Have you ever thought about what Labradors, German Shepherds, Bulldogs, Poodles, and Rottweilers all have in common? Head tilting is more common than you can think!
But, do you know why do dogs tilt their heads and what does it mean?
According to a study conducted by specialists, there can be many reasons hidden behind this cute and funny feature of your pup.
Reasons why dogs tilt their heads
1. To get a better hearing
Dogs have ear flaps that cover the ear canal and often function as a barrier to external sounds. As the air flaps are movable, dogs can move their heads in order to get a more accurate sound. So, when a dog tilts his head when you talk to him, he is trying to hear what you are saying. Depending on your dog’s breed and ear shape, the movement can vary in order to properly collect all sounds.
2. As their way of nodding
Yes, just like we humans nod, dogs tilt their heads. Tilting is dogs’ way to gather information or pay special attention to it. It usually happens when the dog is engaged to what you are saying, that is why they usually do it when we say their favorite words, like food or walk.
3. To get a clearer vision
Some studies concluded that tilting also has to do with dogs trying to get a clearer vision. When dogs have long muzzles, it is hard for them to spot the lower part of the face of the person who is in front of them, so they tilt their heads in order to see past their snouts. Dogs who have long muzzles are more prone to tilt their heads than the ones who have short muzzles.
4. Due to positive reinforcement
As a final point, many specialists relate head tilting in dogs with positive reinforcement. Why? Because we usually engage them with a straight question when something exciting is about to happen. I mean, no one would ask their dogs: do you want to spend all day by yourself?! Thus, dogs associate that whenever they tilt their heads, good things happen. Going for a walk, having a treat, getting a toy… and since dogs are intelligent animals, they do it over and over again to get what they want!