Dog With 'Human Face' Adoption: Poodle Shih Tzu Mix 'Tonik' Seeks A Home!
Humans have domesticated and bred dogs to make them better companions for thousands of years. After repeating the process for innumerable generations, could we have bred a pup that looks ... just like we do?
Buzzfeed shared a story headlined "This Dog Has A Man Face" yesterday. Sharing pictures of a dog with great big eyes and a small little nose, the images caused quite a stir among many readers. In fact, the puppy is actually a Poodle/Shih Tzu mix named "Tonik," and is up for adoption at the Homeward Bound Animal Welfare Group of Mishawaka, Ind.
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Here's what the Homeward Bound Animal Welfare Group has to say about Tonik:
Tonik came to us from a kill shelter in Kentucky and there is a very sweet boy in there who is trying to figure things out and enjoy people. It seems he has not had too much socialization. He is great with other dogs. He is not dangerous, but should not be placed with young children because he will get too overwhelmed. He will need a home with lots of patience & good energy. His approx.birth date is 02/01/11 and he weighs 11#. He has been vet. checked, neutered, micro chipped, heart worm tested negative is up to date on routine shots & wormings including rabies & has been treated with advantage multi per our protocol. He has been pro. groomed since his photos were taken.
While the shelter describes Tonik as just an average dog, there is no denying that Tonik's appearance is certainly confounding and bizarre. Could there be something more behind his human-like expression?
According to the Daily Mail, dogs have an imitative ability to mirror their owners as a style of interaction as they grow up and grow familiar with their master.
In an experiment involving ten dogs, five were trained to follow their owners movement in opening a door, whether it was using a head or a hand/paw. Next, five other dogs were trained to open the door in an opposite fashion of their owner -- using the paw if the owner uses the head or using the head if the owner uses the hand. Ultimately, the latter five took significantly longer to correctly complete the task than those that simply imitated.
"The dogs brought with them to the experiment a tendency automatically to imitate hand use and/or paw use," said cognitive biologist Dr. Friederike Range of the University of Vienna, "... to imitate these actions even when it was costly to do so, when imitation interfered with the efficient performance of an ongoing task."
"The results provide the first evidence of automatic imitation and of automatic counter-imitation in dogs," Dr. Range and his colleagues concluded.
In fact, other studies show that dogs are capable of empathizing with people as is the case when a dog yawns after seeing a human yawn. Finally, another study revealed that a dog develops a bark similar to the sound of an owner's regional accent. Dogs of Liverpool communicate in a higher pitch.
However, are humans prepared with this advanced stage of canine evolution? Check out these tweets on "dog with human face" below:
— Felicity Morse (@FelicityMorse) February 5, 2013
This Dog Has an Oddly Human Face: Man's best friend needs to back off a little bit.bit.ly/WnQKmY
— Funny Pictures (≧▽≦) (@FunnyPicsQueen) February 4, 2013
— Happy Dog (@BillyBaisley03) February 5, 2013
When I'm older and I go to get a dog, I'm gunna look for one with the most human-like face and call it MANDOG cus omfg
— The O'fishall Rupert (@ruperthawkins) February 4, 2013
Also, if Tonik's endearing gaze has won your heart, be sure to visit the Homeward Bound Animal Welfare Group website and visit Tonik at the Mishawaka, Ind., shelter.
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