View Full Version : Why do dogs seem to look sad?

20-06-19, 18:08
No, it's not just dotty dog lovers like me. :) They've evolved muscles to change their expression to get humans to help them, feed them, etc.

Hunger is a powerful driver of selection and evolution.


"Dogs eyes have changed since humans befriended them."


"A paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesfound that dogs’ faces are structured for complex expression (https://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1820653116) in a way that wolves’ aren’t, thanks to a special pair of muscles framing their eyes. These muscles are responsible for that “adopt me” look that dogs can pull by raising their inner eyebrows. It’s the first biological evidence scientists have found that domesticated dogs might have evolved a specialized ability used expressly to communicate better with humans."

"In this case, those eyebrow-raising muscles do appear to be an addition to dogs’ anatomy. In the four gray wolves the researchers looked at, neither muscle was present. (They did find bundles of fibers that could be the precursors to the RAOL and LAOM.) In five of the six breeds of dogs the researchers looked at, both muscles were fully formed and strong; in the Siberian husky, the wolflike, oldest breed of the group, the researchers were unable to locate a RAOL.
Sometimes, the origins of changes like these aren’t immediately apparent. Certain physical dog traits—including floppy ears and short snouts—likely originate from the same set of developmental cells (https://bmcbiol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12915-018-0535-2) that code for tameness, a preferable trait in household pets, for instance. In the case of this new research, though, the connection between the physical trait and the related behavior is a bit more direct. “Previous work—and much of it by these same authors—had shown that these muscles were responsible for enhancing positive responses in humans,” Brian Hare, the director of Duke University’s Canine Cognition Center and the editor of the paper, told The Atlantic via email, “but the current suggests the origin of these facial expressions is after dogs split from wolves.”"

21-06-19, 10:09
Thankfully they're not soulless like cats though, even though they were somewhat selected to "exploit" our emotions they're completely naïve of this fact and very clearly feel very strong (if simple) emotions too.

Handbag dogs are more cat-like than other dogs though

27-07-19, 16:24
They're just lil drama queens.