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Do dogs have eyebrows?

Dog eyes dog-wow
© Pixabay

After decades of studying dogs, we think we have got them sussed. But there’s one big question that still bothers many dog lovers, do dogs have eyebrows?

By Zoë Monk

Published on the 13/08/2020, 18:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:26

Dogs have very expressive faces and we can often tell how they are feeling by just looking at their eyes. But how can your dog’s eyes be so communicative without eyebrows?

Brow mystery

We may be able to finally put an end to the canine brow mystery. Dogs, of course, have fur all over their faces and don’t have a specific patch of hair above their eyes as we do. However, according to a 2019 study, dogs do have a brow ridge on their facial bone structure and the accompanying facial muscles. Some breeds such as the Boxer and Pug have particularly distinct brow ridges.

Unlike wolves, domesticated dogs have developed an extra eyebrow muscle and this raises the inner corner of the eyebrow which enables your pup to make the area above their eyes more expressive.

Some breeds even look like they have eyebrows with different coloured fur above their eyes such as the German Shepherd, Rottweiler and Doberman.

Puppy dog eye

Thanks to the way dogs move this eyebrow muscle it gives their faces more of a humanlike expression which it is believed probably helped to trigger a warm, nurturing response in early humans. As dogs evolved so did their ability to give a ‘puppy dog eye’ look.

So while your dog may not need eyebrows to protect their eyes from sweat as we do, they have evolved their very own doggy brow to encourage us to fall in love with them. And it worked!!

Want to get to know your dog better? See our tips on understanding your dog's body language.

Watch also: Owner looks at his dog's paws, then makes amazing discovery