Why do Some Dogs Tilt Their Heads When We Talk to Them?

By April 30 | See Comments

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Why do Some Dogs Tilt Their Heads When We Talk to Them?

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If you are a dog parent then you already know how lovable and endearing your furry baby can be. There are instances however where they can completely melt your heart like when they greet you when you come home or place their paw on your knee hoping for attention. One definite heart melting trait dogs have is the head tilt. Every dog parent has seen it at some point and knows what we’re talking about. You look at your dog and say something and immediately they tilt their head in a manner of acknowledgement.Many of us have our own theories why our dogs do the head tilt but some experts have pondered the question a bit more seriously. While there is not enough research and data to conclusively state why dogs tilt their heads while being spoken to, we have some of the most plausible explanations right here.

Reasons for a dog’s head tiltListening:

Once school of thought states that the tilting of the head could help the dominant ear to pick up the words you are saying better. By angling the head in a certain way dogs might be able to allow one ear to hear better than the other and distinguish between our words more clearly.

Vision:

A survey conducted by Dr. Stanley Coren PhD in 2013 gives a lot of weight to this theory. Dr. Coren theorized that a dog’s muzzle could obstruct their full view of our face and so they tilt their heads to see us more clearly. By getting an unobstructed view of our faces dogs can better understand what we are saying to them. The survey collected data on dogs that tilted their heads as compare to the length of their muzzles.Dogs with longer muzzles were found to tilt their head more often when being spoken to than dogs with shorter muzzles. More research is required in the area but this is one of the best explanations available so far. You can test this theory yourself by making a fist with one hand and holding it in front of your nose like a dog’s muzzle. Now look at something and notice how your fist obstructs your view. Tilt your head and then see the difference.

Show attentiveness:

Dogs might simply be tilting their heads to show us that they are listening to us. If the head tilt brings out a positive reaction from us the dog quickly learns to replicate the behavior in the hope of receiving praise or treats.Whatever reason dogs have for tilting their heads when we speak to them, we have to admit that it is one of the cutest things they do.

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