CAPS: The truth about those puppy dog eyes

Maggie is a beautiful 3-year-old Lab mix with brown soulful eyes. She is a happy, fun girl who loves people. Maggie has lots of energy — she is looking for a home where she can play fetch, take long walks, and go for a swim.

Maggie is a beautiful 3-year-old Lab mix with brown soulful eyes. She is a happy, fun girl who loves people. Maggie has lots of energy — she is looking for a home where she can play fetch, take long walks, and go for a swim.
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Dear reader, a recent study by the National Academy of Sciences confirmed that dogs have evolved to be able to make puppy dog eyes. The term “puppy dog eyes” is an actual scientific term that describes dogs’ ability to lift their eyebrows to increase the size of their eyes.

For years, it was a known fact that dogs could use facial muscle contractions to lift their eyebrows, what wasn’t apparent was that a special muscle evolved for that exact purpose. In fact, this change happened over thousands of years after their domestication from wolves. Both wolves and huskies do not have this muscle or ability.

The muscle, the levator anguli oculi medialis, or LAOM, allows dogs to display puppy dog eyes and a begging, pleading look. One theory is that expressive eyebrows in dogs influenced the selection of dogs for domestication. Puppy dog eyes elicit a strong desire in humans to look after the pup and would be an advantage for future generations.

Another finding is dogs can understand and use human communication better than a chimpanzee. Dogs will use eye contact to see if commands are for them and frequently ignore pointing gestures unless their human makes eye contact. They watch you carefully.

How important are puppy dog eyes? The study also focused on shelter dogs and found that there was a strong correlation between dog behavior and how quickly a dog was adopted. Dogs who frequently raised their inner brows to give puppy dog eyes were adopted quicker.

Although the study didn’t mention this fact, every time you gaze lovingly into your dogs’ eyes, its level of oxytocin, the attachment or love hormone, goes up and so does yours. Each time we hug, touch, or gaze into someone’s eyes our brain releases oxytocin. Dogs have known this fact for years. Who hasn’t fallen for the sad dog, big eyes look? I’m a sucker for a pleading pup and I’m always happy to give a pet, treat or hug.

As one of the members of the research team wrote, we are the only breed that has domesticated another species, and we wouldn’t be who we are if it weren’t for dogs. After all dogs are “man’s best friends.”


LOOKING FOR A HOME

We have puppies who need to be fostered to adopt. Call 775-423-7500 for details. Check, them out they are cute! Would you like to foster animals?


IN NEED OF

• Bleach, cleaning supplies, treats and big Kongs.

• Dog walkers, we need volunteers to walk our dogs and foster animals. Call 775-423-7500 for details.

• Aluminum cans. We will pick up your cans; give us a call at 775-423-7500. You can also drop them off at CAPS.


SHOUT OUT TO

All the volunteers who walk dogs in spite of the heat. A Four-Paw-Salute to you!

Pizza Factory for donating pizzas and coupons. Pooch smooches to you!


COME SEE US

CAPS is open to the public on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. We suggest appointments for adoptions and food pantry.


DON’T FORGET

• June Holiday: National Rescue Dog Day. Be a hero rescue one of our guests.

• You can make a big difference in homeless animals’ lives by paying for part of their adoption fee. All of our animals are healthy, spay/neutered, current on vaccinations, and microchipped. We rely on you to help make our no-kill shelter a viable alternative for stranded pets.

• If you would like a newsletter, call 775-423-7500 or email caps@cccom.net.

• CAPS’ mailing address is P.O. Box 5128, Fallon, NV 89407. CAPS’ phone number is 775-423-7500. CAPS’ email address is caps@cccomm.net. Please visit the CAPS website (www.capsnevada.com) and Facebook page (Churchill Animal Protection Society). Be sure to “Like” CAPS on Facebook because we are likeable.


Kathleen Williams-Miller is a CAPS volunteer. Email jkwmil@outlook.com.

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