Dogs have a special muscle that allows them to raise their eyes and raise eyebrows, allowing them to look sad. This will probably make it easier for the species to make contact with people. This appears from new research by American and British researchers.
They came to these finds by comparing wolves and dogs. The dog species appear to have a special eye muscle that allows them to look pathetic, while wolves in the same place only have a small tendon. Wolves can look less sad than dogs.
The researchers conclude from this that dogs probably developed this special eye muscle while living together with people in order to make better contact.
The special muscle allows dogs to make faces that look like a sad expression of people. This can trigger a nurturing response from people, creating the desired contact.
After all, the animals appear to seek contact by looking at people when they cannot solve a problem themselves. According to the researchers, these capacities characterize the unique relationship between humans and dogs.
In line with earlier research
The new research results are in line with earlier research into the eyes of dogs. It has already been shown that dogs that raise their eyes more often in an asylum are adopted faster.
In addition, dogs are more likely to raise their eyes when people look at them, which also points to a link between the domestication of dogs and their development of facial expressions to make better contact.