “I was wrong” is not the same as a gesture of appeasement.

Here’s the logic of my argument, from my favorite world beyond that of dogs and flowers–food. Imagine you’re in a restaurant. The waitress is clearly busy and a bit harassed. You are ordering a BLT sandwich, but want sweet potato fries instead of regular ones. So you cock your head, crumple your eyebrows while looking chagrined and say “I know you’re busy, but could I have the sweet potato fries instead of the plain ones?” I’d argue that you are expressing appeasement, but not saying in any way that you were “wrong.” You are trying to prevent an angry outburst from someone you know might produce one, and at the same time you are trying to get what you want. But you’re not saying, “I’m wrong”. You’re just protecting yourself while attempting to influence the behavior of another in a context of potential conflict.

This is more than a theoretical conversation, because words matter to us humans, and dog owners love to accuse their dog of being “guilty” when the dog is only offering appeasement. The distinction is important, because “my dog looks guilty” often is translated into “I know he knows better” and therefore should be punished.

This is not a new issue. I’ve written about “dogs and guilt” previously in “Not Guilty, As Charged”. In 2011 I reported the results of surveys done by me and researcher Morris on “What Emotions You Think You Share with Your Dog.” (I think you’ll find the results fascinating–74% of the general public thought dogs could be guilty, while only 23% of blog-reader responders did. The results were about opposite for the emotion of disgust, which is believed to be the most primitive of all emotions.) Horowitz and Hecht have done some great research illustrating that dogs get what people call a “guilty look” on their face when they did nothing wrong, know that they did nothing wrong, but are facing an owner who thinks they did. Julie put together this brilliant video illustrating how very wrong we are when we assume that appeasement behavior means “I’m sorry, I was wrong.”

In summary, sorry to say, Nathan Lents, but I think it is wrong to say that dogs are saying “I’m wrong” when they are being appeasing. Don’t feel guilty–it’s a mistake that a lot of people make. (But we all do need to think carefully about our word choice in the future, if you would.) Actually, there is another issue here that could be explored: Lents’ argument that “nothing is more submissive than an apology”. Hmmm… if you are using “dominance” and “submission” the way animal behavior researchers have used it for decades, submission is correctly described as an appeasement behavior, but that’s not the same as an apology either. Right? Oh my, words do get us in a bit of a mess sometimes.

Your thoughts? I’m all ears. No apologies.

MEANWHILE, back on the farm: Perfect weather, perfect weekend. On Friday Maggie got to go on a long walk in the woods for the first time in three months. Happy, happy dog. And she got to work sheep for five minutes on Saturday, even better. Stopping at five minutes was ridiculously difficult, but we managed. I rested her yesterday, but will work her again today. She’s definitely regressed in terms of working sheep. She made three beginner errors on Saturday, (stopped short on her outrun, didn’t cover the sheep on the fetch, over flanked on the drive), but fixed the first two on her second run. . . and then I had to quit. Good though to be working again, even if just for a miniscule period of time.

I worked in the garden for five hours straight on Sunday, along with my hardy helpers, Heather P and Christy B. (Ask me how my joints feel. No, don’t.) The tulips below are new, and were loving the sun. You can see the wild plum trees beginning to flower in the background. And see the pointy, small tulip buds at the bottom of the frame? I have no idea what they will look like, don’t remember variety what I chose there. Can’t wait to see them.

Here’s Polly enjoying the sun beside the day lily garden behind the rock wall. It’s the only place on the farm so far that is all weeded and mulched, thanks to my own efforts and those of my stalwart garden elves, Heather and Christy. It takes a village. (Polly and Nellie, by the way, say “thank you for the new, nicely prepared cat box.” Sigh.)

How do dogs say sorry

Next week I’ll write about Green Chimneys and its conference on Human Animal Interactions. I’ll be giving a talk on Saturday titled “Helping the Helper: Preventing Stress and Discomfort in Service and Assistance Dogs.” More importantly, be learning from all the other great speakers. Hope you have a great week.

Dogs apologise by having droopy years, wide eyes, and they stop panting or wagging their tails. That is sign one. If the person does not forgive them yet, they start pawing and rubbing their faces against the leg. Instead of just saying sorry as humans do, dogs acknowledge that they have done a mistake.

Are dogs ever sorry?

Dogs know when they’ve screwed up — and their tail-between-the-legs pose is actually a highly evolved “apology bow,” according to CUNY researchers. “Dogs have inherited this behavior, and they will use it after any kind of infraction that results in being punished,” Lents explained.

How can you tell if your dog hates you?

If a dog is afraid of you, they might cower or hide. Remember, a dog that doesn’t like you might actually just be kind of scared of you — and this fear can manifest itself in physical ways. “If the dog is fearful, he may cower or crouch, pull back his ears, tuck his tail, hide, or tremble,” Sueda told Insider.

Do dogs know when they hurt you?

Dogs do not know when they hurt you because they do not understand the concept of pain in the same way humans do. They can feel fear, shame, or relief but cannot truly know when something is harmful. Although it seems like dogs know when they inflict pain, it is, in reality, a trained reaction.

How do dogs show they forgive you?

Dogs work off the body language of their owners and can tell when you’re angry or when you’re happy and a calm. If you have just trodden on their toe and made them yelp, the best way how to let your dog know you’re sorry is to be ultra-calm.

How do I say sorry to my dog?

If you want to apologize to your dog, talk to them calmly and soothingly with a slightly high-pitched voice, the one we tend to use when talking to babies or puppies. You don’t have to say “sorry”, but the words that you usually use to reward your dog when they behave correctly, such as “well done” or “good boy”.

Do dogs get mad at you?

While dogs can indeed get upset by a situation, they don’t get mad at someone in the same way that you do. Anger is too complex a feeling for dogs to truly experience; however, dogs are capable of experiencing the more basic emotions that humans use anger to hide.

What my dog is trying to tell me?

Regardless of how a dog’s ears, eyes, or mouth looks, you can learn a lot about dog body language by watching the head for clues. Head position can also be a sign that your dog is trying to understand you. Often the “head tilt” is just a signal that they are trying to understand you.

What are the first signs of stress in a dog?

Signs Your Dog is Stressed and How to Relieve It Stress is a commonly used word that describes feelings of strain or pressure. The causes of stress are exceedingly varied. Pacing or shaking. Whining or barking. Yawning, drooling, and licking. Changes in eyes and ears. Changes in body posture. Shedding. Panting.

Will my dog hate me if I discipline him?

The short answer is: no. It is not OK to punish your puppy. The most important thing during a puppy’s first months of life is to teach him that you are his friend and protector and that you are reliable, predictable and fun. Your puppy most likely has no idea what you are punishing him for if you discipline him.

Do dogs know when you cry?

Previous research has shown that when humans cry, their dogs also feel distress. Now, the new study finds that dogs not only feel distress when they see that their owners are sad but will also try to do something to help.

Do dogs worry about their owners?

Doggy don’t worry, don’t worry, no more. For a long time, cynics have argued that dogs don’t really love their Owners. The truth, they posit, is that dogs are simply adept at manipulating humans – their chief food source. However, the evidence also suggests that a pup’s love for their human friends is pure and true.

Do dogs know when humans are sleeping?

Increases Sense of Security Think about it — your dog’s instinct is to protect. They will let you know immediately if anything is amiss while you are asleep.

Do dogs lick to say sorry?

“I know that dogs lick to say sorry. I’ve seen it with loads of my own dogs down the years who will apologize by muzzling into my neck, licking me, and generally giving me as much attention as possible until I give in and forgive them.” This are all signs of how your dog can apologize to you.”.

How do I tell my dog I love him?

5 Ways to Tell Your Dog You Love Him Rub His Ears. Instead of patting your pup on the top of the head, try giving him a gentle rub behind the ears. Lean on Him. Has your dog ever pressed up against your legs or leaned into you while you were sitting together? Gaze Softy Into His Eyes. Have Fun Together. Snuggle.

Do dogs remember if you accidentally hurt them?

Yes, dogs remember things. Dogs harness a powerful, complex, deep range of emotions. If you are a loving person who makes a mistake that ends up harming your dog in some way, forgive yourself.

Is it OK to yell at your dog?

Never Yell Or Use Your Dog’s Name as Punishment. Do not scream at your dog as this flies in the face of what you feel like doing. Yelling at your dog does not work because it will just get him more stressed or it will only increase his energy level and how excited he is about the situation.

Does smacking a dog on the nose hurt them?

In addition to being cruel and inhumane, smacking a dog on the nose – or any other part of their body- can be highly ineffective as a form of discipline. Dog’s don’t learn from pain as humans do; they get scared or aggressive from it.

What is I love you in dog language?

Your dog’s eyes do much of their talking. You can communicate back to them using the same language of eye contact. When a dog gives you long, lingering eye contact, it’s a way of saying “I love you.” A recent study shows that oxytocin, the ‘love chemical,’ goes up in both dogs and humans when they share a kind gaze.

How do dogs say sorry

Wouldn’t It Be Nice To Have A Meaningful Conversation With Your Four-Legged Friend In The Same Way As You Talk To Other People?

But if you could talk to dogs, what would you say?

Dogs can’t effectively and completely process complex human communication. While they are able to communicate with other dogs, it’s not the same as the way humans communicate with each other. Not only that, but you too may have difficulty in fully understanding what your dog is trying to tell you.

However, this does not mean that you should stop talking to your dog. In fact, one study shows that dogs do understand familiar and simple words. Not only that, but they also do understand the intonation of your voice. This means that your dog can detect whether you are sad, angry, or happy.

With this in mind, if you could talk to your dog and he can understand you, what would you say? Here are some of the things other pet owners would tell their dogs. Check them out and see if you can relate to them!

How do dogs say sorry

I Love You

They say that actions speak louder than words. However, words can help in affirming how you feel and that’s why it is still important to say, “I love you.” If you say it to those who you love, then certainly, you would also say that to your beloved four-legged friend.

Saying “I love you” often would not just set your mood to love your dog, but also it will make your dog feel more loved not just in actions but in words.

How do dogs say sorry

Thank You

One of the greatest blessings you can have in this life is to have a loyal and dependable canine buddy. They are always there for you. Whether you want someone to play with or someone who will just keep you company, your dog is your best friend.

So, say, “thank you” to your dog. Thank him for being there for you.

Thank him for his patience, love, and affection. Thank him for all the adventures you shared together. Thank him for cheering you up when you feel down and sad. Thank him for forcing you to exercise every morning. Thank him for guarding your home when you’re away. Thank him for helping you stay healthy and recover faster from illnesses.

There are just so many things your dog is doing for you. Most of the time, you don’t even know that he is doing you a favor. So, thank him for all the things he has done for you!

How do dogs say sorry

Sorry

We all make mistakes and sometimes, we hurt those people and even dogs around us. So, don’t let the day pass by without saying sorry if you have hurt your pooch. Say sorry for the times when you lose patience. Say sorry for the times when blame your dog for the mistakes you have done. Say sorry for the times when you forgot to feed him or the time you fail to take him for a walk. Say sorry for the times when you haven’t done what you promised.

Sometimes, saying sorry is not easy. That’s why apologizing to someone and even to your dog takes courage. Don’t let your pride get in the way. When you say sorry, it will make you feel better.

How do dogs say sorry

Talk To Your Dog!

These are just some of the things you can tell your dog. Don’t hesitate to talk to him. Yes, they may not respond to you using human language, but your dog is smarter than you think. They can sense how much you love them not just based on what you do, but also on what you say.

So, talk to your dog. You’ll be amazed at how your dog will respond to you!

Some people may have noticed that in recent years there has appeared a new kind of apology. This apology, it must be said, seems to bear only a passing resemblance to the mea culpa sort of apologies we all grew up with; it often is offered in the passive (“mistakes were made”), or the conditional (“If I have offended anyone I am sorry”), and rarely entails an outright admission of wrongdoing on the part of the apologizer. When did the word apology stop meaning “I’m sorry”?

Before it ever began.

How do dogs say sorry

Apology comes to English from the Greek roots of apo– (“away from, off”) and logia (from logos, meaning “speech”). The word’s earliest meaning in English was “something said or written in defense or justification of what appears to others to be wrong or of what may be liable to disapprobation.” To anyone who has ever studied ancient Greek or read widely of certain philosophers, this will come as no surprise. Plato’s Apology of Socrates is an account of the self-defense presented at the trial of Socrates, not an explanation of how that philosopher admitted his transgressions.

The earliest published use of apology we have evidence of comes from the title of a work by Sir Thomas More, the Catholic humanist and social philosopher of Henry VIII’s court. The word appears in his 1533 work Apologye of Syr Thomas More, Knyght. However, the first published use of a word is not necessarily the same thing as the first actual use of it, and there has recently been discovered earlier, hand-written evidence of apology in correspondence between members of the British court; a letter addressed to Cardinal Thomas Wolsey in 1526 contains the line “Here is an apologie made for the defence of the Frenche King.”

If you encounter an apology anywhere in the 16th century chances are very good that the word is indicating a defense or justification, as in the case of the 1550 potboiler The Apology of Iohan Bale Agaynste a Ranke Papyst, or Robert Crowley’s summer beach read of 1566, An Apologie, or Defence, of those English Wryters & Preachers which Cerberus the Three Headed Dog of Hell, Chargeth wyth False Doctrine, Under the Name of Predestination.

So we may instead ask when did the apology start meaning “I’m sorry”?

That appears to have begun at the end of the 16th century, and we may blame Shakespeare for this (at least until we discover someone else who has used this word loosely before him). Most dictionaries today will not provide the earliest known date that a specific sense of a word appeared, but the Oxford English Dictionary does, and they currently have a line from Richard III: “My Lord, there needs no such apologie.”

Shakespeare is renowned as a creator of new words, although he is often mistakenly given credit for coining elements of our vocabulary that already existed. Yet even though he did not invent most of the words which he is purported to have invented, he still was remarkably inventive with his language. He would play with the English language, stretching it and assigning new meanings to existing words with astonishing aplomb and daring.

It may well turn out that some writer before Shakespeare was using the word apology to indicate an admission of “I goofed and I am sorry for it,” but until we find such evidence we may still say that the Bard is the father of the modern apology—just not the “I’m sorry but not really sorry” kind.

“You ate Kiko’s chewy. So what do you say?” asks their owner.

How do dogs say sorry

Watson and Kiko are dog siblings who live in Washington State.

Watson the dog may have stolen his brother’s chewy treat, but the way he apologised for it will steal your heart too. A video that is making social media users say “aww” shows one guilty-looking golden retriever, named Watson, saying sorry to his brother Kiko for stealing his food and gobbling it up.

It’s okay, Watson. The Internet forgives you. Who could resist those big eyes, after all?

The video was first shared on an Instagram account dedicated to Watson and Kiko two days ago. It has since made its way to other social media platforms like Twitter, delighting thousands of viewers. In the video, the dogs’ owner is seen scolding Watson for stealing his brother’s chewy treat.

“So, I gave you a chewy, I gave Kiko a chewy,” she says to Watson, who looks up at her with a sheepish expression on his face. “You ate Kiko’s chewy. So what do you say?” she asks the guilty dog.

To this, Watson responds by ‘saying sorry’ to his brother in the cutest way possible – walking up to him and hugging him. Take a look at the video below:

Since being re-posted on the microblogging platform by the popular account ‘Humor and Animals’, the video has collected over 4.6 lakh views and a ton of comments gushing over the dog siblings.

“My heart is melting,” wrote one person in the comments section, while another said, “This has got to be the best thing I’ve ever seen!”

Actress Richa Chadha was among those who had their hearts stolen by the video.

Awwww.
The real benefit of the apology is that hug ! https://t.co/ZItSV1I8xy

— TheRichaChadha (@RichaChadha) June 25, 2020

As was singer Jasleen Royal.

And for everyone who is wondering if Kiko got a new treat – his human confirmed that he did.

Why is it that all dogs seem to LOVE licking people? Whether a greeting or an apology – it seems to be one of the main ways they communicate.

Communication

Dogs lick people to communicate but not all licks mean the same thing!

Licking can be a sign of greeting. A lick upon your return may be a way of saying, “Hello, I’m super happy you are home!” or “Hey, check out the new hole I’ve chewed in your slippers!”

Whether they are around other dogs or people, dogs also lick those to whom they would show respect and submission and acknowledge a hierarchy – a few licks could be your dog letting you know they are pledging continued loyalty to you.

Dinner time!

When young pups reach that clumsy age – weaned but still not quite ready for biscuits – they lick their mother’s mouth to let her know that they are hungry. At this stage, puppies are not unlike baby birds. In the wild, mum will likely have to leave the pups to find food. When puppies lick her mouth, she will regurgitate whatever she’s eaten and offer it to her young – not the nicest thing to think about we know! When dog’s lick people, particularly about the mouth, what we may think of as a kiss may actually be a request for food.

Exploration

Canines use their tongue to acquaint themselves with their surroundings or perhaps just a new ‘thing’. It is just another way they experience and explore the world. This exploration may be environmental or checking out new people or animals. We’ve all met dogs for the first time, offered a hand for them to sniff and found our hands licked in return.

Even if you’ve had a dog for years, you may have touched or brought home some new thing or smell that makes your dog curious – which tends to mean you get the “customs inspection” when you get home!

Attention-seeking

Anyone who is licked by a dog for the first time can find it a ticklish or amusing experience. If a dog figures that licking people brings them pleasure and earns them a scratch behind the ears, he may link the two.

So when you’re sitting at home catching up on your favourite TV show one thing you’re not doing is playing with your furry friend – dogs can lick people to remind them of these oversights.

Healing

For as long as we can remember, in human and dog history, wise folk and healers noticed that dogs licked their own wounds as well as those of people. From the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece and Rome all the way through to the Middle Ages in Europe, dogs were trained to lick wounds as a mode of healing.

Fortunately these days we have antibiotics but it is still common for a minor graze to receive your dog’s attention!

Affection… or approval?

Canine “kisses” likely signal things other than love. Dogs lick people during ‘bonding’ activities to show that they like them. An example would be during a good scratch – you’ll know you found the desired spot because they may lick your arm or hand signaling satisfaction!

So, is your dog a licker? Head on over to our Facebook page and share your dog licking stories with us!

How do dogs say sorry

Have you ever wondered if your Shih Tzu is trying to tell you that they are sorry? They might be trying to get that message across, but are you picking it up? Either way, the question is how do dogs say sorry? Here’s how…

How Do Shih Tzus Say Sorry?

Sometimes we project human emotions onto dogs.

The truth is, dogs are emotional creatures, but that doesn’t mean they feel all of the same emotions that we do.

Even so, even if they can’t actually feel bad, they do pick up on your emotions through your tone of voice and body posture.

They know, clearly, that you are upset.

They might not understand why, but they can read your basic emotions pretty well.

So, they will try to apologize in their doggy way.

Signs Your Dog is Trying to Say They Are Sorry

There are a few signs you can pick up on that show your dog is sorry.

Here are the main ones…

How do dogs say sorry

YAYImages ID: 6243888

1. Their Tail Stops Wagging

This is a quick way for your Shih Tzu to show you they are feeling sorry.

I know that with my Truman he wags his tail whenever I come near him.

He is always a happy, tail-wagging little dog.

So, if the wagging stops, there is a reason for it.

2. Their Ears Droop

Drooping ears is one of the more common apology behaviors a dog has.

Most of the time, your dog’s ears are perky and on alert.

If you see that they are starting to droop then you know they are sorry for their action or at least are sorry that you’re unhappy.

How do dogs say sorry

While Shih Tzus do have a range of emotions, their actual emotions or reasons for their behavior typically are a reaction to your emotions. YAYImages ID: 17463264

3. Their Eyes Will Look Wider

Shih Tzus have such big eyes, to begin with, so it might be difficult to notice that their eyes are even wider than normal.

This behavior will be more noticeable in other dog breeds.

But if your canine companions are showing you wider eyes they are letting you know they feel bad about something.

You might also enjoy:

4. They Will Paw You or Rub Their Face on You

Sometimes Shih Tzus will paw at you just to get your attention.

They want you to pet them or throw a toy.

How do dogs say sorry

But if they add in rubbing their face on your leg to their pawing, then chances are they are working to get back into your good graces. YAYImages ID: 36878498

5. Sit On You and Rub Their Face on Yours

When all else fails, don’t be surprised if your Shih Tzu jumps on your lap and starts cuddling up to you and running their face on your neck.

This is kind of the ultimate, “I’m sorry!” appeasement behavior.

They love you and they need to know that you love them just as much.

So go ahead and give them a good cuddle and petting session.

They will know that all is well in their little world.

You might also enjoy:

To Sum it All Up:

Keep in mind that when your Shih Tzu is saying it is sorry it is actually reacting to how you are reacting and your body language. The signs they show to say “sorry” are actually showing a submissive posture and not saying they are sorry for bad behavior although some pet parents will disagree. Either way, it can be pretty cute and give you a good reason to cuddle with your little bundle of joy.

This article is informational only and does not substitute for veterinary advice. Always check with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your Shih Tzu. This article should not be considered in any way as veterinarian advice.

Charlotte Lytton 13 April 2022 • 7:00pm

A single “sorry” tells you everything about a person. First, whether they say it at all; second, how and how fast. This dictates the vital conclusions: do they mean it, or will they commit the infraction in question again?

In Boris Johnson’s apology on Tuesday – for breaching Covid laws he created – here was a man who has had intimate relations with grovelling. It was a big sorry, a quick one, doleful and deft – an “I’ve said it, so let’s move on”-type deal where, having paid his fixed penalty notice and given his apologies, there is nothing else he can offer. Except his resignation, which the first ever prime minister found to have broken the law while in office has made clear he will not do. That’s that, then.

This sorry stuff is not new for Johnson, obviously, who has spent several decades committing egregious personal and professional missteps, doing a bit of light head-hanging, then proceeding on his merry way. There is no shame in being shameless, the motto for Brand Boris goes – every apology given and accepted (or at least moved on from fast enough to deny the recipient a chance to query it) fortifying his position.

One need only look to his personal conduct – the briefest version of which includes myriad indiscretions prior to his current marriage and an unknown number of children – to see his modus operandi outlined: big muck-ups, big apologies and swift diversion of focus elsewhere.

Johnson has been treating the British public like his wife (any/all of the three) for a long time, expecting to be let off after a few sad-eyed sorrys, just as he has always been. Ardent supporters insist that his personal conduct bears no relation to his ability to do the job, but that’s nonsense: our private and professional selves are not discrete entities, even if there are differences between them. In the Teflon-PM’s case, one personal life mess-up has begotten another, and not mattered – a mentality that has sadly come to define his professional life, too. “People have a right to expect better,” he said in his apology. And yet where he is concerned, they no longer bother.

Nigel Mills, the Conservative MP for Amber Valley, has called on Johnson to resign and will submit a letter of no confidence, arguing that the PM’s position is no longer “tenable”. This breaking of ranks is all very admirable, but tenability has never been much of a concern for Johnson, more a nice idea, in the abstract, like ironing a suit before wearing it for a national apology address.

“We have to have higher standards than that of people at the top,” Mills rightly urged, while Grant Shapps doubled down, saying that Johnson is “human, and humans err, and sometimes they make mistakes and that is what happened here”. No great loss for the PM: the bigger his mistake, the louder the apology.

This sorry merry-go-round is at odds with Rishi Sunak, a man who’s had a worse week than the border staff at Heathrow. His partygate apology came six hours after the news broke, via a written statement. Minus his gaffer’s appetite for havoc and ability to harness it to his advantage, Sunak has attempted to choreograph this latest chronicle in his rapidly diminishing public status to within an inch of its life (a bit like those posed petrol-filling shots, at a car that wasn’t his).

You can almost hear the blood spitting from between his perfectly straight teeth, as the statement expresses his “unreserved apology” for an event he takes no direct culpability for. Sunak “deeply regret[s] the frustration and anger caused”, and “understand[s] that for figures in public office, the rules must be applied stringently in order to maintain public confidence” – each sentence an artful linguistic dance akin to “but it wasn’t my fault!” Sources close to Sunak insist it was he and not the PM who was “ambushed by cake” (as one Tory MP previously described it) on turning up to Downing St on Johnson’s birthday in June 2020. He was “just there for a meeting, and now he’s getting humiliated for something he never wanted to do,” another said. “He is a man of honour.” Having spent two years at Johnson’s side, he should likely have learnt by now how useless a political tool that is.

Such praise has never been bestowed upon the current PM, whose post-partygate strategy is to keep up with the reminders that there’s a war on, as well as a cost of living crisis (caused at least in part by his own Government), in order to redirect any resultant rage. Both of these things are true, though given neither were concerns two years ago when Johnson was having his cake, eating it and then rapidly wiping the crumbs off his face before making another national plea for us all to “stay home and save lives”, they don’t seem a particularly compelling defence now.

No matter – being a national embarrassment has never hurt the PM yet and, safely ensconced in the midpoint of his term, the likelihood of this scandal sticking in public memory by the time we get to the polls is slim. With two more years of transgressions to rack up before then, his shabby brand will continue to thrive on chaos and this debacle is likely to only help him in the end.

Sam Elliott is expressing his regrets over the controversial comments he made about Jane Campion’s film, The Power of the Dog, last month.

On Sunday, the A Star Is Born actor said he wanted to “apologize to the cast of The Power of the Dog” during his talk at Deadline’s Contenders TV event. “And, in particular, Benedict Cumberbatch. I can only say that I’m sorry, and I am. I am,” he shared.

While promoting his Paramount+ western show 1883, Elliott, 77, began his public apology to the cast by warning the audience, “First, don’t do a podcast with the call letters WTF” (as in, WTF with Marc Maron).

“I wasn’t very articulate about it; I didn’t articulate it very well,” he explained. “And I said some things that hurt people, and I feel terrible about that.”

“The gay community has been incredible to me my entire career. And I mean my entire career, from before I got started in this town. Friends on every level and every job description up until today. I’m sorry I hurt any of those friends and someone that I loved. And anyone else by the words that I used,” Elliott continued.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Representatives for Sam Elliott did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Last month, Elliott discussed the Oscar-winning film Campion, 67, wrote and directed during his appearance on Marc Maron’s podcast.

Likening the look of the “cowboys” in the film to Chippendales dancers, Elliott (who has appeared in many Western-set films and television series) said, “They’re all running around in chaps and no shirts. There’s all these allusions to homosexuality throughout the f—ing movie.”

“Yeah, I think that’s what the movie’s about,” replied host Maron.

In the film, Cumberbatch stars as a grizzled cattle rancher who is attracted to the son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) of a widow, played by Kirsten Dunst, who recently moved to his ranch. Cumberbatch’s character grapples with his sexuality in an era and place that emphasizes binary gender roles and expectations.

Criticizing Campion’s choice of the location to film the movie, the Oscar nominee added, “And why in the f— does she shoot this movie in New Zealand and call it Montana and say, ‘This is the way it was?’ “

RELATED: Sam Elliott Doritos Super Bowl Teaser

Elliott said the filming location “rubbed [him] the wrong way,” along with what he calls the “myth” of “these macho men out there with the cattle.”

“I just come from f—ing Texas where I was hanging out with families — not men, but families. Big, long, extended, multiple-generation families,” he said.

Campion responded to Elliott’s comment while speaking to Deadline last month, saying, “I think it’s really unfortunate and sad for him because he’s really hit the trifecta of misogyny and xenophobia and homophobia.”

“I don’t like that. I think he was being a little bit of a b-i-t-c-h. Plus he’s not a cowboy, he’s an actor,” she concluded.

A family has settled a lawsuit against People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) after it took a girl’s unattended dog and put it down. The legal outcome ends an attempt to in effect put Peta on trial for euthanising hundreds of animals each year.

Wilber Zarate from Virginia had sued the group for taking his daughter’s chihuahua from a mobile home park on the state’s eastern shore and euthanising it before the end of a required five-day grace period.

Zarate alleged Peta operated under a broad policy of euthanising animals, including healthy ones, because it “considers pet ownership to be a form of involuntary bondage”.

Peta denied the allegations and maintained the incident in 2014 was a “terrible mistake”.

Two women affiliated with Peta – Victoria Carey and Jennifer Wood – travelled to Accomack County, Virginia, because they said a mobile home park owner asked for help capturing wild dogs and feral cats.

The women removed an unattended and unleashed chihuahua named Maya, which was a Christmas present to nine-year-old Cynthia Zarate.

Maya was put down later that day, a violation of a state law that requires a five-day grace period. Peta was fined $500 for the violation.

A trial had been scheduled for September, during which Zarate’s attorneys had planned to question current and former Peta employees about its euthanasia policy.

The group later said it would pay the family $49,000 and donate $2,000 to a local branch of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to honour Maya. The family had sought up to $7m.

The family’s attorney, William H Shewmake, said: “The Zarates felt that the settlement reflects the grievous loss of their beloved Maya. And it allows the Zarates to bring some closure to a very painful chapter of their lives. They’re glad the case has been settled.”

Both parties said in a joint statement: “Peta again apologises and expresses its regrets to the Zarate family for the loss of their dog Maya. Mr Zarate acknowledges that this was an unfortunate mistake by Peta and the individuals involved, with no ill will toward the Zarate family.”

Peta is mostly known for campaigns against factory farming and animal testing, often exposing unsavoury practices through undercover operations. But it also runs a shelter at its headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia.

The shelter routinely dispatches veterinarians to care for animals but it also euthanises ones Peta deems too sick, aggressive or feral for adoption.

Peta says the animals it puts down are often turned away by other shelters. And it said many pets are brought in by low-income owners who can’t afford to care for their elderly or sick animals.

The organisation says it helps as many as 25,000 animals a year, spaying and neutering many free of charge. But the shelter’s euthanasia rate – it put down more than 1,400 of about 2,000 animals in 2016 – has drawn criticism from some in the so-called “no kill” shelter movement.

The rate fuelled the family’s lawsuit, which Peta claimed was driven by “no kill” activists.

Shelters that call themselves “no kill” typically will put down only those animals with incurable health problems or behaviours that pose a serious safety risk. But in some cases, they will place animals on waiting lists if they lack space or refer animals to other shelters.

Peta says its euthanasia rate is partly the result of accepting animals that other shelters decline. “We’re never going to be the folks who turn animals away,” Daphna Nachminovitch, Peta’s senior vice-president for cruelty investigations, said. “If you saw those animals, there would be nothing controversial about it.”

If I accidentally step on my pupperino, or if I nick a toe while toenail clipping, or accidentally scare him, can I give him extra luvvins to show I’m sorry, or is that reinforcing the anxiety he might feel right after being stepped on/nicked/scared? If so, what can I do instead to reassure him I’m not a heartless monster ?

That is a really really good way to phrase that, “reward him for being brave enough or calm enough after the scare to do [the trick]”

Totally gonna steal that when I have to explain this concept in the future to others. Thanks!

You cannot reinforce fear (and before someone gets all nit-picky with me, yes you can reinforce fear (very rare), but for that to happen would require that the only time the dog gets any attention is when acting fearful)

Here is some pertinent information about how fear cannot be reinforced:

I don’t think dogs know what the word “sorry” means, but they know how to perceive caring, apologetic attention from you (like after being stepped on). My dog knows when he’s accidentally hurt me (usually during play), and he comes over and licks me and seems apologetic. why not return the favor and soothe him when I’ve hurt him unintentionally?

Give him extra affection (if he likes that), happy talk, and snacks. You can reinforce behaviors, not emotions.

I think it can be helpful to show affection immediately after an accidental injury because it reinforces that the injury wasn’t some kind of punishment. If you hurt your dog while doing something that he might mistake for aggression or anger (staring, bending over your dog, talking loudly, etc.), you’ll want to correct any notion that he’s in trouble ASAP.

That being said, if you aren’t careful, you can inadvertently train your dog to seek out your affection whenever he gets hurt. (However, in my opinion, who cares? As a kid, I had a dog I accidentally trained to run to me for cuddles whenever he got startled or hurt, and it was a very lovely bonding experience for us. I ran to him for cuddles when I was scared or hurt, too!)

I’d think there is some bit of understanding. I mean I’ve accidentally closed my pupper’s tail in the door and immediately gave him strokes and some fuss and he was up and wagging again. Dogs were breed and raised to interact with us and have some understanding of what’s going on. They know when they’re in trouble and they know when things are okay.

Also, dogs are so resilient. They’re not like toddlers that cry if they slip, they just get on with things. The number of times my dogs fallen on his face and just got back up again and wagging is too many to count.

I’m convinced that my boy understands. I tell him in a reassuring voice; “sorry, it wasn’t on purpose” (in Swedish, so it’s a shorter sentence), and smile at him. His first reaction is fear, then he seeks eye contact with me and listens to my voice, and he immediately starts wagging his tail again. He knows it’s OK.

I don’t think so, and that’s why I’ve always been hesitant to “apologize” to my dogs. From our perspective, we’re apologizing. But from their perspective, they just got hurt and then they run away in fear (or yelp, etc) and we praise them right afterwards. It seems like it could reinforce bad behaviors, especially for a very sensitive dog.

I’m absolutely convinced my pup understands an apology even so far as to say if he thinks I’m worried about him he responds in advance of my saying anything vocally to reassure me he is ok on a myriad of situations and just as he analyzes me without the spoken word for that he does in an apology I may be delivering. It isn’t just the vocalization, it’s a combination of things from facial features, stance, tone, etc that I think they combine to determine if you are apologetic so where a vocalization may not work, something else or a combination might. Question I would have knowing he can tell that I am apologetic is if I ever was lying to him about being so, what would the response be? If nothing happened and I act apologetic would he give the same response ? Can’t say I have tested him in a double blind but I’d be skeptical that he cannot tell regardless.

Apologizing for hurting someone’s feelings or doing something that makes them mad can be difficult. Have you ever heard someone say they’re sorry without seeming like they really mean it? It doesn’t feel genuine and can leave you feeling uncertain about your relationship with that person.

Apologizing and meaning it can go a long way in healing hurts. It can help repair any damage you might have caused, even if you didn’t mean to hurt the other person.

Why You Should Apologize

When you realize that you hurt someone and you want to make amends for it, start with a sincere apology. By apologizing, you can open lines of communication and begin the process of repairing your relationship with the other person. A genuine apology shows that you feel sorry for your actions and want to do better. It also gives the other person a chance to process their own feelings.

You’ve taken the first step to fix the damage.

Know When to Apologize

Knowing when to apologize is almost as important as knowing how. If you do something that hurts another person — whether on purpose or by accident — you usually should apologize. The sooner you do, the sooner you can work on repairing the damage and rebuilding your relationship. If you wait too long (or don’t apologize at all), you risk losing your relationship with the person you offended. You may also damage your reputation.

How to Apologize Sincerely

The words “I’m sorry” don’t mean anything if you aren’t sorry for what happened. You may not feel sorry if you think the other person was in the wrong. Or maybe you don’t know what you did to cause their hurt feelings. People say “sorry” a lot to avoid conflict or try to justify their actions.

When you apologize, you should mean it. Here are seven ways to do just that.

1.Own Your Mistake

A big part of apologizing is recognizing that you made a mistake. By owning it, you’re showing that you understand what happened and where you went wrong. Owning your mistake helps you to begin rebuilding trust.

When you offer an apology, make sure that you focus on the impact of what you did, not your intentions behind what you did. In doing so, you validate the experience of the other person and show that you understand.

2.Express Your Regret‌

Showing regret is different from accepting responsibility. Taking responsibility shows that you realize your action was offensive. Regret shows that you feel bad about it and wish you hadn’t done it. You could say something like, “I’m sorry I yelled at you. I wish I could take it back.” It can help add more sincerity to your apology.

3.Don’t Make Excuses‌

During an apology, it can be tempting to say, “I’m sorry, but.” There should be no ifs or buts with your apologies. It doesn’t matter if the other person was also wrong. Words like “if” and “but” can show that you’re trying to justify what you said or did. Adding them to your apology can make it appear less genuine.

4. Don’t Go Overboard‌

While an apology can help fix a situation and allow you to mend a hurt, it’s possible to overdo it. Avoid apologizing too much or too intensely. It can be annoying for the other person, and it can shift the focus of your apology, making it more about you. Over-apologizing also may:

  • Cause others to think less of you
  • Lower the impact of any apologies you make in the future, and
  • Cause harm to your self-esteem

5.Offer to Fix Things if Necessary‌

If possible, find a way to make amends for the situation. If you damage someone else’s property, offer to fix or replace it. If you say something hurtful, ask if there’s something you can do to help begin the process of rebuilding trust.

6.Listen‌

An apology isn’t only about admitting you’re sorry for your actions. It’s a chance for a discussion. After you give your apology, be ready to listen. The other person may have something to say. They might want to express their feelings. Give them the chance to tell their side without interrupting them.

7.Be Prepared to Wait

Sometimes, an apology can fix a situation right away. Other times, the other person might not be ready to forgive and move on. It may take time. But offering a sincere apology is a great place to start the process of healing.

Show Sources

BBC: “Why it is good to feel regret.”

CNBC: “Stop saying ‘I’m sorry.’ Research says it makes others think less of you – here’s what successful people do instead.”

Inc: “The Right Way to Apologize and Why It Matters.”

Mind Tools: “How to Apologize: Saying Sorry for a Mistake.”

Nemours Kids Health: “Saying You’re Sorry.”

NPR: “You’re Apologizing All Wrong. Here’s How to Say Sorry the Right Way.”

Today: “How to say ‘I’m sorry’ and really mean it.”

USA Today: “Stop just saying ‘I’m sorry.’ Here’s how to actually apologize – and mean it.”

Many asked how did the owner teach him to hug and the proud mom said, they never taught him that. “The apologising with a hug wasn’t really taught, I guess it’s just Watson’s adorable instinct of just hugging.”

How do dogs say sorry

(Source: Watson and Kiko/ Instagram)

It’s not unusual for siblings to fight or take something from the other that doesn’t belong to them. Well, it’s the same in the furry world too! But as they say, you can’t be miffed with your partner in crime for too long. Eventually, you set things right — perhaps with little assistance from outside. This doggo’s parent intervened to set things right between her two ‘sons’ and an adorable video of two golden retrievers making up is melting hearts online.

In footage going viral, the woman is seen pulling up her furbaby, Walter after he ate his brother Kiko’s food. “Did you eat Kiko’s food?” the woman is heard saying in the video. “I sense guilt in this,” she adds as the dog sheepishly looks down.

The video continues as she scolds the dog calling him a “naughty puppy” and asks him to apologise to his brother. What happens next is heartwarming. Walter is seen walking up to Kiko and hugging him! Putting his front legs around his brother, he places his head on top of his — and it’s beautiful.

Many asked how did the owner teach him to hug and the proud mom said, they never taught him that. “The apologizing with a hug wasn’t really taught, I guess it’s just Watson’s adorable instinct of just hugging. Now he became familiar with “the hug” when he was a puppy. I watched some YouTube videos and I began to teach him to hug. But little stinker took it to the next level by himself 😂🙈💛🐶” their mom wrote in a Instagram reply.

How do dogs say sorry

For most people, the question of “how do cats apologise” is easy to answer: they don’t! They knock our picture frames off the shelves. They kick litter out of the box seemingly on purpose. If we leave them overnight with a cat-loving Pet Sitter, we get reports of them zooming around the house at 3am. As this article is being written, a cat is unapologetically trying to sit on the keyboard.

It seems they are simply incapable of apologies.

At least that’s what we all thought. But as it turns out, science shows us that cats are much more complex and emotionally attuned than we give them credit for. They may not say sorry the same way a human would. But they do apologise, in their own way. And once you learn “how do cats apologise,” maybe you won’t be quite so angry about them for looking you straight in the eye while they scratch up your furniture.

How do dogs say sorry

“Uhhhhh, hooman? I may have messed up…”

First of all, are cats capable of apologising?

It can seem like cats live in their own little world. We assume that in their mind, they rule the house. You’re simply a servant that gives them their food and cleans out their litter box. But, research of cat behaviour tells us that’s not totally true.

On the one hand, cats are self-sustaining and territorial. Give a cat a safe place to live and the opportunity to hunt and they don’t need to have a human around. But that doesn’t mean that cats are unable to form strong emotional bonds. According to International Cat Care, females in feral colonies will groom each other and care for kittens communally. They may hunt alone, but many chose to live together in social groups.

Interestingly, fights and aggression within feral colonies are quite rare. Cats may not have much of a need to apologise because they don’t tend to anger the cats within their colony.

When we bring cats into our homes, we have the potential of creating the social group that is common in a feral colony. If we invest time in bonding exercises and general cuddles, our fur babies may see us as part of their social group. If your cat is very social and secure in their territory and relationship with their Owners, they may warm up more easily to cat-loving Pet Sitters, as well.

When you get angry at your cat, on the other hand, they get scared and stressed out. All they want is for things to go back to normal. But do they apologise? Well, it’s probably more likely that your cat just wants to make sure that they can still feel safe in their social group. They’re not admitting guilt, but they’re likely testing the waters to make sure you’re still friends.

So when they want to make things right, how do cats apologise?

Now, in the heat of the argument, your cat’s first reaction is likely going to be to run away. They may hide or go to a place in the room where they feel safe. You’ll also notice them staring at you. A lot of owners mistake this as defiance in their cat, as if their cat is saying to them, “Yes, I did that, and I don’t care.” But it’s more likely that your feline friend is trying to read the situation. Only when you’re calm will they be able to relax as well.

When things cool off, that’s when you’re going to see “apologising” behaviour. Every cat is different, but there are a few feline behaviours that may be your cat’s way of saying they’d like to patch things up. They include,

  • Approaching you (it’s a little gesture, but it means they feel safe)
  • Head butting and rubbing
  • Purring
  • Blinking slowly

It’s impossible to say how long it will take for your cat to come around. But when they do, validate it! Only with an intact relationship will you be able to correct the behaviour that made you angry in the first place.

Perhaps more important than asking “how do cats apologise,” is asking ourselves, “why should they?”

At this point, a few things are clear. Cats don’t feel guilt. They do feel connected to us. And there are certain behaviours that show us they still think of us as part of their social group. And now that you’ve read this far to find out “how do cats apologise,” it might be time to ask yourself why you expected them to in the first place.

If your cat is peeing in the house, pooping outside the litter box, scratching up the furniture, or causing some other widespread chaos in your home, there’s a reason. Some behaviours are instinctual, like sharpening their claws and waking you up at 4am. Others are cries for help, like pooping outside the litter box because it’s dirty or the litter is bothering their paws.

When you learn about the behaviours of your cat, you’ll be able to address issues and make your home more cat-friendly. We’ve written articles about how to stop your cat from scratching the furniture and how to convince your cat to love you so that the bond between the two of you is stronger. Do more research about your cat’s unique behaviours to see if there’s anything you can do to make them feel more comfortable.

Overall, your cat wants to be on good terms with you. If you can compromise a little bit for your cat, there will be far fewer reasons for them to be apologising to you.