"Puppy Dog Eyes" Are Evolutionary Trait In Dogs

Young Bernese Mountain Dog

Photo: Getty Images

Here's today's feel-good story:

New research suggests that dogs have evolved over thousands of years to better communicate with humans.

Scientists have studied the anatomy of dogs, comparing their anatomy and behavior to wolves, and found that dogs have a muscle above their eyes that allows them to raise their inner eyebrows which wolves do not have.

The University of Portsmouth research suggests that the inner eyebrow-raising movement triggers a nurturing response in humans and resembles a movement that humans make when they are sad.

“We also studied dogs’ and wolves’ behavior, and when exposed to a human for two minutes, dogs raised their inner eyebrows more and at higher intensities than wolves. 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." said Dr. Juliane Kaminski at the University of Portsmouth

Read more here.

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