There, I said it. You have classic dog face. Or maybe your dog has human face? Does "human face" for a dog mean that the dog is ugly? Is that an insult to a canine? I have no idea. You'd have to ask a dog. They might be seriously offended. Either way, put your tongue back in your mouth and stop panting, it's a bad look.
You always knew that your neighbor looked like their dog. You know what I'm talking about. You'd hide behind your living room curtains and speak in hushed tones, unsure if what you were saying was offensive. Well guess what, it was extremely offensive. But science is on your side.
Everyone knows that Japan is where science happens. Perhaps this is why Japan-native Sadahiko Nakajima has, on multiple occasions, tried to find empirical evidence about why people look like their dogs. Either way, Nakajima discovered some interesting data about dogs and their owners.
As I mentioned, Nakajima has done more than one study about why people look like their dogs. His first study simply proved that, yes, people totally look like their canine pals. In his research, test subjects could match pictures of dogs and their owners by facial appearance alone, and were also able to recognize fake dog/owner pairs.
But Nakajima couldn't stop there, and he designed a new test to figure out what facial features specifically made owners look like their dogs. The new test involved 502 Japanese college students and 40 sets of dog/owner photos.
Nakajima had prepared the photos of dogs and their owners at a “dog-lovers’ field festival,” an event that sounds fun but also smelly. There, he had photographed owners and their dogs separately against a white background, much like passport photos, in order to eliminate confounding variables.
Nakajima took extra steps to prepare the photos for his collegiate test subjects, digitally rendering every portrait of dog or human to be the same size. He then created sets of dog/owner photo combinations, some correct and some false, for the subjects to identify. Equal numbers of male and female dog owners were represented.
You know how in spy movies, a black bar is placed over the eyes of someone so that they can remain anonymous? Nakajima used a similar technique to determine what parts of the face, exactly, allow strangers to identify people with their dog.
Nakajima discovered that 80% of test subjects could identify correct dog/owner combinations if presented with the entire face of both parties. 73% could identify correct combinations with the owners' mouths concealed.
What's striking about Nakajima's study is that his subjects could identify proper dog/owner combinations if only given the eyes, and nothing else. If subjects only saw the eyes of an owner and the eyes of a dog, they could identify proper combinations around 75% of the time.
Nakajima's study helps us identify what physical cues have no relation to the similarity between dogs and their owners. Hairstyles, weight, gender, and height are all irrelevant. They key factor is always the eyes.
In the end, Nakajima's results are a bit of a mystery. Other studies have shown that humans have a supernatural ability to extract information from each other's eyes, but no one knows exactly why. How do eyeballs communicate so clearly? SOMEBODY ANSWER ME!
Eyes are a mystery. There's even evidence that looking into someone's eyes allows you to accurately determine their sexual orientation. If they wink at you, that could be a dead give away. Anyway, in conclusion, make eye contact when you speak to people, and don't tell strangers that they look like their dog, even though science says that they probably do.