What Does It Mean When a Dog Yawns?

If you own a dog, youve probably seen him yawn. A lot. And while a dog yawning is certainly adorable, you may have also wondered, Why do dogs yawn so much? Do they yawn for the same reason humans do? It certainly seems to be a natural response to something, but what? Is it even something you might need to be worried about? After all, dogs have no shortage of perplexing habits, like eating grass and following you into the bathroom.

Yawning, avoiding eye contact, licking their lips, sniffing something in the environment, and exaggerated slow walking are all ways [dogs communicate] thattheyre not a threat, Dr. Nelson says.

Do dogs yawn when they are happy?

Active dogs tend to yawn when they’re especially excited about what they’re doing or what they’re about to do. In an article by K9 Magazine, Jasmine Kleine says, “By yawning, the dog is preparing its body for the action. The deep breaths fill the lungs and boost the flow of oxygen to the brain.

Do dogs yawn when they love you?

Researchers at the University of Tokyo found that dogs, like humans, yawn reactively, and that they’re most likely to do this with someone they feel emotionally bonded to.

Why do dogs yawn when you cuddle them?

When dogs yawn after a cuddle, it’s because they feel uncomfortable. … That’s because wrapping your arms around someone to hug them isn’t a normal part of doggy body language. And being on the receiving end of a hug makes them tense. Actions like shaking and yawning defuse that tension.

Is dog yawning bad?

Although most yawning is perfectly natural, if Fido seems to be excessively yawning or yawning and licking his lips, you do want to pay attention. Yawning and lip licking could be a result of dental issues, nausea, or extreme stress. Try to offer Fido a consistent routine and check his teeth every once in a while.

Today we will help you to work out whats making your dog yawn! Well look at the reasons why dogs yawn, and separate the dog yawning facts from the fiction.

Other times you might need to look a bit harder for whats triggering your dogs nerves maybe a type of person or vehicle he hasnt seen before, or an unfamiliar noise. But they do know that the same phenomenon exists in lots of other mammals, including primates, wolves, and dogs.

The idea was first studied in 2008, and in that experiment it looked like the dogs taking part did catch human yawns. Later studies replicated those results, and even appeared to refine them by ruling out factors like situational stress as the cause of the dogs yawning. Portuguese and Japanese studies in 2012 and 2013 went further still, and seemed to demonstrate that dogs are more likely to catch yawns from familiar people than strangers.

In fact that study went so far as to say that there isnt any evidence for contagious yawning in dogs at all, and situational stress is a more likely explanation. In rare circumstances, excessive yawning can be a symptom of an underlying disease in humans, for example multiple sclerosis. You might spot something specific happening immediately before every yawn this is likely to be the thing which is making them feel anxious.

And its true, lots of dogs love to snuggle into their person for a nap or a relax. Thats because wrapping your arms around someone to hug them isnt a normal part of doggy body language. If your dog always yawns when your stroke or cuddle them, try letting them approach you for affection on their own terms instead.

If your dog keeps yawning and youre worried about it, ask a professional behaviorist to spend some time observing them and help you identify the trigger. A test of the yawning contagion and emotional connectedness hypothesis in dogs , Animal Behavior. Auditory contagious yawning in domestic dogs: first evidence for social modulation , Animal Cognition.

Familiarity Bias and Physiological Responses in Contagious Yawning by Dogs Support Link to Empathy , Plos One.

In the language of dogs, the yawn is often used as a calming signal. It‘s a way of saying, I’ve had enough and my patience is running out. For example, in a training session, your dog may yawn to deal with frustration and to give himself a mental break. The next time your dog yawns while you’re training him, try showing him you got the message by reducing your intensity or changing your approach.

When it comes to dogs, not all yawns are the same. Aside from that, the reasons for yawning are not fully understood (in dogs or in humans). It used to be thought that yawning was a way to replenish oxygen supply in the brain, but science has yet to find any evidence of this. Yawning also hasnt been shown to wake up a tired brain, even though we yawn most when we are bored or tired. Since yawning is most likely to occur in a warm room, its thought that it does have some effect on cooling the brain. However, more studies need to be done on this. Now, its thought that yawning is a form of communication.

Why do dogs yawn?

Well, first of all, why do humans yawn? Scientists haven’t even completely gotten to the bottom ofSimilarly, dogs likely yawn for these reasons the same way we do. “Exhaustion is one of the reasons why dogs yawn,” Dr. Nelson says. “Stretching their facial muscles is one way of attempting to stay awake.”

Do dogs yawn for other reasons?

Yes, dog yawning can mean other things as well. In addition to serving these more familiar purposes, dogs also yawn “during times of anxiety, insecurity, excitement, indifference, and as a calming signal to other dogs,” Dr. Nelson explains. A “calming signal,” possibly the most significant of these, is a way to peacefully greet another dog. It’s almost like the dog equivalent of a handshake. And yawning is not the only calming signal dogs use. “Yawning, avoiding eye contact, licking their lips, sniffing something in the environment, and exaggerated slow walking are all ways [dogs communicate] that…they’re not a threat,” Dr. Nelson says. Find out the reason behind another strange dog greeting: Why do dogs sniff each other’s butts?

Why Do Dogs Yawn?

Dogs’ yawns are amazing. They never try to suppress a yawn, or worry about hiding it behind a paw to be polite. Just like human babies and other animals, when dogs yawn it’s a wide-open, uninhibited, full-on jaw-stretch.It’s hard not to be envious really. But did you know those yawns can communicate different messages about what your dog is feeling? Let’s count them now.

Dog Yawn Meaning 1: “I’m Tired!”

Just like us, dogs often yawn right before bed and just after they wake up. But funnily enough, scientists still don’t know for sureContrary to popular belief, it’s probably nothing to do with increasing the amount of oxygen in our bloodstream. It might be to do with cooling the blood circulating to our brain, or it might have originated as a type of non-verbal communication. But however it arose, fatigue is just one reason for yawning that lots of mammals have in common.

Dog Yawn Meaning 4: “I Saw

One of the most interesting and hotly disputed areas of dog yawning research at the moment is whether dogs can catch human yawns.The idea was first studied in 2008, and in that experiment it looked like the dogs taking partPortuguese and Japanese studies in 2012 and 2013 went further still, and seemed to demonstrate that dogs are more likely to catch yawns from familiar people than strangers. This was significant because it suggested dogs are capable of a rudimentary form of empathy.

The Latest Dog Yawning Research

But many of these results have been contradicted by more recent studies, including a Hungarian study in 2019. In fact that study went so far as to say that there isn’tSo to cut a long story short, we’re still a long way off knowing whether dogs can catch yawning from humans. And if they do, whether it also has any of the hallmarks of empathy. But settling those questions once and for all in the future might go some way to explaining exactly how and when empathy evolved.

Why Does My Dog Yawn So Much?

If you’re reading this because your dog yawns a lot, you might also be worried that your dog is yawning excessively. In rare circumstances, excessive yawning can be a symptom of an underlying disease in humans, for example multiple sclerosis.However there is no recorded evidence that yawning a lot is a symptom of any disease in dogs. A dog who yawns a lot is more likely to be experiencing frequent stress. Observe them for other signs of anxiety, and also watch what goes on around them. You might spot something specific happening immediately before every yawn – this is likely to be the thing which is making them feel anxious.

Other Dog Information

To find out more about your dog, just take a look at the guides below!

Stress

Most trainers and behaviorists will advise owners to watch out for signs of stress in their dogs, and one of these signs is often excessive yawning. This is accurate information, as dogs do seem to yawn when they are feeling anxious. For example, you might find during an obedience class that dogs feeling stress and displeasure from their owners will often yawn as if to display their understanding that punishment may be coming. If you’re out on a walk and stop to talk to a neighbor, you might notice your dog yawn a few times. This is because your dog is either uncomfortable with the person, or perhaps she is just anxious to get moving again. After all, a dog excited to go on a walk certainly doesn’t want to stop and sit around for 20 minutes!

Indifference

Yawning as a sign to communicate indifference has been observed in both domesticated dogs and wild canids. Many times, when a dog is faced with an aggressive dog, he will offer a yawn in response to the aggressor. This simply means that the yawning dog is not interested in any sort of conflict. It’s not a sign of submission, but rather a sign of pacification. Yawning can also be seen in dominant dogs and wolves. When they are confronted with submissive or fearful pack members or strangers, they will often yawn to show their lack of concern with the submissive one. This often seems to have a calming effect on the anxious dog or wolf.