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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Look of Love

A recent instagram campaign we participated in telling everyone what we love about our dogs. I love the hashtag slogan! You can find us on instagram   @dzdogadventures

"The Eyes Are The Window to Your Soul."  ~ William Shakespeare

"True Love Doesn't Need Proof.
The Eyes Told What the Heart Felt."  ~ Toba Beta

So recently a study came out regarding doggy eye contact with their owners. Turns out that dogs who gaze longingly at their owners had elevated levels of oxytocin - which is the "cuddle chemical" if you are unfamiliar. Oxytocin is the hormone in your body that is associated with nurturing and attachment, like how a mother feels for her child.
In this study owners that returned the long gaze also experience elevated levels of oxytocin, and often the dogs gaze would create a response in the owner that would result in talking, and touching their dog thus increasing the bond and solidifying the relationship.

I love science! Isn't it great!  For a more in depth read you can click HERE - for the NY Times article on it.

What I love about this experiment is several things, they tested both neutered and intact dogs, males and females of all different breeds and sizes. They also tested full bred wolves raised by humans, the result is that the wolves rarely gazed at their owners and the owners oxytocin levels barely moved. But this makes sense because according to many recent studies wolves and dogs are extreme opposites and their is no comparison in behavior. Wolves use eye contact as a very important means of communication - signifying dominance, greetings, and other social behaviors. Where dogs are thought to use eye contact as a social strategy and way of bonding with their human counterpart, or communicating a need.

One thing I've personally noticed is that Ziva is great at eye contact! I can usually know what she is trying to communicate when she looks at me, and it can be anything from playing, fresh water, to snuggling, or maybe even a butt rub. Sometimes i'll catch her looking at me from across the room on the couch. Just staring...she isn't hungry but I think she wants me to notice her and join her on the couch, which of course means that i'll at least pet her, or kiss her if not snuggle up on the couch.

The boys? Well they are quite different, Dante gives me strong eye contact for going outside, and for play reasons. Jack gives strong eye contact if you're holding a treat. Maybe they just don't feel as strong of a need to bond? Or are not as strong a communicator as Ziva?

I'm not sure, do your dogs give you strong eye contact and what do you think it means?

Everything is going great over here! Ziva and I are still involved in agility, but between keeping all the pups happy, agility, and school, my life is crazy right now! Only one more month to go though, and I can't wait!

Jack is still available for adoption, he is the silliest boy but he's wonderful and super smart. Hopefully we'll have him placed soon, the rescue group I work with has a dog they want us to foster but until Jack has a home we can't take on another dog so keep us in your mind, share his pic if you know anyone in Oregon who is looking for a great adventure dog, and pray with us that we can find him a perfect home.  

And we are going to be launching another photo contest on Sunday morning, so get your camera's ready! It'll run for a whole week and we have a really fun prize we'll be giving away.

More about Wolves & Dogs

Decoded Science - "Your Pet is Not a Domesticated Predator"
Scientific American - "Dogs, but not wolves, use humans as tools."
Discovery News - "Dogs not as close kin to wolves as thought."

Happy Not so Wordless Wednesday!


Grab The Badge, Thankful Thursday Weekly Blog Hop, pet centric


  1. Absolutely! Ruby is big into eye contact and her eyes say so much! I'm stopping by from Wordless Wednesday BlogHop. Your blog is beautiful!

    1. Thank you! Nice of you to stop by! I love eye contact, I really do feel like it makes for a strong human/dog connection. :-)

  2. Me and mom get each other too. She is a good snuggler and we look into each other's eyes!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

    1. Snuggles are the best!! A warm doggy is the perfect buddy to take a nap with or watch a movie. :-) <3

  3. I love that radiant smile!! It is so great to "get" each other.

    1. Thanks! Yes, she's my smily girl! She is always grinning. :-)

  4. Ruby is all about the eyes, and reading that study helped explain how fiercely I love that little dog. She gazes and stares all the time, to the point I can feel her eyes on the back of my head! It gives the impression that she knows everything I say, because she looks so intently at me when I'm talking. Boca is not as eye-contact-oriented, but I can definitely feel the love when I wake up to her face next to mine in the mornings.

    1. That's exactly how I feel! Ziva is my little girl, I am very mama bear protective of her. The eye contact, how much time and energy we've spent on training/building her confidence I think all of these things have attributed to our special bond. Dante is not as into eye contact, we keep working on it though and I think it's improving. :-) Dogs are the best kids!

  5. My Luna uses her eyes as a weapon. One longing look, and how can I say no? I swear she knows it, too, that little stinker! :)

    1. Hahaha! Oh yes! The power of the eyes! If you're not careful you'll get suckered into sharing everything! :-)

  6. I would say Storm uses eye contact the most. Generally she uses it to communicate that she wants something and then she will bore holes into Thanks for joining the hop!

    1. That sounds familiar! :-) Dante is really good at boring holes into the back of your head if he wants something.


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