What does your dog say with their eyes?

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I was reading a blog post the other day that was reporting on the increased level of oxytocin found in the bloodstream of people who had been gazing into their dog’s eyes, It found more oxytocin in the dog’s urine as well! They called it an oxytocin feedback loop – “A dog’s gaze causes his owner’s brain to produce more oxytocin and create a positive interaction from the owner with their dog, which in turn causes a release of more oxytocin in the brain of the canine”. 1.
 

In case you’ve never heard of oxytocin: “Oxytocin is a hormone secreted by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland, a pea-sized structure at the base of the brain. It’s sometimes known as the “cuddle hormone” or the “love hormone,” because it is released when people snuggle up or bond socially.” 2.
 

tallyseyesIt got me to thinking about dog’s eyes and their expressions. My sister sent me this photo of her dog Tally the other day…just look at that expression, how can it help but make your heart melt?

 

Dogs eyes are so expressive. They can’t talk, so they communicate with us through their eyes, their vocalizations, barking or whining, sometimes even with their whole body as when Jack nudges under my elbow in order to get some scritches. We learn to read our own dogs and even other’s dogs through their expressive eyes. Don’t believe me? Here’s a little test, see if you can tell me what these dogs are saying with their eyes:
 

dogs eyes
 

References:
1. Does Gazing Into Your Dog’s Eyes Facilitate Bonding?

2. Oxytocin: Facts About the ‘Cuddle Hormone’

 

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16 Comments

  1. Bailie and I are often told we have the most expressive eyes. We can really give the look and Mom says she can read us well. There are so many clues to understanding us from the tail, to the head position, body language, eyes, it is amazing.
    Emma recently posted…Road Trip To EvelethMy Profile

  2. Bentley and I hold entire conversations with our eyes. Some people just don’t take the time to listen. ♥
    M. K. Clinton recently posted…How We Became Prairie DogsMy Profile

  3. So very true. Those eyes can really melt through just about anything. It takes all my strength not to give in and feed the pups every treat on the shelf.

  4. Oh boy! My huskies talk soooooooo much through their eyes!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…Siberian Husky – Loose Leash AcceptanceMy Profile

  5. Oh yes, I read about the oxytocin effect. Since they can’t say words we have to look to all the other body signals and their eyes do tell so much.
    Julie recently posted…Running with CocoaMy Profile

  6. I can feel my blood pressure lower and all vital signs improve just by looking into four pairs of eyes (not at the same time)
    jan recently posted…You’ll never guess Queen Elizabeth’s shocking doggie secretMy Profile

  7. I read that blog recently, too. Sometimes when I’m away from my dogs and I need a fix, I resort to looking at a couple of my favorite pictures.

  8. There is a challenge, however, when your dog is a puppy mill rescue. They are reluctant to look at you, at all. It’s taken almost four years for our little Olive to actually look at me, straight on! It’s clear she is still ‘afraid’ of looking at us… straight on, but she does look at us sideways and she does cuddle up to us, so we pay more attention to her body language than her eyes. Emily, our hound, is VERY expressive with her eyes! I swear she tries to talk with them!
    Yvonne DiVita recently posted…It’s a Bird. It’s a Plane. It’s a SPIDER? Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

  9. Oh yes, their eyes say so much!! 🙂
    DZ Dogs recently posted…Unleash the Hound!!My Profile

  10. I’m a total sucker for the looks. And the girls know it.
    Jana Rade recently posted…Blog the Change: See Something Do Something CancerMy Profile

  11. Over the years that I’ve been a “dog mom”, I’ve learned to read the expression in each of my dogs’ eyes. Ducky’s eyes are especially expressive when she’s laying on the couch with her head propped up on the arm, looking straight through my own eyes and into my soul. She knows she is loved and returns the love with that look.
    Callie, Shadow, and Ducky\’s Mom recently posted…Shadow’s Early LifeMy Profile

  12. Dogs eyes are so mesmerizing.
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…Preacher And The Pigeon For Some FitnessMy Profile

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