Dogs with short heads, such as pugs, bulldogs and boxers, are better at establishing eye contact with humans than breeds with long noses, a study has found.
Locking eyes with a pet pooch is the key to establishing a connection and building a relationship, and some dogs are better at it than others.
A study by Hungarian researchers concluded that short-headed, cooperative, young and playful dogs are the best when it comes to forming eye contact with humans.
Breed also plays a role, with dogs built to work with humans with visual cues – such as sheep dogs – faster to close eyes with a human than a dog bred for purposes that did not require human visual indicators, such as sled dogs.
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Dogs with short heads, such as pugs, bulldogs and boxers, are better at making eye contact with humans than breeds with long noses, a study has shown
Locking cans with a pet cap is known as the key to making a connection and building a relationship, and some dogs are better at it than others
Experts in dog behavior at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest have performed experiments on 130 dogs of the family and measured the width and length of their head.
Dogs were put in a room with a stranger and their owner. The owner sat quietly and motionless on a chair while the experimenter, a stranger to the dog, waited for the pet to look her in the eye.
Data from this experiment showed that animals with shorter heads looked into the eyes of a new person rather than dogs with larger heads.
Zsófia Bognár, PhD student and first author of the study, says this is probably due to the shape of her eyes.
The boxer, bulldog, pug, and snub-nosed dogs generally have a more pronounced area centralized in the retina, so they can respond better to stimuli in the central field, making it easier for them to make eye contact. to form with people, ‘she says.
Dogs were put in a room with a stranger and their owner. The owner sat quietly and motionless on a chair while the experiment, a stranger to the dog, waited for the pet to look into their eyes (image, the experiment)
Breed also plays a role in establishing eye contact, with dogs built to work alongside people with visual cues – such as sheepdogs – quicker to see with a human than dog bred for purposes other than human visual cities were needed, such as sled dogs
Britain falls out of love with dogs with flat faces
Twice as many flat-faced dogs were abandoned and sent to live at rescue shelters in 2018 than in 2014, a study has found.
Brachycephalic breeds have a snout that is intentionally shortened through intensive selective breeding and it has given rise to many health problems.
They are regularly plagued with breathing problems, skin problems and eye conditions due to complications that arise as a result of their shortened nose.
Experts believe that when these manifest in middle-aged dogs, between three and four years old, owners have difficulty coping with the demands and costs of treatment, forcing them to send their pets to dispatch centers.
Research from Nottingham Trent University shows the number of flat-faced dogs at 16 Dogs Trust and RSPCA centers doubled from 24 in 2014 to 48 in 2018.
However, dogs with larger heads have a wider bike lane which can make it more difficult for them to focus on one thing, as they are exposed to more stimuli.
‘It is likely that they see the human face more sharply because of their special retina, but it is also possible that their owners look at it more often, because its facial features resemble a small child, a powerful indication for humans,”s Ms Bognár says .
‘This allows dogs with shorter noses to be more experienced in eye contact.’
The researchers then looked at how other factors influence the formation of eye contact, focusing on age, temperament and race.
They found dogs that were bred for visually-assisted work – like Shepherd dogs – that work with humans to be one of the best at making eye contact.
Breeds created by humans for independent work, such as sled dogs and dachshunds, are less capable of making eye contact with a human.
Older dogs, as expected, are also reluctant to stare into the eyes of a stranger.
‘We assumed that aging dogs would find it more difficult to control their attention and would be slower to switch from food to the face of the experiment,’ says Dr Eniko Kubinyi, co-author of the study.
‘That’s what happened. Since we have screened our participants in advance for potential visual and auditory limitations, the slower establishment of eye contact seems to be a natural consequence of aging. ‘
The findings are published in the journal Scientific Reports.