A new study suggests that puppies have a specific age at which they enter a period of maximum cuteness.
The study, conducted by a research team based at Arizona State University, examined the attractiveness of puppies to humans to determine the point at which puppies were perceived to be the cutest.
The study found that puppies were perceived to be the cutest at eight weeks of age — the same time that dog mothers typically stop feeding them. While eight weeks was the average age of peak cuteness, the age differed among breeds, with some attaining maximal attractiveness at six weeks.
The study’s lead investigator, Clive Wynne, hypothesized that street dogs are most attractive to humans at the point at which they rely on humans most for survival.
“Around seven or eight weeks of age, 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,”
— Clive Wynne, Professor, Behavioral Neuroscience, Arizona State University