Your dog may be a master manipulator, deliberately making puppy eyes to pull at your heart strings, according to a study Thursday into a ploy many mutt owners have long suspected.
The research suggests that dogs may be in control of their facial expressions, using them to communicate, researchers reported in the journal Scientific Reports.
Until now, it was assumed that dog expressions were involuntary.
The new study suggests, however, that man’s best friend may be very well aware of the reaction a scowl or grin will elicit from its master.
“The findings appear to support evidence… that expressions are potentially active attempts to communicate,” said study co-author Juliane Kaminski of the University of Portsmouth.
In a series of experiments with different types of pet dogs, the team discovered that the animals “move their faces” more when humans were paying attention to them.
Raising the brows, which makes the eyes appear bigger to produce heart-melting “puppy dog eyes”, was the most commonly-used expression, the researchers found.
When humans had their backs turned, or were distracted, the dogs’ faces were much less active — regardless of whether the human was offering a food treat or not.
Previous research has shown that dogs are aware of how attentive humans are.
One study, for example, showed they stole food more often when a human had their back turned or eyes closed.
“We now know dogs make more facial expressions when the human is paying attention,” said Kaminski.
It was too soon, however, to state categorically that dogs have a perception of what a human may be thinking or feeling — a state of awareness considered a sign of high intelligence displayed by humans, the team added.
Research in non-human primates has suggested some of our far-flung cousins may also be aware that others can read their facial expressions — which changed when they had an audience.
Rick Wilson: Doug Collins is a ‘screeching histrionic drama queen’ who’s ‘waving’ his ‘junk around’
Republican strategist Rick Wilson had a few carefully chosen words for the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Doug Collins, Thursday night after a 13-hour day of impeachment debate that featured repeated outbursts, stonewalling, and theatrics from the Republican Member from Georgia.
"I don't want to say that Doug Collins is a screeching, histrionic drama queen, because that would insult screeching, histrionic drama queens," Wilson said on MSNBC's "The 11th Hour," "but this whole thing is a bad faith effort, performative in every way."
Wilson, author of the book, Everything Trump Touches Dies, was far from done.
Trump is wallowing in ‘self-pity’ even though McConnell promised to protect him: Morning Joe
Appearing on MNBC's "Morning Joe," New York Times reporter Peter Baker said Donald Trump is wallowing in "self-pity" that fluctuates with "combativeness" as he worries about the effect being impeached will have on his legacy.
Speaking with host Joe Scarborough, Baker filled in the blanks from his Times report, saying the president is obsessed with the impeachment hearings and Senate trial still to come.
Asked by host Scarborough about Trump's "humiliation," Baker said, "He can count on the Republican-controlled Senate to hold the trial where he seems almost certain to be acquitted, or at least see the charges dismissed in some fashion."
WATCH LIVE: House holds historic vote on the impeachment of Donald Trump
After a 14-hour House Judiciary Committee Thursday hearing considering the impeachment of Donald Trump, Democrats and Republicans on the committee will reconvene once again Friday morning where they are expected to finally vote on the articles of impeachment before sending them to the House floor for a full vote scheduled for next week.
According to NBC, "In a surprise move, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler delayed the vote until Friday morning at 10 a.m. after more than 14 hours of debate. There were five votes on Thursday: one to eliminate the first article on abuse of power, a second to strike a reference to former Vice President Joe Biden, a third to note the aid withheld from Ukraine was eventually released, a fourth to strike entire second amendment on obstruction of Congress and a fifth to strike the last lines in each article. All were voted down and along party lines."