Here is a model of the current thinking regarding dog emotion. Notice that the “higher emotions” are all based on social norms and social learning they are not true emotions but, cognitive protocol we learn. The reason you feel prolonged guilt is not that it is a unique emotional state but, because you can really mess with yourself for years due to your higher brain function. Findo does not have this burden. Shame works the in an even more obvious manner. Think of the things that cause what we call shame. They are your interpretation of a situation base on what you have learned not based on naturally occurring biochemical reaction. Pride is not even close to an emotion it is the best example of stuff you believe and make up in you noodle. These things lead you to experience emotions but, they are the basic “feelings” we and all dog possess. Think about it !
I like this article not for it usefulness regarding the subject but, the fact that it does explain how we come up with crazy extensions to nature in hope that we are something extra special in the universe. I think this is one of our biggest flaws.
What this model labels love and affection is a good example, you know a minute ago people we arguing over whether or not a dog can love you… oooops. Now notice the line goes beyond for we humans.. that is just all the crap, experiences and media we use to define love not the emotion its self. Tomorrow we will realize that cujo does experience a kind of guilt when he breaks a social norm he just does not create a giant mental mess and moves on with his life. Something to think about folks.