Have you ever noticed your dog tilting their head when they are looking at you? Not only is this behavior very cute, but it is also curious and intriguing. Have you ever stopped for a minute to wonder why they do it in the first place? Well, there are a few possible explanations which we are going to examine in closer detail. And, after all, it is always interesting to know and understand your dog just a little bit better.
Experts have differing theories as to why dogs tilt their heads. For some, they believe it to be a sign of intelligence, while others think it is to help them see or hear better. Some experts think that it is a sign of curiosity, or it could be that your dog is trying to understand something – perhaps a command from you. In more serious situations, it could be a sign of a health issue in your dog. Discerning between the different reasons can help you to read your dog’s state of mind and physical conditions better. So, here are a few of the reasons why do dogs tilt their heads discussed in more detail.
Just like other human have ways of showing that they empathize when you are speaking, the same goes for canines too. After years of having humans as masters, dogs have learnt to respond to all sorts of human behaviors including speech patterns and volume, facial recognition, words, and body language. So, when your dog tilts their head at you, there is every chance that they are simply trying to work out and empathize with your emotional state.
Listening to You
While dogs can famously tune into frequencies that human beings can’t access, they can struggle to pinpoint the exact source of a sound. So, this adjustment in their head position may be a simple effort to hear you better. Your dog may be trying to work out whether it is you who has just spoken or whether the sound has emanated from elsewhere.
Improving Their Vision
Another sense that your dog may be trying to improve is their sense of sight. There is some research to suggest that your dog’s muzzle may get in the way, making seeing things directly in front of their face more challenging. So, your dog may be trying to see you or read your expression just a little bit better. So, if you have a dog with a longer muzzle, you may find that your dog is more likely to tilt their head.
If you have noticed that your dog is more likely to tilt their head when you are about to offer them a treat, the head tilt could be the accompaniment of expectation. Or it could be that you have just said the magic word ‘walkies’ and they are double checking to make sure that they haven’t misheard anything!
In other situations, it may be medical reasons that are causing your dog to tilt their head. If there don’t seem to be any other obvious triggers and your dog is tilting their head on a regular basis, now is the time to check that nothing more serious is happening. Sometimes, the head tilt is a result of your dog suffering from dizziness, which could indicate a problem with the vestibular system of your pooch. This is integral to their sense of balance. You should notice the difference between a regular head tilt, which only lasts for a few seconds, and one which is associated with this condition as it will last for a lot longer. Some of the factors which could have contributed to this include ear damage, brain disease, or a thiamine deficiency. If you are asking with concern why does my dog tilt their head, take your pooch to the vet to get a proper diagnosis.
In most cases, head tilting is not behavior that you need to worry about in your dog and there is an innocent reason why dogs tilt their heads. Often, it is a result of trying to understand you better or show empathy to your current state of mind or mood. Or it could be an effort to see you clearer or the sign that they are expecting something. But in some more serious cases, it may be a medical issue, which you can usually tell if your dog is tilting their head on a more regular basis for a more sustained period of time.
- Why Do Dogs Tilt Their Heads? – PetMD
- Why Dogs May Tilt Their Heads When You Talk to Them – PsychologyToday