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Is Your Dog Trying To Communicate With You? This New Study Thinks So
6 months ago

Humans and dogs go together like peanut butter and jelly, like ham and cheese, like seniors and early-bird specials. When the two join forces it's magical, it's adorable, it's downright therapeutic. How many times have you found yourself staring at a pup wishing you could communicate? Don't answer that. We already know. It's a lot. 

A quick flip through Twitter proves you're not alone in that:


And how it kind of feels like we have a superpower when we figure it out:


How do things feel from their end? 


A new study shows that we're not the only ones trying to communicate. According to researchers at the University of Portsmouth, dogs use facial expressions in an attempt to communicate with us. Researchers tested this theory by taking dogs and giving them food while using software to track their facial reactions. They also tracked their facial reactions to their humans. Even if the dogs were excited by the food, they were unlikely to show any facial expressions and just got down to snack time without any real emoting

Dogs with just food react like:

Those same dogs, though, showed all sorts of facial expressions if their people were looking at them.

Dogs with people be like:

According to the researchers:

Dogs don’t respond with more facial expressions upon seeing tasty food, suggesting that dogs produce facial expressions to communicate and not just because they are excited. Brow raising, which makes the eyes look bigger – so-called puppy dog eyes – was the dogs’ most commonly used expression in this research.

In other words, when we're not looking, dogs don't bother making faces. They make those facial expressions for us — likely in a bid to help us understand them. Aw. We really are important to them. 

I'm not crying, you're crying!