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Why Dogs Really Tilt Their Heads

dogs - Pet Wants Ky Central
  • 25 July 2017
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  • Pet Wants

There are a lot of things dogs do which are very cute. A great example of this is when a dog tilts its head. This action is often accompanied by expectant eyes and turned-up ears. While there’s no shortage of YouTube videos and Instagram pictures featuring this type of pose, what’s often left out of those examples is a discussion of exactly why dogs do this in the first place. If that’s something you’ve ever wondered about, you’ll be interested to know that there are a number of reasons why a dog may tilt its head. Let’s dive right into a few of the most common:

1. Improved Hearing

If you’re out somewhere that’s quite loud and trying to have a conversation with someone, you may tilt your head towards them as a way to hear better. Quite a few dog experts have stated that canines tilt their heads for exactly the same reason. Whether they’re in a noisy environment or are trying to hone in on a sound that’s farther away, tilting their head and using the advantage of their moving earflaps can allow a dog to pinpoint the source of a sound that caught their interest.

2. Seeing More Detail

When you compare human faces to those of dogs, it’s clear ours are much flatter. This means dogs often have a more obstructed view when they’re trying to look at something. Since visual cues play a key role in how dogs process information, a head tilt may be done as a way to create a new perspective and get additional visual information.

3. Anticipation

Have you noticed that your dog tilts its head when you speak to it in an excited voice? Or maybe when you follow your standard routine for getting dog food out? In these cases, head tilting is the result of something you did getting your dog’s attention and it is anticipating something exciting to follow.

4. Communication

Not only do dogs have a wide range of communication methods, but they also detect a lot through their extremely keen senses. When something happens to you that causes your dog to feel a sense of confusion or empathy, one of the ways your pet may communicate these feelings to you is with a head tilt.

5. Health Issue

While most of the reasons behind dogs and head tilting are completely normal, it is possible for a dog to take this action because of a health issue. The most common example is a dog that’s struggling with a problem like vertigo which makes it difficult to maintain balance. So if you notice that your dog is tilting its head a lot, bringing this issue to the attention of your vet is a very good idea.

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