Monday 23 January 2017

Dog Eyes

    I heard an interesting talk on the radio yesterday.  It was all about how dogs have figured out how to endear themselves to human beings.  It all has to do with looking people in the eyes and the hormones that are created by doing this.  It seems that when babies and their parents look at each other in the eyes, it stimulates the human brain to create a neurotransmitter called serotonin which bonds the two and creates a feeling of well-being, happiness, and love.
    Dogs are the only animals that make a point of looking a person in the eyes.  For wolves, the ancestors of dogs, looking someone in the eyes is a very threatening gesture which they will not do.  Somewhere over the thousands of years that dogs lived with humans, they figured out that looking someone in the eyes makes people feel good, and actually helps to generate love, and dogs overcame their natural aversion to do this, and it has made both dogs and people feel warmly toward each other.  Dog brains also generate serotonin by looking people in the eyes.
    Our dog Skye is certainly clued in to this serotonin thing and uses it constantly and successfully to get more food out of us.

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