WHY DO DOGS TILT THEIR HEADS WHEN WE SPEAK?
Dogs have adorable mannerisms. Probably one of the most adorable is the “head tilt”. We have all wondered why they do it.
Dogs are quite capable of understanding what we are saying. Though they may not understand our words per se, they do understand our intonation and inflection when we are speaking to them. Their sense of hearing is not very acute and many researchers have surmised that they tilt their heads to hear us better; to locate the source of sound.
Some alternative research suggests that dogs tilt their heads as a means of empathizing with their people. As we are well aware, dogs are extremely sensitive to our feelings and actions. When we speak, dogs are curious. When their people are upset or excited, dogs will empathize both emotionally and physically. The head tilt may be an expression of this empathy.
Other research has exemplified that dogs will tilt their heads in suspense of hearing words that are associated with enjoyable activities such as playtime, walk, car ride and food. Though dogs have a limited understanding of human language, they do have a selective learning ability that enables them to remember key words and phrases that equate to fun activity for them. By tilting their heads while we are speaking to them, they are waiting for our verbal cues.
All this said, if your dog is shaking his head repeatedly, he may have an ear infection. Know the difference between the tilt and the shake!
Whatever the reason for the head tilt, we can all agree that it’s just so darn cute!
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