It’s no secret that dogs are some of the cutest pets you can have.
Their big eyes, happy smiles, waggly tails, and cute behavior are some of the characteristics that make them so appealing to animal lovers.
We often think dogs are cute but do they think the same about us?
Do dogs find us humans cute and adorable?
Do Dogs Think Humans Are Cute?
Dogs don’t think humans are cute because they don’t understand the concept of cuteness.
They mainly use scents to recognize and understand humans.
While dogs can identify people’s faces, they can’t understand a person’s features the way humans can.
Before we look in detail at why dogs don’t think humans are cute, let’s first understand how they recognize humans so we can understand how they perceive us.
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Dogs Use Their Senses To Understand Humans
Dogs recognize and understand humans primarily by scent, voice, and facial expressions.
Their senses are finely tuned to understanding other dogs and humans.
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Dogs Can Smell Extremely Well
According to the University of Adelaide, a dog’s sense of smell is so powerful and complex that it can smell objects or people as far as 20 km away.
It has also been estimated that dogs have a much better sense of smell than humans.
They can smell up to 10,000 times better than we can! So, it’s no surprise that dogs can easily pick up a human’s scent and remember it forever.
NOTE – You might also like to read this posting asking the question: Do dogs have a favorite human?
Your Dog Can Recognize Your Voice
A study published by Animal Cognition shows that dogs can recognize their owner by voice alone.
It was also revealed that dogs use the same properties to differentiate voices as humans do.
This explains why dogs respond so well to commands and recognize their human calling, even around many other noises.
NOTE – You might enjoy this post asking the question: how do dogs choose their favorite person?
Dogs Can Understand You by Observing Your Facial Expressions
Understanding how dogs recognize humans via facial expressions is critical to understanding whether they perceive humans as cute.
Researchers have conducted a study on whether dogs can recognize faces, and they found that their brains may not have the same tools to process the inner parts of the face.
That means they can identify faces but are not great on the more minor details.
However, dog owners shouldn’t feel disheartened by this. The research suggests that this is adequate for dogs to recognize their people just from their faces.
NOTE – You might also like to read this post asking the question: why do dogs like babies so much?
Dogs Don’t Think Humans Are Cute
While dogs can recognize some of their owners’ facial expressions, their brains aren’t wired to comprehend them as humans do.
Instead, they mainly focus on their owners’ faces for visual cues and not appearance.
So, they don’t think humans are cute. This just isn’t the way dogs’ brains work.
The Clever Dog Lab tested dogs to distinguish “hemifaces,” meaning they showed the lower or upper half of women’s faces.
These women showed facial expressions with different emotions, such as anger or happiness.
The findings of this study showed that the dogs could indeed recognize these emotions.
Therefore, it’s clear that canines understand “happy” but not “beautiful.”
However, while your dog may not find you cute in the traditional, human way, that doesn’t mean they don’t love you.
Dogs have their own way of recognizing human feelings, affection and love.
If you treat them well and bond with them, they will love you for life.
So, dogs may have their own definition or metric of being “cute.”
Dogs recognize how people treat them, which shapes their views of them. In other words, if you treat a dog well, they will always have warm feelings toward you.
Note – Before we continue, why not check out this excellent video sharing some interesting facts about our relationship with dogs:
What Do Dogs Think of Humans?
Now that you understand how dogs recognize humans and why they don’t think humans are cute, you may want to know what they actually think of humans.
Dogs think of humans as friends. It has been shown that dogs associate human faces, voices, and scents with positive experiences.
Their history of being pack animals has made it easier for the human-dog relationship to evolve.
Dogs see us as trustworthy partners, companions, and family.
Dogs were the earliest domesticated animal.
They were initially trained for hunting, guarding, and providing security.
But there’s no doubt that the human-dog relationship has grown much stronger since then. It has now developed into mutual affection, unconditional love, and undying loyalty.
We can see in this study that dogs perceive the humans they engage with as pack mates.
Furthermore, their relationship with human babies has been one to note.
Even the most energetic of dogs seem to calm down in the presence of a baby.
This shows their innate protection capabilities and level of intelligence to decipher that a baby is important, fragile, and vulnerable.
Note – You might also enjoy reading this post that asks why do dogs always like me so much?
Dogs Feel Happy Around Their Human Companions?
According to studies, dogs experience increased oxytocin when sharing positive moments with humans.
Oxytocin is a hormone commonly referred to as the “happy hormone.” This hormone triggers positive emotions.
As you can see, dogs depend on humans for safety and affection. In return, they provide loyalty, unconditional love, the best company, and security.
So, there’s no denying that they hold the humans that take care of them in high regard, regardless of their physical beauty or “cuteness.”
Related: Do Dogs Think in Barks?
What Is Cuteness?
Cuteness is a subjective concept usually relating to physical features that brings out a positive emotional and caring response from people.
Studies have shown that most people perceive babies, puppies, and other young animals as cute and that this perception is connected to neural activity in the reward centers of the human brain.
However, what is thought of as cuteness can vary a lot depending on the context and culture.
Can Dogs Tell Human And Non-Human Faces?
Research has shown that dogs seem to be able to recognize and also distinguish between different human faces, even for the faces of strangers.
Dogs are also able to follow visual cues such as facial features, body language, and scent to identify familiar and unfamiliar humans.
However, it is not totally clear how well dogs perceive human faces and whether they experience emotional reactions such as recognition or familiarity in the same way that us humans do.
Do Dogs Prefer Some Human Features Or Characteristics?
Some research suggests that dogs may have preferences for certain physical features or characteristics in humans, such as height, gender, or vocal pitch.
For example, some dogs may respond differently to men and women, and they may be more attracted to high-pitched voices.
The evidence for these preferences is still very limited and more research is needed to understand how dogs perceive and respond to different human traits.
How Do Dogs React To Human Expressions And Body Language?
Dogs are really highly attuned to human facial expressions and body language. They are, to some degree, able to use cues to interpret human emotions and intentions.
For example, dogs are able to recognize when humans are happy, sad, angry, or fearful, and they can respond with their own emotional signals.
Dogs can also use cues such as voice tone, proximity, and direction of gaze to somewhat interpret human behavior and respond accordingly.
Final Thoughts On If Dogs Find Humans Cute
Dogs are social animals and enjoy companionship with humans.
So, while they don’t think you are cute, they still trust you, are loyal, and show affection in other ways.
Humans could learn from them about recognizing the good in people and valuing people based on how they treat you rather than focusing on physical attributes.
So, don’t feel disheartened that your pet doesn’t think you’re cute.
They probably think you’re so much more than cute. A dog will offer the purest form of love, and that’s why they’re indeed man’s best friend.
Tim is a proud, vetted, and experienced dog foster carer for a charity helping dog owners escape domestic abuse.
He has years of experience training and caring for dogs, both his own and other people’s.
He is an expert in canine behavior and is highly skilled in dealing with all dogs but specializes in the difficult ones that other people may struggle with.
When he isn’t fostering dogs, he is making friends with other people’s pups!