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The Dog Head Tilt: What It’s Really All About!

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head tilt

Bolty-Boy, Yorkie-Poo guest blogger:  Hey! I know it’s been awhile since I have been on the blog, but I decided to pop in today and fill in for Party Marty. It seems he scheduled an extra long nap today and won’t be joining us! I decided to write on a fun and light topic today…. you know, a “fluff” piece!  My query for the day is: Why do dogs tilt their heads? 

I don’t know about your dog, but I tilt my head for several reasons…. first and foremost, to peek around the couch to see who is in the kitchen raiding the fridge! You never know…there might be leftovers for me!

However, according to a tid bit I read on, there are several reasons why dogs tilt their heads. First of all, they do it to express empathy. Yes, we are quite adept at reading body language and assessing vocal cues. When you talk to your dog, he tunes in to certain cues or words that he understands. For me, those words include “treat,” which causes me to run to the kitchen, and “shower,” which causes me to run far, far away! When a dog tilts his head while you are talking, he is actually multi-tasking in that he is trying to listen for specific words while also giving you the cue that he is actually listening to you…unlike your teenager!

Also, because of the design of dog’s ears and hearing, they can hear certain tones and frequencies that humans cannot. That can make it a challenge to determine the specific source of a sound. By tilting their heads a bit, they can better ascertain from where a sound is coming.

Further, a dog’s vision may have something to do with the head tilt, as well.  Sometimes that big snout can get in the way of fully viewing something, so your dog might tilt his head to the side to get a better view…. you know, kind of like you do when you go to the movies and a giant sits in front of you, blocking the screen! The head tilt on a dog means he is trying to get a better visual on your mouth. In short, a dog that tilts his head is basically telling you that he is trying to listen to you!

Well, that’s all for now! I am out of time and out of words! Thanks for checking in with us today!


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