It’s in the eyes . . .
Isn’t somewhat comical when scientists perform studies that confirm what we instinctively know?
Recently, a new study’s findings were announced that confirmed “dogs are more expressive when we’re looking at them.” In short, they learned that aside from other primates, canines are one of the few species to alter their facial expressions when around humans. At our facility, we have a couple friends who generally like to communicate with their voice, but the vast majority (including our personal pets) all communicate with those amazing eyes! I suppose it’s good to hear science catch up!
Another new study announced that people tend to have more empathy towards dogs than their fellow humans. Again, this is one I’m sad to report I’m all too familiar with. I even have a sign on my office wall that says: “The Average Dog is a Nicer Person than the Average Person.” This second set of studies sought reactions to nearly identical ads asking for money to support “Harrison.” In one ad, Harrison was a dog. In another, Harrison was a human. Harrison the dog got a lot more attention. Somehow, we’re just not surprised!
A similar study presented people with a story about a baseball attack on a puppy, an adult dog, a human infant, and a human adult. The study asked the respondents to rate their empathy in each situation. The levels of empathy went in this order: Puppy, human infant, adult dog, and the human adult. How do they weasel their way into our hearts like that? Science still needs to explain that part.
Still, at least my experience is similar – however sad it may be. They don’t need to speak English to convey almost all of the important things they need to convey and 9 out of 10 times, I’ll fall for the puppy eyes every time I’m confronted by them!