Dogs can make human hearts melt, and most of it is in their eyes! A new study finds those irresistible “puppy dog eyes” are a product of evolution and yep: they were designed to manipulate us. University of Portsmouth researchers found that while modern dogs have developed small muscles around the eyes which allows them to raise their inner eyebrows, wolves have nearly zero comparable muscles.
A researcher explains, “When dogs make the movement, it seems to elicit a strong desire in humans to look after them. This would give dogs that move their eyebrows more, a selection advantage over others and reinforce the ‘puppy dog eyes’ trait for future generations.” Previous research has found humans favor dogs with infant-like characteristics, like large eyes and a large forehead.