Why We Can't Resist Puppy Dog Eyes
At one time you may have heard that because babies have big eyes and big heads, it makes their human parents want to love and take care of them. Turns out our dogs have evolved to be just as adorable so we love them more.
This past week a scientific journal published an article called "Evolution of facial muscle anatomy in dogs." It's based on findings showing how dogs evolved from wolves to have those puppy dog eyes that we all cannot say no to. Good old evolution (I know I'm simplifying science here) set it up so that dogs with puppy eyes were the ones that humans kept close and allowed to reproduce.
How puppy dog eyes have evolved
Here is how the scientists from the University of Portsmouth in England, Howard University College of Medicine, North Carolina State University and Duquesne Univerity described their findings in the journal PNAS, a publication of the National Academy of Sciences:
"[D]omestication transformed the facial muscle anatomy of dogs specifically for facial communication with humans. Based on dissections of dog and wolf heads, we show that the levator anguli oculi medialis, a muscle responsible for raising the inner eyebrow intensely, is uniformly present in dogs but not in wolves. Behavioral data, collected from dogs and wolves, show that dogs produce the eyebrow movement significantly more often and with higher intensity than wolves do, with highest-intensity movements produced exclusively by dogs. Interestingly, this movement increases paedomorphism and resembles an expression that humans produce when sad, so its production in dogs may trigger a nurturing response in humans. We hypothesize that dogs with expressive eyebrows had a selection advantage and that “puppy dog eyes” are the result of selection based on humans’ preferences."
They did so much more scientifically and intelligently in the article's abstract than I did above.
Products that feature adorable puppy dog eyes
So why talk about puppy dog eyes? Because what dog lover wouldn't want a gift featuring adorable puppy dog eyes?
The artist Dean Russo (profiled here) does an exceptional job of capturing a dog's expression. From pugs to pit bulls, golden retrievers, German Shepherds and greyhounds, Russo has painted them all. Through one of our suppliers, we offer his works of art as household rugs. They're generously sized, delightfully designed and oh-so colorful
Below are some of our Dean Russo best sellers. We carry 22 different Dean Russo dog art doormat rugs. Why am I sharing this in regards to this puppy dog eyes' research? Well, you might want to pick one up for a dog lover in your life. This would be a great gift for someone, like me, who can never say no to their dog when they give you the, you know, look.
Damn you, puppy dog eyes!