After all, who could resist a cute puppy?
Other than primates, most animals usually do not communicate with expressions and gestures. But is this actually true? As of late, animal researchers have found out that dogs do raise their eyebrows when we are in their line of sight, which also enlarges the size of their eye area in the process. But dogs are actually much more clever than we originally thought – they waggle their brows to convey a message, often involving something they would want, such as a treat or two.
But how is this possible? Experts hailing from the University of Portsmouth have concluded that dogs actually produce significantly more facial movements when being watched as compared to when they were left alone. Certain canine expressions were shown much more often with humans around them.
To prove it, a team from the University had tested 24 different breeds of dogs ranging from German Shepherds to Golden Retrievers, and even mongrels. Each dog was observed while a human faced and interacted with them and left them alone – both with and without treats.
Picture (A) shows a woman facing the dog with food, with contrasting picture (B) facing the dog without food. Pictures (C) and (D) show the woman Not facing the dog with and without food respectively.
The puppy dog look, termed ‘puppy dog eyes’ appeared the most during the experiment. This was because dogs know that such an expression carries a positive connotation when they show it – possibly food. Increased production of this movement, corresponding with human attention, benefits interaction between a human and a dog.
To conclude, dogs appear bigger and more infant-like with a ‘puppy-dog pout’. Other than the cute factor this expression brings, dogs do actually welcome our responsive actions via a simple facial movement, on purpose.