Most of us can agree that puppies are adorable, but according to new research, there’s actually an “optimal age” of puppy cuteness. A new study from Arizona State University’s Canine Science Collaboratory pinpoints the age when puppies reach “peak” cuteness: around eight weeks.
This research shows that puppies are most appealing to humans when they’re around six to eight weeks of age, which is also the time when they’re weaned from their mothers. So researchers think puppies reach maximum cuteness just when they need humans to take care of them.
"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 explains in a statement.
For the study, 51 lucky participants looked at photos of puppies at different ages from birth to seven months and were asked to rate their cuteness. They looked at three dog breeds: the Jack Russell terrier, the cane Corso, and the white shepherd. The cuteness ratings for the puppies were lowest at birth, peaked before 10 weeks, and declined before leveling off when the dogs were older.
But don’t worry, just because people find puppies cutest at eight weeks old, they don’t stop loving them after that. Wynne says that’s just the point “where the hook is the biggest” but once they grab our interest, “we continue to love them all their lives.”
Source: CBS News