In “Natural Dog Training” in 1992 I posited the notion that learning in dogs was a function of emotional bonding. In other words a dog applies a social construct to all situations, he has a group mind perspective of reality. Even a seemingly innocuous physical act has a social connotation. This means that dogs become bonded by overcoming resistance through becoming emotionally and physically syncopated and aligned with their owners. OWNER ATTENTION CANNOT ACHIEVE BONDING. In fact it is enervating as the phonetically operative component of the word attention is TENSION. Such a dog is constantly positioning itself relative to its owner in order to relieve tension.
Meanwhile this kind of science is headed in the opposite direction.
Confusing eye contact with bonding is fueling the current epidemic problem of addiction-to-owner syndrome.
Dogs are team players, group animals (as opposed to pack animals), and being a productive member of a team is the healthy way for a dog to feel connected rather than by way of attention which is something that constantly varies and is often interrupted, and can never be satisfied. These are why such dogs are inherently anxious, they’re always on the lookout for that which can interrupt their sense of connection with their owner. (This includes things the owner does as well.) So don’t worry about your dog looking into your eyes, when a dog is emotionally bonded, he always can feel where you are.