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Flat-Faced Dogs - Love 'em Laugh at 'em?

2 min read

Flat-Faced Dogs - Love 'em Laugh at 'em?


Yeah, Frenchies, Pugs, Brussels Griffons and all of the other flat faced breeds of dogs have a baby-faced, adorable quality that steals our hearts. Dog lovers are often divided by their love of the flat faces or their devotion to the more traditional longer faces.

Some people are more drawn to the flat faces than others. There are those people who just do not "get" the appeal of our Frenchies, Pugs and Griffs. You know the ones, the people who utter such original and pithy statements like, "Did that dog run into a wall? Yeah, soooooo funny. Or the every popular, "He's so ugly, he's cute." Never heard that one, Mr. Original. 

Flatter faced dogs have been popular since that first baby-faced wolf puppy snuggled up by the fire and got more treats than his longer nosed littermate. Studies have shown that human being are attracted to a certain Golden Ratio of proportions in virtually everything and this includes dogs.

victorian era dogs


During the Victorian Era dogs were bred to the extreme. Big dogs were bred to be HUGE dogs. Little dogs were bred to be teeny tiny and flatter faced dogs were bred to be truly, utterly flat faced. The Pekingese, Japanese Chin and Brussels Griffon were all used to shorten the fore-faces of Bulldogs, Pugs, French Bulldogs and others.

In a fascinating study done by the by the University of Portsmouth in the UK, it was found that dogs who looked at people with an appealing, "puppy-dog" face were adopted more quickly than their hang-dog faced counterparts.

Dogs who were blessed with the tendency to literally pull their inner eyebrow area up to make their eyes look wider, were clearly the genetic winner!  


Here's the scoop on how this was scientifically measured, yep, IT'S SCIENCE!

Working with the renowned Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, researchers used an innovative tool called DogFACS (really) to analyze each micro-expression a dog made. The researchers laboriously counted each movement of the facial muscles of the dogs in the shelter as people came and looked at them.

The tool actually helped count the exact number of times the dogs raised their inner brows and made those wide, puppy eyes at the people considering them for adoption. The dogs with the more baby-faced expressions were adopted much more quickly than other dogs.