Why Some Dogs Tip Their Heads When They Talk to Them


If you are one of those who talk to your dog, you will immediately identify that there are moments in the “conversation” when your dog starts to move his head with an adorable gesture of confusion.

While the gesture is quite sweet it has several explanations. We tell you a little about why some dogs tip their heads when they talk to them.

Although in most cases this behavior is due to a response to our voice or other stimuli, it can be an indicator of illness, but don’t be alarmed yet. Let’s see first what is the relationship between this movement and the stimuli that your voice produces.

Answer to your voice

Although it is not a scientific reality, most animal behavior specialists agree that dogs bow their heads when you speak to leave one of their ears more exposed and be able to listen more carefully.

This is because the dog’s hearing depends largely on the amount of air that enters the ear canal. This is why dogs with extended auditory channels tend to have this sense much more developed than their peers with narrower channels.

It may also be because the dog is trying to recognize the words they are told. While dogs do not understand the specific meaning of a word, they can relate some to a specific action (for example, the No! Command or the sitting order).

Therefore, you may be pending to follow one of your instructions.

Attention to unknown sounds

  • As well as paying attention to what you say, the sensitive ear of the dog allows you to be aware of a wide variety of sounds that are around.
  • Many times, by tilting the head in this way, they can better understand the origin of a sound.
  • Dogs are extremely curious, which is one of the main samples of their intelligence, therefore they will try to identify any kind of alteration that occurs in their environment.

As conditioning

There is an important group of experts in canine behavior who are inclined to think that, in many cases, this corresponds to conditioning created by us.

If when the dog for some reason tilted its head and received extra attention or food, it will end up assimilating that attitude with a reward.

This type of conditioning is achieved through positive reinforcement, which is one of the most used methods by coaches, and also one of the most effective.

To see you better

  • A different aspect suggests that this curious behavior is not linked to the ear, much less to conditioning, but is due to a solution to a vision problem.
  • Due to the way it is located in the snout in dogs since they must look up to pay attention to their caregiver, a good part of the face of their “interlocutor” because a blind spot is generated with his trunk.
  • Therefore, the dogs turn their heads to avoid this point and achieve a better view of the caregiver’s face.
  • A good way to realize how these phenomenon works are to put a clenched fist over our nose and then observe an object located at a high point. You will see how vision is limited. Now, turn your head to the side and you will have a clearer picture of the object.

Ear problems

Although it is a behavior that many dogs have, in some cases it is a sign of illness, especially when it is accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • The dog remains irritable and does not stop moving his head.
  • You have irritation in the inner pink part of the ear.
  • It has an excessive accumulation of wax no matter how much you clean it.
  • The ears bleed, have bumps or other anomalies.
  • Walk-in circles, looking disoriented.
  • It shows signs of pain in the ears or head.
  • Does not attend when you call, loss of hearing.

In case your dog presents these symptoms, it is best to take it to the veterinarian so that it can rule out or treat, if necessary, diseases such as otitis, inflammations or any congenital problem that the animal has.

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