New research to Britain suggests that dogs evolved ‘child-like’ appearance to look more appealing to Humans:
“In conjunction with the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, researchers used a newly developed tool called DogFACS to analyse dogs’ facial expressions.
They studied every muscle movement made by 27 dogs in re-homing shelters when a person came and stood in front of their pen.
The tool counted the number of times the dogs raised their inner brows and widened their eyes as a prospective owner approached.
Dogs that produced more of these movements attracted an owner quicker with their ‘child-like’ expression than those that did not.”
With all due respect to the Researchers, I know what kind of eye movements they are talking about and it has nothing to do with appealing to people. Dogs widen their eyes during moments or stress or excitement. I have seen dogs do this when they are in fear, fighting, eating, wanting to play, etc. I suspect the connection is different – it’s the humans who have adapted to recognize these expressions and respond to them. We are responding to their signals, not the other way around. Now to get a nice research grant to test this theory…