According to a new study published last month in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), dogs’ eyes have changed in the last 33,000 years thanks to the domestications of our canine friends.  Not only do we see a change in their behavior as humans create a strong emotional bond with dogs, but the facial muscles have changed to communicate with us as well.  The study shows that dogs produce the eyebrow movement significantly more often and with higher intensity than wolves do. This movement mimics humans’ expression produce when we are sad creating the “puppy dog eyes.”

Although the study has only a small sample size, we can all agree that we have seen the expressive eyes of our furry friends. We’re pretty sure they want to create a closer connection through this type of facial expression. Have you been a victim of puppy dog eyes? When do you see this expression in your dog?

Facial musculature in the wolf (
C. lupus) (animal’s left) and dog (
C. familiaris) (right) with differences in anatomy highlighted in red. Image courtesy of Tim D. Smith (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK).