Science Says Gazing Into Your Dog’s Eyes Will Tell Them That Old Flame Is Still Alive

Written by: Lisa Bernier

March 18, 2015

Is your relationship with your pup missing that old spark? Do you feel like strangers when you once were so much more? Then try giving them some of that sweet eye-to-eye contact. Eyes are the windows to the soul — and may be the key to your dog’s heart.


A recent Australian study at Monash University found that when a dog’s brain is flooded with oxytocin, they are able to follow humans’ social cues better. One of the things that may cause such a flood is eye contact.

Not only will this strengthen your bond with your pup, but they’ll be more obedient. Well, they’ll follow social cues at least.


Dogs who maintain a long gaze with their owners have elevated levels of oxytocin, and oxytocin is better known as the happy or love hormone. It’s the chemical in the brain that makes mother-baby bonding so powerful. Scientists are also beginning to suspect it plays a much bigger role in the dog-human bond as well, with both species.


In the study, 31 male and 31 female dogs were given either a nasal spray dose of oxytocin or a saline placebo. The dogs were then tested on whether they could pick up on the clue of a human pointing at where a treat was hidden.

The results? Those given oxytocin performed far better than those who were not.


This seems to give a boost to positive reinforcement training techniques! Hey, if love can move mountains, it can surely get your puppy potty trained. Right?

For the full study, check out the results in the journal Animal Cognition.

To watch a breakdown of the study, see below!

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H/t Discovery, Featured Image via WikiHow

Written by: Lisa Bernier

March 18, 2015