Fun Fact: Dogs DO Have Eyebrows (Sorta)
And they're there for the most adorable reason ❤️
Maybe you’ve noticed how expressive your dog's face can be — with those animated eyes telling you everything she’s feeling.
But while everyone agrees about those expressive eyes, one dog feature has left a lot of people scratching their heads — do dogs have eyebrows? (And if not, how do they manage to be so communicative without them?)
To end the uncertainty, Dr. Andrea Y. Tu, medical director at Behavior Vets NYC in New York City, spoke with The Dodo to reveal some fun facts about dogs and their debatable eyebrows.
According to Dr. Tu, while dogs don’t necessarily have a patch of hair above their eyes like humans do, they do have something else.
“They do have a brow ridge on their facial bone structure, as well as the associated facial muscles that form this ‘eyebrow region,’” Dr. Tu told The Dodo.
Dr. Tu explained that a 2019 study about facial muscles in dogs “found an extra eyebrow muscle that was uniformly present in domesticated dogs but not in [all] wolves.”
According to the study, this muscle’s job is to raise the inner corner of the eyebrow, which results in a dog’s ability to have much more expressive “eyebrows” than wolves do.
“Behavior data also showed that dogs moved this muscle significantly more frequently and more intensely than the wolves who do have this muscle,” Dr. Tu said.
Even more interesting — and adorable — is that researchers believe these humanlike facial expressions likely triggered a nurturing response in early humans.
According to Dr. Tu, this likely ended up “resulting in the ancestral dogs who evolved to have this special ability to give us ‘puppy dog eyes’ being selected by early humans to create the domesticated dog species that we love today!”
So while your dog might not have the same kind of eyebrows that you do, it’s a safe bet that the answer to your question is that yes, dogs do, in fact, have eyebrows — and they’re expressive and adorable specifically for us!