When dogs stare into their persons' eyes (and vice versa), the gaze activates a hormonal response that reinforces their bonding system.
It's well known that oxytocin, the so-called cuddle hormone, strengthens human social ties. In new love relationships, people produce higher levels of oxytocin. It's why mothers are heads over heels in love with their babies.
And now scientists say it's why people who make gaga eyes at their dogs have more oxytocin in their blood, and why their dogs do, too.
Mutual gazing has an intense effect on both the dog and the owner. The researchers suggest that human-dog interactions elicit the same type of oxytocin positive feedback loop as seen between mothers and their infants.
|One caveat though. Don't try this at home with a wolf.|
|In wolves, eye gaze signals aggression.|
Better to look at your feet.