Do you ever feel like your dog is trying to look sad or cute just to get their way? New research has uncovered that dogs consciously use their ‘puppy dog eyes’ and especially sad facial expressions to communicate with humans.
Like the fact that over thousands of years, the facial features of dogs have changed to enable them to better communicate with humans.
“The findings suggest that expressive eyebrows in dogs may be a result of humans unconscious preferences that influenced selection during domestication. When dogs make the movement, it seems to elicit a strong desire in humans to look after them. This would give dogs that move their eyebrows more a selection advantage over others and reinforce the ‘puppy dog eyes’ trait for future generations,” says Dr Juliane Kaminski.
The research findings suggest that the species has evolved to stimulate certain responses in humans not only to get along with them, but also to get what they want.
“We also studied dogs’ and wolves’ behaviour, and when exposed to a human for two minutes, dogs raised their inner eyebrows more and at higher intensities than wolves. The evidence is compelling that dogs developed a muscle to raise the inner eyebrow after they were domesticated from wolves,” Dr Juliane Kaminski said.
So the next time your dog gives you sad eyes remember your instinctive nurturing nature is being taken advantage of and continue on as you normally would, if you heart can bear to look away.