You are scrolling through YouTube. Then you find yourself spending an hour and a half looking at puppies, kittens, and pandas playing around. Your human brain is so fixated on their cuteness that you just […]
You are scrolling through YouTube. Then you find yourself spending an hour and a half looking at puppies, kittens, and pandas playing around. Your human brain is so fixated on their cuteness that you just want to give them a tight hug. But why do you think so? More importantly, as you adore these cute little dogs, have you ever wondered if your dogs also find things appealing, especially you? Well, read on to find out.
But first, let us clear out what constitutes “cute” in our cuteness meter.
What is the Science of Cuteness?
The concept of cute can go back to evolutionary reasons. From an evolutionary perspective, we exist to produce offspring and pass our genes to the succeeding generation. Babies, however, need their parents to take care of them. Due to this, people have evolved to identify cute because, according to research, we are more inclined to take care of more adorable things than those that are not.
We operate based on our consciousness, cognition, and socially-set norms, unlike non-human species who generally work through instincts. It gives us more sense of awareness over things unrelated to our survival, concepts like cuteness.
Our affinity for cute babies, for example, translates to animals like puppies, kittens, and pandas due to kindchenschema, which is our idea of cuteness, namely:
Everything that does not embody those characteristics, we do not consider cute. For example, notice how puppies and kittens hit differently to our cuteness center than baby lizards or baby cockroaches?
Now while we find animals and stuff that fits under our cuteness meter, cute dogs, on the other hand, do not.
Dogs operate through their instincts. It means that survivability is what matters to them most. Although evolution dictates that they should produce offspring to perpetuate their species, we must distinguish among dogs the concept between finding cute and finding mates. Cuteness does not equate to mate viability.
When dogs produce their offspring, they do not need to see the cuteness to motivate them in taking care of their young. Evolution has hard-wired their brains and the hormones governing their system to look after their babies, not based on cuteness but for the sake of survivability.
Will My Dog Find Me Cute?
Let us look at it this way. Notice how dogs vary in looks compared to their wild and scary ancestors? It is because we have domesticated them to be more human-friendly and, possibly, more appealing. In that sense, dogs have been around humans for some time. And their rapport with humans is due to classical conditioning.
Humans are there to feed, protect, and take care of their needs, but not because humans are cute. They do not love you based on your level of cuteness.
Dogs are different from us, and concepts that are products of social convention like cuteness, do not matter to them. What matters to dogs is their instinct and whether something is harmful to them or not? That also goes for you. In that sense, we can say that dogs are not as judgmental as we are. Dogs are awesome!