New Research Suggests That Domesticated Dogs Were Selectively Bred To Have Darker Eye Colors Since The Illusion Of A Larger Pupil Leads To A More Friendly And Youthful Appearance, Causing Us To View Our Pets Like Babies

Kate - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual dog

If you’ve grown up around dogs, then you’ve probably noticed that light-colored eyes are a rarity among domestic canines.

It’s so rare, in fact, that seeing a dog with bright blue eyes seems to prompt one of two reactions. People either find the hue seriously stunning or somewhat eerie.

However, the word “cute” usually isn’t used to describe the piercing eye color, and it appears as though dog breeders of generations past took note of that.

According to a recent study published in Royal Society Open Science, there might have been a deliberate effort to breed dogs with darker eyes. This was possibly done to give them a more youthful and approachable look.

The study, conducted by a group of scientists from Japan, examined the differences in eye color between gray wolves and domestic dogs. They analyzed photographs of 22 wolves and 81 dogs from 35 different breeds.

Their findings revealed that, on average, domestic dogs have significantly darker irises compared to wolves. While dark brown eyes are typically seen in dogs, wolves’ eyes tend to have a yellow hue.

Moreover, the variation in eye color between wolves and domestic dogs might have been a deliberate choice by humans.

The scientists conducted an experiment where they showed participants images of dogs with either digitally lightened or darkened eye colors and asked them to infer the dogs’ personalities based on these images.

The results showed that dogs with darker eyes were perceived as more amiable and less intimidating, associated with traits like friendliness, sociability, and reliability.

Kate – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual dog

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