Why Do Dogs Tilt Their Head?

It’s so adorable when dogs look at you and tilt their head while you’re talking. When I talk to my dog, he sits down, tilts his head and stares at me as if he is carefully listening to anything I say. He is ‘soaking it all in.’ What does it really mean for a dog to tilt his head, though? Why does he do that?

Many Reasons Why

There are many reasons why a dog may tilt his head as you are talking to him including:

  • To see you better
  • To hear you better
  • Because they are expecting something from you
  • To show empathy (YES, they show empathy!)

Seeing You Better

When you hear, dogs may tilt their head to see you better, your first reaction might be… huh? How can’t they see us? Well, when we look around we have nothing in our view that may make it difficult for us to see. When a dog looks straight at you, he may be getting a glimpse of his big, beautiful snout. This may make him tilt his head in an effort to see you better.

Hear You Better

Have you ever been in a loud area with someone talking to you, and you cuff your hand around your ear so you are able to hear them better? Cupping your hand around your ear blocks out a little bit of that ‘extra’ noise and lets the sound ‘funnel’ into your ear.

This is the same with dogs. When they tilt their head, their ear creates a type of ‘funnel’ so they are able to hear you better, too!

Waiting Patiently and Expecting a Gift

When we talk to our dogs, we have a difference in our tone of voice. Even if we can’t sense it sometimes, they can. So as we are talking to them, they are waiting to see what you’re going to do next. In our dogs mind’s sometimes it’s…

Is she going to give me a treat?

Can we go for a walk?

Are we going for a ride?

Our Dogs Show Empathy

There is an increasing amount of research about dogs, and recent research has found dogs show empathy more than we had originally thought. Sometimes, we talk to our dogs in a time of need. If we are upset emotionally, or in pain of some sort, our dogs can sense it completely. They have a ‘special sense’ that allows them to understand us SO well. So, if you’re not feeling up to par and you are talking to your dog, don’t be surprised if he tilts his head to show you he cares.


One thought on “Why Do Dogs Tilt Their Head?

  1. Totally agree, I can relate with that when I am sick and they just want to stay close to you for no reason. Just to “heal” you with their sweet heart and spirit.


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