Meet Yogi, the Dog with a Human-Like Face Who is Taking the Internet by Storm

One look at the picture of this dog and weird thoughts seem to pop up in your mind. Is that a human? Is the dog under some kind of witch’s spell? Was the dog an egotistical prince who was cursed by an enchantress? Well, there must be something to explain this human-like face that the adorns the dog. We are talking about Yogi, the lovely dog that has the face of a human. Read on to find out more!

Chantal Desjardins posted a picture of her dog, Yogi on Facebook. The fluffy “Shih-poo,” a Shih Tzu/poodle mix, took the internet by storm when people started claiming that he has a ‘human face’.

Yogi and Daria
Yogi and Daria. Image Credit: Chantal Desjardins via People

On December 2017, Chantal Desjardins innocently posted a picture of her dogs, Yogi and Daria, on Facebook. On Mach 2018, the picture she posted ended up on Reddit and attracted mass attention. Yogi is a Shih Tzu/poodle mix and is extremely cute. But that’s not the reason that made him a viral sensation. It’s because of his resemblance to a human that has made him famous.

Yes, this one-year-old pooch has a striking resemblance to a human. Look at those piercing eyes! While some people have found it to be amusing and cute, others have described it as disturbing. Some have even gone ahead to say that a human soul seems to have been trapped in the dog’s body!

Chantal Desjardins, 27, says that she never realized how much human Yogi looked until her friends pointed out the resemblance after she posted a video on Instagram and Facebook. She said that Yogi came from a local breeder and is a very well-behaved puppy. He just loves to play with his pal Daria, Desjardins’s other dog. When asked by People if eight-year-old Daria has been jealous of all the attention Yogi is getting, she says, “She tolerates him. All he does is try to play with her and she doesn’t have it. [He’s a] very typical puppy. He’s still a baby, so he’s just a crazy puppy. Everything is still new to him. He sometimes gets scared of little things he’s not used to … like a bag on the coffee table, he’ll bark at it.”

Yogi has been compared with countless celebrities such as Nicholas Cage, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Sheeran, and even Leonardo DiCaprio. Since being posted to Reddit, the image has received more than 19,000 likes and 500 comments.

Comparison with celebrities
Yogi has been compared to celebrities such as Ed Sheeran, Zach Galifianakis, Jake Gyllenhaal, Topher Grace, and Paul Rudd. Image Credit: Eva Rinaldi via Wikipedia, Fandom, Georges Biard via Wikipedia, Fandom Wikia, Fandom Wikia

The Reddit post that made Yogi famous had the following caption: “A friend of a friend posted a pic on Facebook of her dog. It looks like it has a man’s face.”

After the Reddit post gained so much momentum, Yogi made his way to Twitter as well. People started comparing him to celebrity faces such as Zach Galifianakis, Nicholas Cage, Ed Sheeran, Jake Gyllenhaal, Topher Grace, and Paul Rudd, as you can see above.

Many people have suggested that Yogi’s face might have been manipulated (photoshopped) in photos, but Desjardins, the owner, swears that the images are real and unaltered.

Chantal Desjardins with Yogi
Chantal Desjardins with Yogi. Image Credit: Chantal DesJardins via People

With such a human face, people are starting to suspect if the photos are, in fact, real. In today’s digital world, it is very easy to tweak the photos using Photoshop and everybody has access to such software. So the Mirror Online asked Yogi’s owner, Chantal Desjardins, if she had been having some fun in Photoshop.

Desjardins discarded the suspicions and said, “It [photo] is not doctored at all. Those are my dogs. I put the photo up in December. It really isn’t [edited]. I’m not a photographer at all. I think it’s just his eyes and the way he’s looking at the camera.”

The reason behind Yogi’s resemblance to a human face can be explained by science. This phenomenon is known as “baby schema” that tricks human brains to associate things like big eyes and round cheeks with baby humans.

Human brain
Our brain is hard-wired to recognize certain animal expressions or faces as cute or human. Image for representational purposes. Image Credit: _DJ_ via Flickr

Well, science explains everything, or so they say. Research suggests that our brains have the ability to recognize certain animal expressions or faces as cute or human. This phenomenon has been named “baby schema.” What happens is when humans see certain facial expressions or features in animals, their brains automatically associate these with human babies. This is the reason why we find certain dogs and cats so cute.

The same applies to Yogi, though cute wouldn’t be the first word that pops up in our brains while looking at Yogi. Mature or sad would be more likely to pop up. Yogi’s mournful piercing stare and his round face might have tricked our brains into imagining a baby with an existential crisis!

Konrad Lorenz, an ethologist, explains that “baby schema” refers to certain physical attributes such as big eyes, large head, and round face that develop a caretaking instinct within humans. This is an evolutionary function imbibed within humans to ensure offspring survival. This is the reason why we end up loving and taking so much care of cute dogs and cats. Our brains are hardwired to notice such features in pets and take care of them.
[source: 1,2,3,4]

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