Excerpt from an article on Nytimes.com:
The wide-eyed, pleading look of your dog may melt your heart and cause food to vanish from the table, but that doesn’t really mean your pet has become the master of manipulation.
Sometimes a dog’s expression merely reflects yours.
In a new study, researchers in Britain monitored dogs’ facial expressions — particularly the muscle that raises the inner part of the eyebrows and makes their eyes look bigger — while a person was either paying attention to them or turned away, sometimes holding food and sometimes not.
The dogs were much more expressive when the person was paying attention, but food didn’t seem to make a difference, according to the study, published in the journal Scientific Reports.