Dogs talk to owners with their eyes, study reveals

PET DOGS TALK TO THEIR OWNERS WITH THEIR EYES, SURVEY FINDS
Pet Munchies and K9 magazine found that 58% of dogs use a look to express their needs (Picture: Getty Images)

Nearly two thirds of dogs use their eyes to communicate with their owners, according to a new study.

When dog treat makers Pet Munchies and K9 Magazine asked 1,100 owners how their pet gets attention, they found that standing and staring was slightly more popular than barking or whining.

While 57% use noise to get attention, 58% prefer a simple look to communicate.

Unsurprisingly, dogs often do this because they want food.

However, an intense look can often be their way of expressing concern for their family’s safety.

Nine out of ten dog owners said their pets were very good at communicating what they want with their eyes and body language.

In the study, 39% also revealed their pets stood by the door to indicate they wanted to go outside, while 22% said their dog is prone to running around in circles or moving back and forth.

Woman walking at the park with her dog. Wimbledon Park. London. UK.
Barking or whining was also a popular method of communication (Picture: Getty Images/Westend61)

A small number used more mischievous methods, with 7.5% admitting their pets resorted to stealing in order to catch their eye.

Nearly half of owners wish they were able to ask their pet what they could do to make them happier, Pet Munchies and K9 magazine claimed.

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A further 19% said they would like to be able to ask their pet if they were ill and 18% confessed they wanted to ask about their dog’s past and what happened to them before they met.

K9 Magazine publisher Ryan O’Meara, 42, said it was ‘crucial to understand what our dogs are trying to tell us’.

Claiming that dogs had learned to judge our mood and character over the decades, he added: ‘They know we will understand what they are trying to tell us because as our relationships with dogs have evolved, we have learnt to read their signals as well as they read ours.

‘And because dogs are really smart, over the years, they’ve extended how they talk to us using their gaze with the evolution of the ‘puppy dog eyes’ look, which is designed to pull on our heartstring by mimicking the wide-eyed look of babies.

‘As this research reveals, most dogs are using the power of the gaze as more of a stare to get us to understand what they want from us and owners understand what their dogs are telling them.’