Ugly dogs: Cute, funny, or just plain weird?

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Does your dog have a face only a mother could love? We’ve all seen them – pooches that may not look as aesthetically pleasing as their other canine counterparts. We also all seem to have some pretty strong opinions on what we think about ugly dogs.

Whilst most of us decent folk would never ever say or think the same thoughts about people we see as less attractive, dogs, on the other hand, seem to be a fair game, and comments are often even exchanged right to the dogs themselves!

Ever seen someone baby talking at a puppy, “Look at you, you are so plump and wrinkly, I could to eat you up”; now imagine saying that to a person you just met…

So, which camp are you in? Do you think ugly dogs are cute? Funny? Or just plain weird? Turns out, it has a lot to do with our psychology.

The cute camp

Some people are wired so that when they see an ugly animal, their nurturing side kicks in. This is because what we as humans have defined as ‘traditionally cute’ features, such as big eyes, soft bodies, and large heads remind us of human babies.

When a baby is born, strong hormones in the body give off signals to protect the child and also cause spikes in oxytocin-the love drug. When we love our child, biologically we are more primed to protect them.

You might be in the “cute camp” if you look at animals generally defined as ugly, such as blobfish or sloths and feel that sense of “Awww! So cute!” You are probably much more of a nurturing or Mother Hen type amongst your social circles if you fall into this camp.

The funny camp

Another common human reaction is to find humor or laugh at things they don’t understand. And the “funny camp” has more of a slap knee reaction when seeing ugly animals.

Sometimes, when our brains aren’t sure what to make of something, we react in strange ways and a sign of this could be snickering or giggling. Once this process has started, your brain thinks, “Oh, I’ve laughed. I must find this particular thing quite humorous.”

They say laughter is the best medicine, and as long as you’re showing love at the same time you’re laughing; we’re sure they won’t mind you having a giggle at their expense.

The just plain weird camp

Really not sure what to make of ugly dogs? You may even feel uncomfortable, grossed out or just feel like they’re a little bit weird. That’s ok, they are probably looking at us and thinking the exact same thing!

As humans, we are constantly blasted with media and advertisements telling us that things have to be perfect, and if they aren’t; they are in some way wrong. This spills over to the lifestyles we lead. The products we buy and even to which pets we choose to have.

We care what the people around us think, which is why we follow trends and upgrade our homes in the search for perfection. We want others to think the best of us and having a good looking or ‘cute’ dog comes along with that image we want to portray to others. This is another potential reason you may be weirded out by ugly dogs. You have high standards and there’s no shame in that!

Commonly, an ‘ugly’ pet is also compared with the runt of the litter. Biologically we choose the strongest of the pack to ensure our survival. If you’re leaning more towards a pet with symmetrical features over one with an overbite, you’re actually tapping into your biology in choosing the fittest. Isn’t biology a fascinating thing?

Taking care of your pet; ugly or not

Whichever camp you’re sitting in, all animals, and especially our pets, deserve the very best care for the duration of their lives. Pet ownership, is not a responsibility to be taken lightly. Our pets can live for over a decade. It’s important to factor in that the situation you’re in now may not always be the one you’re in forever.

Making sure you’re able to pay for ongoing food, medicines, vaccinations and even including them in your family holidays is a responsibility that should be at the forefront of your mind before considering adding any pet to the family. And hey, maybe your special dog fits into all three categories and is a triple threat; cute, ugly and weird. Now that’s an animal with character!

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