Why Is My Dog Yawning So Much?

Not all dog yawns are created equal. And depending on how, when, and in what situation your dog yawns, it could mean a number of different thingssome of which, as a pet parent, are important to pay attention to.

Its nearly impossible to measure a dogs empathy, but its likely that yawning symbolizes a bond to their human . A study outlined in the New York Times found that dogs can catch yawns from humans, which researchers believe may be a sign of bonding between canines and people.

For instance, one of my colleagues here at Rover has noticed that her dog, Scout, yawns repeatedly whenever she tries to put anything over her head. For example, if theyre stress yawning in a training class, ask the instructor for a break and take your dog outside for a few minutes and give them some pets or a treat to help them settle down. Your dogs yawn may just mean that theyve had a long day and are ready to go to sleep.

If your dog lets loose an occasional yawn when theyre bored or tired, its nothing to be concerned about. But if you notice your dog is yawning often or in rapid succession, you definitely want to pay attention. Like we mentioned earlier, excessive yawningor a string of yawns one right after the othercan be a signal that your dog is in distress.

If your dog is stress yawning all the time, that may be a signal of a larger problem (like separation anxiety).

Is it normal for my dog to yawn a lot?

It’s completely normal for your dog to yawn. But there are some situations that should cause you to think twice. If you notice that excessive yawning in any situation, it may be a sign that they need to step away and calm down.

Why does my dog keep acting like he's yawning?

A yawn may indicate anticipation or stress, too. Your dog may yawn repeatedly when he’s waiting in the vet’s office as a way of dealing with nervousness. Sometimes dogs yawn in anticipation of something enjoyable, such as a walk—this is a way of controlling his enthusiasm.

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.

Why does my dog keep yawning and licking her lips?

The yawning and lip licking may be caused by a loose tooth, fractured tooth or abscess. Gingivitis can also be the culprit behind a dog yawning and lip licking as the gums may be very sore and irritated. Your dog may be yawning and lip licking due to stress or anxiety; he may be feeling nervous or fearful.

– Reasons Why Dogs Yawn1. Dogs can yawn when stressed or anxious.2. Dogs may yawn to avoid conflict3. Yawning may be contagious!4. Dogs may yawn when tired.5. Dogs may yawn anticipating something fun or exciting6. Dogs sometimes yawn when confused7. Dogs may yawn when bored8. Dogs may yawn when they want out of an uncomfortable situation9. Medical issues may cause a dog to yawn

The jaw opens widely and the pup takes in a deep breath. Youll learn whats natural for your dog by watching his yawning patterns.

Dogs dont just yawn because they are bored or tired. People used to believe that yawning occurred to send more oxygen to the brain. But scientists havent found this to necessarily be the case.

So theres speculation that yawning helps cool the brain. After all, dogs are experts at reading our body language. You woke him up from a nap to take him there for his yearly physical.

Some dogs are stressed when greeting new people, and they yawn. In an obedience class, you may see your dog yawn a few times when hes learning something new. Panting Tense muscles Lip licking Drooling Wide eyes or whale eye Averting a gaze Lowered or tucked tail Paw lifting Pacing Hiding

Whenever a dog shows such a stress signal, try to diffuse the situation. Or walk him calmly away from the stressful situation to take the edge off. You see your puppy chewing on a chair leg and tell him eh-eh, leave it!. He looks away from you and lets out a deep yawn.

So, when considering whether a yawn means that the dog is stressed, look at the whole picture. Yawning can be an appeasement signal to avoid conflict. When one of my rescued Lhasa Apsos Mikey would meet other dogs, he would normally yawn.

When he met new dogs in the beginning, his yawning would tell them Chill out; I dont want any trouble. As Mikey got more confidence around other dogs, he began to read their signals better too and didnt always yawn. But its been studied and believed that dogs are showing empathy to their owners when they yawn with them.

There isnt the same empathy or bond with a stranger as there is with their beloved owner. Yawning helps stretch facial muscles so that they can relax. So, upon awakening from a nap, a dog may let out a loud, satisfying yawn.

When my Sheltie Gracie awakens from a nap, she stretches and lets out a loud whine with a yawn. You put on your sneakers and jacket and pick up your dogs leash and he lets out a loud YAWN! Sometimes dogs yawn when theyre impatient waiting for their walk or other playtime.

Your pup cant wait until you stop the noise and yawns until youre off the phone ready to play fetch. You tell your dog to touch your hand with his nose. Sometimes his yawning in this situation may also be due to anxiety or stress.

If you hit a roadblock, go back to a step at which he was successful. Helping him learn at his own pace will go a long way in diffusing his stress. Dont take offense, but dogs may yawn when bored.

You may be having a wonderful conversation with your neighbor who you meet while walking your dog. This is usually related to stressful situations the dog cant get out of and is often faced with in his daily life. So you can give your puppy a high-value treat when you go to pet him so that he learns that something good happens.

But even though they may learn to accept petting, it may not be their favorite thing. Some dogs may stretch, yawn, and burpand may be in abdominal pain. Are a lot of new fun things about to happen that hes anticipating?

If there havent been any new changes to his life, then a vet appointment may be needed to determine why your dogs yawning more than normal. Usually yawns are natural, involuntary behaviors that are nothing to worry about. You should be concerned if hes yawning too often or if hes also showing other stress indicators.

Rarely, a medical condition may be the reason your pup yawns. We get all of our Service Dog pups a Snuggle Puppy. BEST DOG TREATS We Like: Wellness Soft Puppy Bites – One of our favorite treats for training our service dog puppies.

CPDT-KA, Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Behavior Specialist.

Is your dog yawning at you every time you give it a command? Perhaps they are yawning when they are just laying around, or are playing with their dog toys. A dogs yawn can tell you more about their current state than you might think.

Yawning has been linked to tiredness and temperature changes in humans, but there is no exact cause behind this involuntary reflex. The exact reason behind the dog yawn may be unknown, but we have studied our canine friends enough to come up with a few possible causes.

Yawning around bedtime may be extremely normal for your furry friend, but any increase in frequency may be their way of telling you they are nervous. This also stands true for excitement in our furry friends, as our dogs may yawn when anticipating an activity they enjoy. If you think your dog yawns due to stress, it may be their way of telling you they need a break.

If your pup experiences experiencing excessive yawning at all times, it may be best to contact a professional trainer or veterinarian to address their chronic anxiety. While its challenging to measure empathy in our furry friends, our dogs participate in many behaviors that show how much they care for us. This can be an interesting way to determine their limits when playing with others, and help you understand their social behaviors a bit more.

Though excitement is a wonderful thing for our pups, it can lead to common signs of anxiety if they become extremely overworked. For example, if you play a long game of fetch when you get home each day, they may be thrilled the moment you walk in the door. During training, its not uncommon for yawning to occur because canines may not understand whats being asked of them.Just like humans, dogs can get confused.

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.

What is a dog yawn?

So, before we jump into the different types of dog yawns—and what each of them might mean—let’s talk about what a dog yawn is.A dog yawn is the same thing is a person yawn—it’s a reflex where the mouth opens wide and the lungs take a deep, involuntary inhale. Because it’s involuntary, there’s no way to control any aspect of a yawn—when it happens, how long it lasts, or how much air is inhaled. That’s true for humans and dogs.There are a lot of theories about why both people and animals yawn (for example, as a response to temperature changes or as a way to wake up a brain that’s veering into “exhausted” territory), but science hasn’t come up with a definitive answer on what all the yawning is about.That being said, let’s take a look at some of the strongest theories on why your dog may have a serious case of the yawns.

Your dog is yawning because they’re stressed

An occasional yawn is nothing to be concerned about—but if your dog is yawning excessively, it might be a sign of stress or anxiety.Pay attention to when, where, and how often your dog is yawning. A stray yawn before bed or during a walk is fine. But if you notice your dog is yawning in rapid succession in situations that might be anxiety-inducing—like meeting a new person or attending a training class—chances are, those yawns are a signal your pet is feeling overwhelmed and stressed out.For instance, one of my colleagues here at Rover has noticed that her dog, Scout, yawns repeatedly whenever she tries to put anything over her head. She’s since stopped trying to dress Scout because the signs of distress are too obvious. (So much for that adorable spring dog hoodie, Scout. Oh, the photo ops that could have been!) Learning to read your dog’s cues will help you understand their feelings at any given moment, even when they can’t tell you.If you sense your dog is yawning because of stress, do what you can to remove them from the stressful situation and help them calm down. For example, if they’re stress yawning in a training class, ask the instructor for a break and take your dog outside for a few minutes and give them some pets or a treat to help them settle down. Once your dog is feeling calmer, the excessive yawning should taper off.If your dog suffers from chronic anxiety, consider working with a canine behaviorist. Your vet or trainer can point you to some in your area.

Your dog is yawning to avoid conflict

Your dog’s yawn might also be a way to avoid conflict. Yawns may be a sign of passivity; so, if your dog yawns in response to an altercation with a larger or more aggressive dog, it could just be their way of saying “I don’t want any trouble.”Yawning is one of the known dog calming signals, which are designed to tell other dogs something like, “let’s just chill.” Canine behaviorist Amber Drake explains more about calming signals in this guide.

Your dog is yawning because they’re tired

Finally, and most obviously: yawning means sleepiness. One of the most common reasons a dog might be yawning is also one of the most common reasons a human might be yawning. And that’s because they’re tired.Your dog’s yawn may just mean that they’ve had a long day and are ready to go to sleep. If your dog has a reason to be tired—like spending the afternoon at the dog park or running circles around your home—or if they let out a big yawn right as they curl up to call it a night, chances are, the yawn is just a signal they’re feeling sleepy.

When yawning is a cause for concern

Like human yawns, most dog yawns are completely benign. If your dog lets loose an occasional yawn when they’re bored or tired, it’s nothing to be concerned about.But if you notice your dog is yawning often or in rapid succession, you definitely want to pay attention. Like we mentioned earlier, excessive yawning—or a string of yawns one right after the other—can be a signal that your dog is in distress. If you’re in a situation that’s clearly stressful for your pet, remove them from the situation. If your dog is stress yawning all the time, that may be a signal of a larger problem (like separation anxiety).If that’s the case, the best thing you can do is consult with a vet or professional trainer. Together, you can come up with a plan to relieve your dog’s chronic stress—and get all that yawning under control.

2. Dogs may yawn to avoid conflict

Dogs don’t just yawn because they are bored or tired. There are many reasons why your dog might be yawning.Dogs yawn for a multitude of reasons and this could be why you think your dog yawns a lot.There are many theories why dogs yawn. Some are behavioral and others because of physical needs.People used to believe that yawning occurred to send more oxygen to the brain. But scientists haven’t found this to necessarily be the case.Often, yawning occurs in a warm room. So there’s speculation that yawning helps cool the brain. Cooler blood from the lungs goes to the extremities.Yawning’s also been shown to be a method by which dogs communicate.They’re telling us something when they yawn.We just have to pay attention to what they’re expressing to us.After all, dogs are experts at reading our body language. We need to be able to read theirs too.Your dog’s sitting at the vet’s office. You know that he’s not tired.You woke him up from a nap to take him there for his yearly physical.But he can’t stop yawning. It’s likely that he’s yawning because he’s stressed.After all, for most dogs, being at the vet is no walk in the park. Bad things–from their perspective–happen there.Some dogs are stressed when greeting new people, and they yawn.The new friends aren’t boring Fido. He’s just releasing some anxiety by yawning.In any stressful situation, dogs may yawn.In an obedience class, you may see your dog yawn a few times when he’s learning something new.It’s probably a sign that he’s stressed.Other signs of stress to take into account are:Whenever a dog shows such a stress signal, try to diffuse the situation. Redirect him to another command he knows.Make him feel successful. And praise and reward his successes.Or walk him calmly away from the stressful situation to take the edge off.Or play a game he enjoys like fetch.Sometimes dogs stress at situations we think are pleasurable. I’ve seen dogs who are really bonded with their owner yawn when the owner hugs them.Many dogs don’t enjoy being hugged. Yawning is a signal that they don’t like it.Some dogs yawn when they’re scolded.You see your puppy chewing on a chair leg and tell him “eh-eh, leave it!.” He looks away from you and lets out a deep yawn.He’s definitely not bored; instead, he’s stressed.So, when considering whether a yawn means that the dog is stressed, look at the whole picture.

3. Yawning may be contagious!

We’ve all been around other people when one suddenly yawns.Then, we can’t help but yawn. Suddenly, everyone at the party yawns–one after the other.They’re not bored. Yawns are truly catching!It can be funny and embarrassing at the same time.Yawning in this situation can be seen as being empathetic to others.Dogs have also been seen to yawn after their owners yawn. It’s such a cute behavior that we don’t really think much of it.But it’s been studied and believed that dogs are showing empathy to their owners when they yawn with them. It’s also believed to show a bond with the owner.When strangers yawn around a dog, the dog generally doesn’t yawn.There isn’t the same empathy or bond with a stranger as there is with their beloved owner.

4. Dogs may yawn when tired.

You’ve taken your dog for a long walk. Right as he’s about to settle in and lie down for a much-needed nap, he yawns.Yawning helps stretch facial muscles so that they can relax. Or so that the dog starts to wake up.So, upon awakening from a nap, a dog may let out a loud, satisfying yawn.When my Sheltie Gracie awakens from a nap, she stretches and lets out a loud whine with a yawn.It’s really cute! She looks like a baby deer just entering the world.

6. Dogs sometimes yawn when confused

Something happened that they don’t understand and they yawn.The yawn is a way of coping with something new that he doesn’t yet comprehend.This can occur during obedience training. You tell your dog to touch your hand with his nose.He’s never heard this new command yet.He may yawn, as he doesn’t know what else to do next.Sometimes his yawning in this situation may also be due to anxiety or stress.What’s the best way to diffuse the situation? Usually, just give a command your dog knows such as sit.Praise and reward (try one of my favorite training treats) when he sits.In teaching a new command, have patience. Try to lay out each step so that he understands what’s expected of him.Teaching is communication.If you hit a roadblock, go back to a step at which he was successful.Helping him learn at his own pace will go a long way in diffusing his stress.

7. Dogs may yawn when bored

Don’t take offense, but dogs may yawn when bored.You may be having a wonderful conversation with your neighbor who you meet while walking your dog. You’re in a deep conversation about their new minivan.But your canine companion may be less than thrilled. He may be bored. And he may show it by yawning.

What Is A Yawn Anyway?

Before we dive into the possible reasons behind yawning in dogs, it’s important that we understand what yawning is in the first place. The action of yawning is the same in our furry friends as it is in you and me. A dog’s yawn is aThough every single person and most vertebrate animals yawn, it is still a huge mystery in the scientific community. Yawning has been linked to tiredness and temperature changes in humans, but there is no exact cause behind this involuntary reflex. It’s not often that we share such a mysterious behavior with our canine companions!

So Why Do Dogs Yawn?

The exact reason behind the dog yawn may be unknown, but we have studied our canine friends enough to come up with a few possible causes. Most of the time, these reasons aren’t anything to be worried about. To help you better understand your pup’s behavior, let’s discuss the

They Are Tired

Let’s start with the most commonly understood reason behind canine yawning: tiredness. Just like you and I, our dogs may simply yawn because they are tired. Our pupsAn occasional yawn around these times may simply point to them needing a nap, and may end once they are well-rested. If your pup yawns around their standard bedtime, this may just be their way of telling you they are ready to curl up and go to sleep!

They Are Stressed

If your dog experiences excessive yawning, it could be a sign of stress. Dogs that are stressed can react in many different ways. Yawning around bedtime may be extremely normal for your furry friend, but any increase in frequency may be their way of telling you they are nervous. Some humans even experience yawning as a symptom of their anxiety, and dogs are no different.Determining if yawning is due to stress or not will require you to pay attention to when the behavior occurs. For example, if your dog seems to yawn excessively when they are in the car and heading to the vet, it’s safe to say they may be yawningIf you think your dog yawns due to stress, it may be their way of telling you they need a break. Try your best to either take a breather from the current activity, or even take them for a private walk outside. If anxiety is the true cause of their yawning, it should come to an end once they calm down.There are more active ways that dogs communicate, but behavior can be a form of involuntary communication. If your pup experiences experiencing excessive yawning at all times, it may be best to

They Are Showing Empathy

Have you ever noticed that yawns seem to be contagious? A friend yawning next to you might cause you to yawn yourself. This might lead you to believe that yawns can be passed on. Not only is this a common occurrence in humans, butWhile it’s challenging to measure empathy in our furry friends, our dogs participate in many behaviors that show how much they care for us. This stands true when they follow us around the house, sitting next to us when we are sad, and even

They Are Being Submissive

If your dog seems to yawn excessively around other dogs, it may be their way of avoiding conflict. Yawning can be a sign of submission to other dogs, meaning a dog may yawn if they are trying to appear passive or non-threatening. This can occur when a dog is firstThe next time your pup meets or plays with a new furry friend, watch out for any yawning during their interaction. This can be an interesting way to determine their limits when playing with others, and help you understand their social behaviors a bit more.

They Are Excited

Similar to yawning in stressful situations, your pup may also yawn when they are excited. Overwhelming excitement can be challenging for a dog to manage,For example, if you play a long game of fetch when you get home each day, they may be thrilled the moment you walk in the door. You may see them circling and pacing with happiness, and even yawning from time to time. This is a normal reaction in our canine friends, and should subside once they engage in the activity they are awaiting.

They Are Confused

Just like humans, dogs can get confused. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see a dog yawn when they are going through certain types of obedience training. When you are issuing a new command, often times they don’t fully understand what’s being asked of them. It takes repetition before they actually learn what you are telling them that you want them to do.As a result, you might see yawning behavior. This isn’t necessarily frustration, but just being a little confused about the new command. Once you’ve gone through the appropriate steps, your dog should stop this behavior and start executing the commands instead. For dogs that are stubborn, or considered of lower intelligence, it may take a few more repetitions to learn commands.

Should You Be Concerned?

Yawning is a normal behavior that you see in both humans and dogs. An occasional yawn when your pup is tired is to be expected, and shouldn’t warrant any concern. It’sIf you notice that excessive yawning in any situation, it may be a sign that they need to step away and calm down. While this can be curative for dogs with situational anxiety, it becomes more challenging when this occurs in your home. If you find your pup yawning in rapid succession in the comfort of your home, it may be time to assess your home for any potential triggers.Stress in dogs can be triggered by a sudden change of environment, new pets in the home, the sudden absence of a loved one, and more. Identifying the

Are Yawns Contagious From Dog to Dog?

We mentioned above that dogs can mirror their owners when yawning, but can dogs mirror other dogs as well? Studies show that dogsA recent study showed that contagious yawns among dogs were more common in stressful situations. The shelter dogs in the study were often catching contagious yawns from each other. Dogs in a calm situation were not. This study suggests that when dogsYawning is a strange behavior that we may never fully understand. Though research helps us develop potential causes behind yawning, it is still a mystery for both humans and animals.

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.