Why Do Dogs Tilt Their Heads?

Little sisters with books and golden retriever dog near by sitting on floor at home

There’s just something so adorable about when your dog tilts its head from side to side. If you’re a dog parent, no action will make your heart melt more than this one. But what exactly does it mean when your dog tilts their head and why do they do it? In this blog post, we will explore this quirky canine communication method and delve into the wonderful world of dog behavioural traits.


Why do dogs tilt their heads when you talk to them?

There are a couple of reasons your dog will tilt their head but if they are doing this when you are talking to them, it is a sure sign that your pet is listening to what you are saying and showing you that they are focussed on what you are trying to communicate. Dogs that have especially dense ears like Cocker Spaniels and Cockapoos will do this to change the positioning of the ears to prevent the sound becoming muffled. This movement allows the sound to be clearer and helps them to react to commands.


What does a head tilt mean in dogs?

There are two main reasons for the adorable head tilt. One is that they are completely engaged by what you are saying to them and this movement aids their hearing allowing them to more clearly understand you. Your dog might also do this when he or she hears a sound that intrigues them and the head tilt signifies that they are trying to locate and make sense of it. The second reason relates to a potential medical issue your dog might be experiencing. The latter is rare but if you notice that your dog is tilting its head while you aren’t trying to communicate with them, this could be a sign of an ear infection. If you notice that your dog is off balance or is generally out of sorts, seek advice from a vet.


Why does my dog tilt their head back when I pet them?

When your dog tilts their head back when you pet them, it is a sign of enjoyment. Not all dogs like being petted or touched in certain areas and if your dog ducks away when you go to stroke them, they are letting you know that they don’t want to be petted. On the contrary, when your dog tilts their head back, this is a positive sign and are giving you permission to pet them.


Why does my dog lean their head into me?

Often, when your dog leans their head into you, it is a sign of affection. When your pet does this, they are simply telling you they love and trust you and it is simply just another way of communicating with you. Another reason for this is that this could be their way of greeting you. Every dog is different and each one will have a unique way of communicating love and loyalty.


If you think your dog could be tilting their head due to an infection, you will need to see a vet and you’ll need pet insurance to keep any costs to a minimum. View our pet insurance policies here.

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