I just mentally pictured little 6-week-old puppies wearing lab coats. Someone had the job to research the cuteness level of puppies, and I want that job. They figured out when puppies achieve peak-cute, and it’s just about when I thought it would be.
See also: “Baby-talking” to our dogs is a good thing.
This is a real-deal, funded, science research project. The results were even published in “Anthrozoös: A Multidisciplinary Journal of the Interactions of People and Animals.” That’s one of the longest titles I’ve read, but the subject in question has my attention. A man named Clive Wynne is the research leader. He’s also a psychology professor, and director of “Canine Science Collaboratory” at Arizona State University. It was his idea to put the work into the project. The research was simple – he got 51 people together to look at dog photos. The dogs were pictured at various ages throughout their life, and people ranked their “attractiveness.”
The results also discovered something interesting about how animals have evolved and how they behave. It was discovered that right around 8-weeks old is the absolute peak-cuteness of dogs. Also, something else happens around 8 weeks old – the mother dog naturally starts weaning them off to survive on their own. Perhaps it’s just a developmental trait of the dogs, sort of approaching their “adolescence.” Or, as Clive Wynne says, “This could be a signal coming through to us of how dogs have evolved to rely on human care.” Check out some more on the study here, and brace for all the 8-week-old dog Instagram accounts that may start forming. We’re ok with that.