Loving puppies is so universal that people who don’t love them tend to stay quiet about it lest they be shunned by society. Because puppies have the characteristics of any other young mammal, including our own human offspring, it’s no surprise that we find them incredibly endearing. Those big eyes, oversized heads, chubby cheeks, small mouths and small noses are cues that evolution has made appealing to us to ensure that we take care of the young and helpless. Animals we perceive as cute prompt our bodies to produce oxytocin, a hormone whose many effects include feelings of love and the urge to care for others.
Many qualities about puppies seem to make us fall in love with them and cause us to say “Awwwww” without being able to stop ourselves. Yet each of us is moved more by some traits than by others. It’s not unusual to have a favorite puppy characteristic—something you just love about puppies that not everyone finds so completely charming.