They say dogs are a man’s best friend. They’re around to keep you company whether you’re happy, bored, or sad. One dog even seemed to notice that their owner was upset and brought her a potato in an attempt to cheer her up. In February 2015, a study published in Current Biology said that dogs can understand what their owner is feeling just by looking at their facial expressions.
So, if dogs are capable of reading their owner’s facial expressions, how well can owners do the same for their dogs? Researchers have been trying to figure that out.
DogFACS, also known as the Dog Facial Action Coding System, is used to identify a dog’s facial expressions. Ear Action Descriptors have also been noted, as a dog’s ear movements are just as important as their facial expressions. So far, sixteen expressions and ear movements have been discovered.
One of the most common facial expressions is known as the “puppy dog eyes”, which is shown as the dog raising its inner eyebrows. This is the facial expression that seems to coerce people into adopting dogs from shelters. It gives humans the impression that the dogs are sad, leaving them with feelings of empathy.
If you own a dog, it might be a good idea to really learn about their expressions. That way, you might be able to find out how your dog is really feeling.