How dogs use their eyes to tell you they want something, according to new study
BY LISA WALDEN DEC 31, 2019
Is this something your pup does?
Does your dog ever use their eyes to tell you they want a treat or a cuddle? Well, a new study has found that our clever pups use their eyes to communicate with their owners, particularly when it's regarding food or wanting attention.
Research by Pet Munchies and K9 Magazine found that almost two-thirds of dog owners say their pets use a certain 'look' to communicate their needs, instead of barking, whining or nudging their owners.
The team behind the study asked 1,100 dog owners about how they interact with their four-legged friends. While it's not uncommon for dogs to use 'puppy eyes' to get what they want, the study also found that dogs can use intense eye contact when they are expressing their concern over the welfare of humans.
Research also found that...
39% said their pets stood at the door to indicate they wanted to go out
7.2% of owners explained that their pets steal things when they want their owner's attention
40% of owners would like to be able to ask their pets what they could do to make them happier
A further 19% wished they could asked their pets if they were feeling unwell
18% said they would love to ask their dogs about their past
K9 Magazine publisher Ryan O'Meara, who also owns three dogs, said: "Learning how to 'talk dog' is extremely important. It's crucial to understand what our dogs are trying to tell us when they communicate with us.
"One of the ways dogs have always communicated with humans is through studying our eyes. Over the decades, dogs have learnt to learn to judge our mood and character, for example, by staring at us. This is a dog's way of trying to actually talk to us. They know we will understand what they are trying to tell us because as our relationships with dogs have evolved, we have learnt to read their signals as well as they read ours."
Ryan also explains that dogs are indeed incredibly smart and have used their eyes for decades as a clever way to get what they want from humans. "Over the years, they've extended how they talk to us using their gaze with the evolution of the 'puppy dog eyes' look, which is designed to pull on our heartstring by mimicking the wide-eyed look of babies."
So, the next time your dog is giving you that look, there might be something they want...