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  • Writer's pictureVickie Foster

The History of Heart-Melting Puppy Dog Eyes

Puppy dog eyes are irresistible. They can coax a treat out of practically anyone. You can thank the evolutionary process for the manipulating effects.

You know the drill. “I’m not going to give my dog treats. He doesn’t need so many.” Then those soulful puppy dog eyes look up at you and all bets are off. Who can resist?

Well, you can thank evolution for those puppy dog eyes. The bond between pet owner and pet is vital for a pet’s survival, and it seems that having cute eyes has worked in favor of canine survival.

In fact, dogs use their eyes as a way of being vocal and communicating with humans. A study published by Juliane Kaminski in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), noted that the process of domesticating dogs changed their facial muscle anatomy specifically to communicate with humans.

This evolutionary process changed canines' eyes in a way that is uncommon to any other species, even wolves. The National Library of Medicine states that seeking eye contact with humans is a trait common to canines. Dogs will actually seek eye contact with humans to ask for help in problem-solving.

So next time you’re trying to resist your dog’s begging expression, remember humans are to blame.


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All proceeds from Thousand Hills Pet Resort support New Life K9s. New Life K9s provides service dogs to veterans and first responders with PTSD at no cost to them.




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