Why Do Doodles Have Human Eyes? Yes, There’s a Reason!

There are a lot of viral pictures online of doodle dogs with seemingly human faces, especially their eyes. While this might seem scary, there’s a perfectly natural explanation for this phenomenon.

So, why do doodles have human eyes? Doodles have human eyes because some researchers claim that their faces have evolved to make it easier for them to express their emotions. Another reason is called baby Schema, which is when dog owners associate certain human features with being cute, and then project these features onto their dogs.

Continue reading to learn more about how doodle eyes have evolved to look like human eyes and why some owners believe that their doodles look human.

How Have Doodle Eyes Evolved to Look Like Human Eyes?

dog with human-like face to explain why do doodles have human eyes

According to a scientific study, the faces of some domesticated dogs, such as doodles, have evolved over the years so that the dogs can express their emotions easier and appeal more to their human owners.

The researchers conducting the study compared the faces of 6 domesticated dogs to those of 4 wild wolves. 

They found that the muscle that runs along the outer edge of the dog’s eye, which is known as the retractor anguli oculi lateralis, is smaller in the faces of the wolves than it is in the face of the domesticated dogs.

This particular muscle controls how much of the white of the eye is exposed. So, by having a bigger muscle on the outer edge of their eyes, doodle dogs are more able to change the shape of their eyes to make them bigger, which might seem more human-like.

As always, you can find the link to the full study in the helpful resources section at the end of the article. I do recommend you check it out as it’s quite fascinating indeed and says a lot about our relationship with dogs and how truly special it is. 

Why Do Some Owners Believe That Their Doodles Look Human?

There are other studies that suggest that the human brain recognizes certain facial features that are typically associated with babies in certain animals.

Researchers have dubbed this phenomenon “baby schema,” and it explains why some owners believe that their doodle dogs look human.

Basically, humans see features like big eyes and round cheeks in babies and associate them with being cute, so they will project these features onto their dogs because they believe their dogs are just as cute.

Are Doodles Intelligent Enough to Express Emotions with Their Eyes?

Doodle breeds are considered to be highly intelligent since they’re part Poodle which ranks 2nd among the most intelligent dog breeds.

These dogs are intelligent enough to express emotions and indicate intent using only their eyes. This is often known as the “puppy-dog stare,” as they tend to make their eyes bigger and more appealing to get you to give them attention, treats, or anything else they might need.

They don’t only use their eyes to express emotions with their human owners but also with other dogs. 

Typically, dogs rarely make eye contact with each other. 

However, some dogs will maintain direct eye contact and stare down other dogs as a way to threaten them or assert dominance in certain situations. You can learn more about how dogs show aggression in this article on Goldendoodles’ aggressive behavior here. 

What Kind of Emotions Do Doodles Try to Express with Their Eyes?

Doodles try to express all kinds of emotions with their eyes, including happiness, sadness, fear, anxiety, etc.

To tell what kind of emotion your doodle is trying to express, you need to observe the rest of its body language, as dogs generally express their emotions with their whole bodies, not just their faces.

If your dog feels happy or excited, it will maintain eye contact with you or squint at you. Its posture will be relaxed, and it will usually keep its paws extended forward as if it’s stretching.

If your dog is feeling sad or anxious, on the other hand, it will avoid direct eye contact and bare its teeth while licking its lips. Its posture will be tense, and its tail will be held in an upright, rigid position.

It’s very important to monitor your dog’s body language during different situations so you can have a better understanding of how it expresses itself and what it’s trying to communicate with you.

Related Questions

Do Doodles Remember Their Names?

Doodles do remember their names with some training. When you first bring them home, they won’t have any knowledge of their name, but once you start calling out to them using their name, they will learn to associate the name with the act of calling and respond accordingly. Make sure to give them treats when they respond successfully.

Do Doodles Cry Like Humans?

Doodles do cry, but not like humans. When they feel sad, they will start to whine or whimper, which can be considered crying. However, they will not shed any tears while crying. Their tear ducts only shed tears to wash away any debris or other irritants from their eyes, not to express emotions.

You can learn more about the meaning of dogs crying in my article on why do golden retrievers cry here. 

Do Doodles Smile Like Humans?

Doodles do smile, but not like humans do. They will loosen their jaws and lap their tongues over their teeth in an expression that resembles a smile. However, this smile doesn’t always indicate happiness the way human smiles do, as it might indicate aggression or submissiveness depending on the rest of the dog’s body language.

You can learn more about dog smiles in this article on the meaning of golden retriever smiles. 

Can Doodles Be Service Dogs?

Doodles can be service dogs as they’re smart, perceptive, and can communicate well with their humans. Their natural instincts make them ideal as service dogs as they will be able to comfort traumatized individuals through stressful situations and help individuals with sight problems or difficulties with movement.

Helpful Resources 

How dogs eyes evolved to look more human 

Why dogs look human

Living with a Retriever: Recommendations and Sources

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