Study Reveals Why Pug Manipulate With Their Gaze

Pugs, with their irresistible charm and distinctive facial features, are known for their ability to captivate their owners with a single glance. A recent study sheds light on why these adorable dogs are masters of manipulation through their gaze.

The Power of Pug Eyes

Researchers conducted a study to investigate the influence of canine facial expressions, particularly eye contact, on human behavior. Pugs, with their large, expressive eyes, were chosen as the subjects due to their reputation for using their gaze to manipulate their owners.


The study revealed that pugs, like many other dog breeds, have evolved to use eye contact as a powerful tool for communication and social interaction with humans. Pugs were found to engage in prolonged eye contact with their owners, often accompanied by subtle facial expressions such as eyebrow raising and head tilting.

Manipulative Tactics

Pugs employ various manipulative tactics through their gaze to elicit desired responses from their owners. These tactics include:

1. Begging for Attention

Pugs use their irresistible gaze to beg for attention from their owners, often resulting in extra cuddles, treats, or playtime.

2. Expressing Emotions

Pugs effectively convey their emotions through their eyes, whether it’s excitement, sadness, or longing, tugging at their owner’s heartstrings and prompting a response.

3. Seeking Rewards

By locking eyes with their owners, pugs signal their desire for rewards such as treats or affection, knowing that their owners are likely to comply with their wishes.

4. Establishing Bonding

Prolonged eye contact allows pugs to strengthen their bond with their owners, fostering a sense of connection and trust between them.

Evolutionary Perspective

From an evolutionary perspective, pugs have adapted to utilize eye contact as a means of communication due to their close relationship with humans over centuries of domestication. Their ability to manipulate through their gaze may have provided them with advantages in obtaining resources and forming social bonds with humans.


The study provides valuable insights into the unique relationship between pugs and their owners, highlighting the significance of eye contact in canine-human communication. Pugs’ mastery of manipulation through their gaze underscores the depth of their connection with humans and their remarkable ability to influence human behavior through subtle cues. Understanding the power of pug eyes can deepen the bond between owners and their beloved companions, enriching their relationship and enhancing mutual understanding and communication.