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Do Dogs Have Eyebrows? Facts & FAQ

Lindsey Lawson

By Lindsey Lawson

rottweiler face

You’ve likely picked up on how expressive your dog can be. It’s like you can tell exactly what’s going on in their mind by their current expression. Clearly, there’s some form of communication going on with those eyes. So the question stands – do dogs have eyebrows? The short answer is that dogs do not have eyebrows the way humans do, though they do have a brow ridge. Keep reading to learn more!

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A Dog’s Brow

Dogs may not have eyebrow hair in the same way that humans do, but unlike a lot of other species in the animal kingdom, dogs do have a brow ridge, called the supraorbital torus. Several breeds, such as Rottweilers and Dobermans, have different colored fur on the brow ridge and others, like Pugs and Boxers, have more prominent ridges.

A human’s eyebrows serve the purpose of protecting our eyes from sweat, water, dirt, dust, and debris. The brow ridge itself is common among humans and other great apes and helps serve the purpose of communication. Below, we’ll dive into the purpose of a dog’s brow ridge.

Uncovering the Purpose of the Brow Ridge

A recent study on the evolution of facial muscle anatomy in dogs has turned up some interesting information. Years of domestication have resulted in the development of a facial muscle above a dog’s eyes that allows them to communicate better with humans.

With this new information coming to light, it shows that those “puppy dog eyes” are actually full of intention. According to the study, a dog’s ability to raise its eyebrows was likely a result of human emotional preference, as this kind of expression causes a nurturing response in humans.

This evolutionary discovery is something that sets our domesticated canines apart from wolves. While wolves do have the ability to raise their inner eyebrow, data has proven that domesticated dogs can raise their eyebrow with more intensity and much more often than wolves can.

german shepherd dog licking his nose
Image Credit by: Rita_Kochmarjova, Shutterstock

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Eyebrow Hair

As for the hair along the brow, it varies by breed and individual dog. Having different colored hair along the eyebrow region can only accentuate the facial expression made by the dog’s control over its facial muscles.

Dogs also have whiskers along the eyebrow region, which serve some entirely different purposes in addition to communication. Whiskers are hairs, but unlike other hairs, they are modified sensory receptors. Also known as vibrissae or “tactile hairs,” most mammals have them to help navigate, detect nearby objects and movement, and pick up on sudden changes in the environment.

Which Dog Breeds Have Eyebrows?

While all dogs have the brow ridge and the muscle above their eyes that give them the ability to make facial expressions, not all of them come with distinct coloration on the eyebrows. Some of the breeds that do have markings above their eyes include:

  • Rottweiler
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • German Shepherd
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Beauceron
  • Australian Kelpie
  • Gordon Setter
bernese mountain puppy
Image Credit By: Pxfuel

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Dogs do not have eyebrows in the same way that humans and other great apes do, but they do have brow ridges and facial muscles that they use to communicate with their humans through facial expressions. In the few breeds that have color markings on the eyebrow, you’ll just be able to pick up on their expressions much more easily.

See also:


Featured Image Credit: Rebecca Scholz, Pixabay

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