Does your dog tilt his head when you talk to him? Have you ever wondered why he does it? Read on and you’ll find out!
There are different studies and theories that try to find out why dogs make this movement but the truth is that they can’t quite agree.
Your dog wants to hear you better
The most widespread belief is related to a hearing issue.
We all know that dogs’ hearing is much more developed than ours, which allows them to pick up more sound frequencies. But it has also been proven that they are able to recognise and learn up to 200 words including commands and instructions that we teach them or that they relate to through positive reinforcement.
Based on this, many experts believe that it is a question of their ears and how they seek to hear and understand us better. It is very likely that when you talk to your dog, he will tilt his head to know if you are going for a walk, if you are going to feed him or even if he is doing something wrong. It is also very likely that he will do this movement if he hears a sound that he knows and associates with something positive, such as his favourite toy.
Related to the inner ear, if this gesture is recurrent, it could mean that your dog suffers from some kind of hearing problem and is looking to hear you as good as possible or to alleviate his discomfort. In this case, there are other signs that can help us locate the problem, such as redness of the pinna, crusting or excessive wax build-up. If you are suspicious, a visit to the vet is always necessary.
Your dog is looking for your face
The second most common theory is the one that takes into account the dog’s physiognomy and perspective.
From puppyhood, dogs get used to looking for the face of the person talking to them, trying to locate their facial expressions in order to understand them better, to know what they want from them and what their mood is.
This theory focuses on how our dogs try to see our face completely and how the physiognomy of some breeds prevents them from doing so without turning their heads. For dogs with long muzzles, it will be difficult to see the person’s face from the front, so they will tend to turn their heads to get a better perspective and understand perfectly what you want to say.
It is a conditioned behaviour
Another possibility is that it is a behaviour conditioned by our actions. Dogs learn a lot from us on a daily basis and, above all, they know which things we like or are funny to us and which, in one way or another, are a reward for them. Your dog probably made this movement and your reaction was to laugh, pet him, hug him or show him that you think he is cute, so your dog will repeat this gesture in order to please you and receive that affection.
So the question is, do you agree with these theories or do you have your own?