Welcome to the 16th part of a 57-part series on dog behavior and training.
Our Dogs do a lot of adorable things and tilting their heads and giving you a weird look is definitely one of them.
But have you ever wondered why Dogs tilt their heads in the first place? This question has been around for a while but there was no specific explanation for this until some time back. Recently, researchers have found a few possible reasons that could answer this question.
1. Your dog may tilt his head to hear you better. Some experts believe that when the dog tilts its head, it is trying to adjust the pinna, or outer ear, to better detect where sounds are coming from.
Suppose you are chatting with your friends in a noisy and crowded place. Sometimes it’s hard to hear your friend because of outside sounds, so you point one ear toward the source of the sound and can even use your hand to fold the flap and block out the outside noise. That’s exactly what can happen when your dog tilts his head.
Simply put, he may be trying to correct his hearing by tilting his head. Indeed, your dog recognizes words that give him the desired outcome, such as a walk, a meal, or a toy. Children may respond to these words by tilting their head, a possible sign that they are concentrating on what is being said and hopefully recognizing more words.
2. Another possible reason a dog tilts its head is to see better. Dogs, especially those with large muzzles, are more likely to do it so they can see our full face when we talk to them. Humans have relatively flat faces, so when we talk to someone, nothing obstructs our view. On the other hand, Dogs have a muzzle that can block them. Some experts have suggested an interesting experiment to demonstrate this more clearly. For this, hold your hand, and then place it over your nose. In fact, you are looking at the world with a face with a muzzle like that of a dog. If you try looking at a person’s face now, you’ll find that the muzzle partially blocks your vision and reduces their ability to see the lower part of their face. Now tilt your head as you are looking at the person’s face. With this head pose, you can now have a full view of the person’s face. Therefore, one of the reasons why Dogs tilt their heads when we talk to them is to see our faces better.
3. Head tilt can also be a reinforced behavior. Over time, your dog may begin to correlate head tilt with the enjoyment of junk food. Let’s say you give your dog a cuddle or his favorite food every time he tilts his head, soon after, they will start to associate the head tilt with the food and you will see him do the action. This is quite frequent.
4. In some cases, there may be a medical reason behind this head tilt. If you observe your dog frequently tilting his head, it could indicate that he is feeling dizzy and off balance. The poor dog may be trying to regain his balance or prevent himself from falling by tilting his head. Head trauma or dizziness can be the culprit that causes children to tilt their heads frequently.
Ear trauma, encephalopathy, and even toxic antibiotics in the ear can all contribute to ear disorders, leading to head tilt.
If You liked this article and want to know more about dog behavior problems and how to manage them – Check out the link below!
And for cat behavior problems and how to fix them – Check out this link!
Happy pet raising!
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