Most dog lovers are familiar with their four-legged friend’s unsavory habit of sniffing another canine’s butt to get the true measure of their fellow hound, but apparently dogs have another extremely effective form of communication – eye contact.
Now we all know that dogs have an extremely developed and heightened sense of smell and hearing, but when it comes to their eyes, well, we’ve always been led to believe that canines don’t see so good.
Yet a recent study in Japan claims that dogs have a secret language based on their gaze and possess an intricate eye-based communication system that us humans just can’t get our heads around.
It shouldn’t really come as such a surprise that our canine companions communicate through their eyes. Homo-sapiens have been doing it for years.
Love, hate, anger, hurt, love, desire, duplicity, mischief, disobedience and a whole host of other emotions are capable of flickering across the human eye in a matter of microseconds.
In terms of communication, the eye is capable of more intricate subtleties and nuances than you’ll find in any of Mozart or Beethoven’s symphonies.
And it has to be said, a dog’s eye can often carry a hell of a lot more soul than that of many humans currently walking the face of the blue planet.
The Daily Mail reported that Sayoko Ueda of the Tokyo Institute of Technology and Kyoto University led the study, which compared characteristics of the face and eyes among 25 different types of canines.
His discoveries led him to the conclusion that species with the most striking eyes were sociable animals who lived in groups. Why? Because eye-based communication is a must when you’re on the hunt and working together to bring down some might fierce and large piece of prey.
However, the study also found that those animals with camouflaged eyes were more likely to live alone or in pairs. Animals in this categories included the dingo and the kit fox.
The species with irises lighter than their pupils, and faces with markings that made their eyes easy to locate, such as the grey wolf, the coyote, and golden jackal, had more in similar with traditional pack animals, such as humans, when it came to an eye-based communication system.
Observing different species interacting with one another in zoos, the researchers discovered wolves held other animals gaze significantly longer than foxes or bush dogs.
Which has to be said, is a right old eye-opener.