The value of eye contact with a dog.

Take a good look at your dog.
 
Eye contact is often the first things learned in basic obedience classes because it helps dogs focus. In the world at large, eye contact can be seen as a challenge, but in loving relationships, it’s a sign of trust and love. Think about your own eye contact habits; if you’re nervous or intimidated by another person, you might have trouble looking them in the eye, but if you trust them and want to show respect, you’ll meet their gaze.
 

It’s very similar for dogs.

Eye contact isn’t just a sign of a strong bond between a dog and her person, it’s also a way to create and improve that bond. According to Japanese researchers, dogs who gaze at their owners show elevated levels of oxytocin (aka the love hormone), and the owners experience raised oxytocin levels, as well (source). In other words, gazing at each other starts a feedback cycle of love and attachment. That’s right: you can increase your bond and your happiness levels by gazing into each other’s eyes.

Eye contact isn’t just a sign of a strong bond between a dog and her person, it’s also a way to create and improve that bond.

Pamela Wiltgen