Close this search box.

Research Reveals Domestication and Selective Breeding Reduce Dogs’ Facial Expression Communication Capabilities

Researchers at Durham University in the UK have uncovered intriguing findings about the unintended consequences of domestication and selective breeding on dogs’ ability to communicate using facial expressions. Their study, which employed an advanced version of the Dog Facial Action Coding System, delved into the nuances of how domesticated dogs and captive wolves express themselves during social interactions and in response to various stimuli.

The findings are quite revealing: domesticated dogs showed only a 65 percent accuracy rate in conveying their emotions and intentions through facial expressions, compared to 71 percent accuracy observed in wolves. This discrepancy suggests that the process of selective breeding may have inadvertently compromised some aspects of dogs’ communicative abilities.

This reduction in expressive clarity is not just an academic concern; it has real-world implications for everyday interactions between humans and dogs. Misinterpretations of a dog’s emotional state can lead to misunderstandings and, in some cases, unfortunate incidents such as bites or attacks.

The research highlights the complexity of our relationship with dogs and underscores the importance of understanding the subtle ways in which domestication has shaped their behavior. For those interested in exploring this topic further, the full study is available through Durham University’s website, offering deeper insights into how our best friends have been changed by their long association with humans.

Share the Post:
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Related Posts

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x