It’s a Dog’s Life

Do dog facial expressions have meaning?

Can dogs look embarrassed? Sad? Happy? Or are those expressions a projection of what the owner expects to see?

I think dogs are smarter than some people believe. I also think they are not as smart as their owners maintain. Dogs have a sense of right and wrong, are capable of developing (or adapting to) a routine and are capable of manipulation. They can do all this with the mental capacity of a three- year-old child. Needless to say, expressions of those abilities are necessarily limited.

The premise of the article is that domestic dogs have muscles that control the area around the eyes that are either undeveloped or missing in wolves. These muscles allow dogs to change expressions, “puppy dog eyes.”

I recall watching one of those dog documentaries at 2 am. The film makers claimed that dogs domesticated themselves. They also engaged in selective breeding to allow them to fit into human society. Think about it.

The Evolution of Dogs, Crazy Like a …. Dog

In the beginning there were wolves. Not a bad gig, but limited.
Then came domestication. A step up from the wolf pack but dogs were expected to work.
Still working but the job is way cooler
Festus, Task Force Dog with raid helmet
Some dogs made the leap from working dogs to cute and cuddly.
Expectations varied
Some dogs said screw it. Went back to the pack set up, but kept their people skills and embraced technology. There are subway riders in New York that have not achieved this level of social integration.
For all the advances that dogs have made there are still barriers.