Dogs are born with two eyes, with the exception of dogs who are born or who have their eyes removed for medical reasons. Their eyes are a lot like human eyes in how they are designed and how they work.
Recent research has found that over time dogs have evolved to give the “puppy dog eyes” we all know and love in order to communicate better with humans. It’s undoubtedly become part of their genetic make-up through thousands of years of being domesticated.
Dogs, like a lot of animals do not use facial expressions to communicate but after thousands of years of living with humans they have developed their behavior to manipulate us and to adapt to our wishes in exchange for food and love!
1. Winking because they are happy
An angry dog won’t be playful. A submissive dog will be and will want to have fun.
The happier your dog is, the more he will wink at you or back at you and as well as the winking there are other signs to look out for to make sure your pooch is content.
2. Attention-seeking behaviors
Most dogs are quite smart If they get a reaction out of you for winking at you and that reaction is one that they like, some dogs just may intentionally try that same gesture again, for more of your reaction or attention.
3. Winking because they are submissive
Between dogs, eye contact is a sign of dominance and aggression. You will notice that just before dogs start fighting there will be a period of intense staring first.
If neither breaks the eye contact (an act of submission), a fight will ensue for either to assume dominance over the other.
When your dog stares at you, they don’t want to fight you, and so when you stare back, they will either look down or start to wink at you.
This behavior shows that they are submitting to you as the dominant one of the pack. The wink is to break the stare and to keep the peace.
4. Copycat behavior
Another possible reason why your dog is winking at you is that they are just copying your behavior or mimic the things that they observe around them. For instance, your dog may want to eat when you’re eating, sleep when you are sleeping, or yawn while you yawn. Even smaller physical behaviors and little gestures have the potential to also be mimicked. If you wink a lot at your dog, they may pick up this behavior and repeat it back to you. Imitation behavior is more apparent when there is more than one dog in your home, younger dogs will follow the lead of the older dog.
Imitation behavior can be beneficial when training new behaviors in dogs. Rescue dogs that have come from abusive homes will be reintegrated back into new homes with the help of healthy adult dogs.
Once the rescue dog adopts the adult dog as their role model, they learn to drop the psychological problems that were affecting their behavior and start to act more like the adult dog.