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Science Says This Is When Puppies Are at Max Cuteness

Important research out of Arizona State University gets to the bottom of puppy irresistibility.

Samantha Cole

Screenshot via Vimeo/ASU

Puppies, it is known, are all cute. It’s a rule of nature. But when are they maximum cute? A new study shows that there’s a specific window when puppies are most adorable to humans.

Researchers at Arizona State University, led by psychology professor and director of the Canine Science Collaboratory Clive Wynne (who loves his own good dog very much, as shown in a video) conducted a survey to find out at what age puppies are most attractive to people. Fifty-one volunteers used a digital slider to rank photos of three dog breeds—Jack Russell terriers, cane corsos and white shepherds—from very attractive to not at all attractive.

The paper is publi...

Sorry, I got distracted. As I was saying: The paper is published this month in Anthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of the Interactions of People and Animals.

They found that newborn puppies were least attractive, but increased in attractiveness as they got older and fluffier and less mushy-looking, hitting the max cutes before 10 weeks of age. The dogs’ peak adorability arrived right around the time they’d be weaning from their mothers, which the researchers theorized is when they ne...

Fuck that's a cute puppy. Anyway: The dogs’ peak adorability arrived right around the time they’d be weaning from their mothers, which the researchers theorized is when they need humans the most to survive. That lands them around six to eight weeks of age, depending on the breed.

“This could be a signal coming through to us of how dogs have evolved to rely on human care. This could be dogs showing us how the bond between human and dog is not just something that we find immensely satisfying in our lives,” Wynne said in an ASU press release. “But for them, it’s the absolute bedrock of their existence. That being able to connect with us, to find an emotional hook with us is what actually makes their lives possible.”

Based on these findings, it’s entirely possible that these little emotional manipu...

... EMOTIONAL MANIPULATORS are evolutionarily made to target your most sappy nurturing instincts, right before they grow up to own your whole life for at least a decade. God dammit.