Have you ever wondered how and why dogs rule us? Our favorites, especially when they want something from us, eagerly use „puppy eyes”. Their eyes then enlarge and their corners droop. The eye seems bigger, darker and … sadder. We associate these dog eyes with the look of a helpless child in need of help. And how can you deny something to such a being?
Interestingly, the eye muscles that developed in tetrapods in the course of evolution are responsible for the ability to look like this. And as scientists say, it was only so that domesticated animals could communicate better with humans!
Don’t be mad at the dog
Sometimes there are misunderstandings between us and our pets. Dogs’ gestures of submission: head tilting, ears lower, crawling, nervous licking, people often take it for expressing guilt and believe that the dog knows that he has done something wrong. Meanwhile, with such behavior, dogs tell other dogs: Do not attack me, I have no evil intentions, let’s stay in agreement. When they see us upset, they don’t understand it’s because of them. They’re just asking us not to take our anger out on them …
Dogs rule us and make faces at us …
Dog faces are best seen in short-haired breeds. A friend of the pinscher – a dog of the non-touch species – has developed a whole set of mines to discourage random passers-by from closer contacts. And it’s not at all typical for dogs to show teeth! This pinscher can wrinkle its mouth so much that it shows an expression of disapproval and disgust, which people read very well. After all, we do not reach out to a creature that clearly shows aversion to us. This smart pooch has worked out the faces that help him achieve what he wants – peace of mind.
… Because we want it
Many dogs can „smile” when they feel safe and relaxed. Their lips are then stretched, pupils dilated, the quadruped with his whole body, and especially with the facial expressions of his face, shows that he feels happy and relaxed.
Scientists believe that the changes in the structure of our pets’ mouths were forced by humans. They chose dogs with richer facial expressions for breeding. They acted in a similar way with the quadrupeds, who could endure looking into their eyes longer (dogs do not like it by nature, because they read it as a confrontation). People unconsciously look for similarities in animals because they understand (or think they understand) them. Because in the company of beings who can communicate with us, we feel safer.
What have they learned for us to get along better with us?
It didn’t happen overnight. For years, centuries, dogs learned to contact us and changed for us. What are they doing today?
Dogs like physical contact, and they often sleep hugged in the herd. But the well-known gesture of hugging the tilted head against the guardian’s body and freezing in this position in a motionless position seems to be invented and reserved for us humans.
They raise their eyebrows
As a result, the eyes appear larger and sad, which is expected to elicit an emotional, warm response in a person. The large eye muscles specially developed in dogs are responsible for this mechanism. In the case of wolves, they are in a rather rudimentary form, while in our pets, they have developed very strongly during the evolution.
They touch us with their paw
Among dogs, it is rather a dominant gesture – the stronger individual places his paw on the withers of the weaker friend. In relations with us, it is used to draw attention. In this way, the dog also tries to comfort us. It doesn’t hit hard then, but lightly brushes, as if to say „hey, I’m here!”
They withstand our eyesight
For canines, looking into the eyes for a long time is a sign of poor parenting and most often provoking conflict. We, in turn, like to look at the interlocutor. Over the years, dogs have learned that humans do … They can look us in the eyes, which we – subconsciously – perceive as a sign of honesty.
Do you love Show it to me!
Why do dogs rule us? Our four-legged friends so charmed us that we believe that they love us immeasurably and are ready to do a lot to protect and defend us. And that’s the way it is!
It’s not just a treat
Someone who looks at us with large, loving eyes can persuade us to do a lot – also for an additional tasty morsel or another long walk on this day. Is it just a trick? No, because the dog’s strong emotional attachment to the human is a fact. What’s more, through the centuries of accompanying us, the quadrupeds have learned to read our moods flawlessly and react to them.
I want to cheer you up!
Researchers from John Hopkins University conducted an experiment in which a group of several dozen people with dogs took part. The owner was isolated from the dog by a transparent door with a magnetic lock – in order to reach a human, the animal had to hit the partition hard enough for the magnet mechanism to release, allowing the door to be ajar. After a moment of neutral behavior, the owner began to cry. All tested dogs immediately showed a strong nervousness and started to storm the door, trying to get to the handler and cheer him up.
I will overcome all obstacles
Getting to humans required the use of a lot of force from the animals. Regardless of breed, size and character, the dogs stormed the partition for so long until they managed to break into an adjacent room, where they rushed to their owner, cuddling and licking him.
I love you and now!
Interestingly, it was also done by those animals that seemed less attached to humans and had looser relationships with them – only that it took them longer to open the door. In a word, no matter how much the dogs try to manipulate us, their attachment is stronger and more sincere than ours – because it is unconditional! Do you think dogs rule us?