It’s a look that melts some of the hardest of hearts. No, it’s not the look of your significant other; it’s the look from your puppy dog. You know it: those big eyes widening to look up at you and making you contemplate giving out the entire package of treats instead of just one. That dog’s got you wrapped around its little paw.
It’s not magic, though; it’s science. A study found that the wider-eyed gaze between the dog and its human was similar to that of a mother and baby and had to do with levels of oxytocin, which is a hormone that is important in bonding.
Somehow, dogs have learned to use facial expressions with their humans as a way to elicit attention—usually it’s some kind of love or sympathy. Dogs and humans now see each other as partners. This is not common to all species according to the study.
The old adage that dog is man’s best friend has been around for a long time, now, there’s a little more proof of that.