Man’s most faithful friend may not be gifted with words, but he certainly knows how to express himself (and how to express his emotions) through his eyes.
A fact that may seem extraordinary to many, but which is only the result of what we can define as a natural biological evolution, is the transformation that over the centuries has undergone the arrangement of some parts of the nose of the dog just to facilitate what is communication with humans.
In a few words, if today we are able to communicate better with our 4-legged friends we owe it above all to the genetic changes occurred over time; this truly revolutionary discovery has been brought to light by some researchers who have recently published a study in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”.
How Has The Dog’s Gaze Evolved?
A well-known psychologist, the American Juliane Kaminski activated a study that aimed to compare the dog’s facial muscles with those of the wildest grey wolf, her direct ancestor.
The study is based on the need to understand why, to date, the gaze of the gray wolf is still able to inspire fear and distance in the human being where that of the dog conveys loyalty and love, particularly useful in pet therapy.
Kaminski and her team of scientists have therefore examined 4 different breeds of dogs (a golden retriever, a German shepherd, a Chihuahua, a bloodhound, a husky and a half-breed) comparing them with the wolf species.
Many differences came to light, including the fact that the muscle placed right above the eyeball of the dog is virtually absent in wolves but very developed in the pet.
This muscle has a fundamental importance in the “management” of the look, as it is the muscle responsible for the movement of the eyebrows.
It seems, again according to Dr. Kaminski’s study, that the evolution of the functionality of this particular muscle group is probably due to the process of progressive domestication of the dog by humans, a process that originated almost 20,000 years ago.
The human mind, therefore, is naturally inclined to better perceive the emotionality of the dog rather than that of the wolf and to perceive the feelings of the animal thanks to the natural morphological evolution of the physiognomic aspects of the dog, among which, in addition to the already mentioned muscle placed under the eyebrows, we also find the ability to show a greater portion than their direct ancestor of the sclera, the white part of the eye.
This fact makes the dog’s gaze more “languid” and communicative and undoubtedly facilitates non-verbal communication with human beings.