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There’s a Scientific Reason Puppies Hit ‘Peak Cuteness’ at a Certain Age

posted: 05/30/18
by: TLCme
pug baby
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It's almost impossible to look at a puppy and not think "You are so cute!" However, there is a very specific point where a puppy goes from the type of cuteness that feels like "Hello little cutie" to peak cuteness where you start to feel "How have I survived without this ultimate cuteness? Just come live with me forever, adorable puppy." According to scientist, this peak cuteness happens at the same age for all puppies and it's all a part of evolution so you'll fall for that sweet puppy face and take that pooch home with you.

According to a new study, researchers from the University of Florida asked 51 students to look at 39 images of dogs. The images were in black-and-white, the puppies were from three different breeds, and their ages ranged from birth to 8 months. The students were asked to rate the cuteness of the puppies. Also, where do we sign up for these types of studies?

What they found was puppies' cuteness ratings were lowest at birth and then declined before leveling off at an older age. However, peak cuteness hits between 6 and 8 weeks old for many dogs, and this is a critical age for the pups. Around this time is when puppies are weaned from their mothers, and researchers hypothesize this peak cuteness is right when puppies need human care the most.

"Just as their mother is getting sick of them and is going to kick them out of the den and they're going to have to make their own way in life, at that age, that is exactly when they are most attractive to human beings," lead study author Clive Wynne. "This attraction of humans to dog pups at that phase of life may have given early dogs, and may continue to give today's free-living dogs, a competitive advantage by being adopted and cared for by humans," So all this cuteness is just evolutions was of getting us to adopt the dog. We are fine with this development because---puppies!

Researchers noted that the decline in peak cuteness has nothing to do with how much we love our dogs, and they would like to continue the study where participants get to hold the puppies rather than just look at pictures. So if they are looking for new participants, please accept this as our formal application to be puppy holders all in the name of science.