Close up of golden retriever's face

Eye Contact

Why is eye-contact such an important a trait in service dogs? It directly relates to whether or not the dog is going to pay attention to you. A dog is much more apt to follow your commands if you have their attention. A lot of communication occurs non-verbally through the eyes and, no, they will not be reading your mind, but a dog will be able to sense a certain intent. Also, a lot of service dogs need to be aware and provide an interruption to stop their person from any harmful behaviors or need to alert them to other medical needs, like low blood pressure, and eye contact helps them be more focused. This focus can also be helpful when training, not just for service dogs, but for any dog! A study also shows eye contact boosts levels of Oxytocin, the hormone associated with bonding and is known to reduce levels of stress, and reduces blood pressure. High levels of oxytocin, both in the human and dog, helps strengthen the team dynamic. Learn more about service dogs in our other blog articles, at our Facebook page, and Instagram.