Why Do Dogs Yawn: 3 Reasons

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Last Updated on March 13, 2024 by Aftab Tariq

Why do dogs yawn? Well, it turns out not all yawns are the same for our furry friends. Understanding why dogs yawn, and the reasons behind yawning in general, remains a puzzle.

Why Do Dogs Yawn

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Some used to think it was to boost oxygen to the brain, but that’s not proven. Even though we often yawn when we’re bored or tired, it doesn’t necessarily wake us up.

Yawning seems to happen more in warm places, which might help cool the brain, but we need more research. Nowadays, scientists believe yawning might be a way animals talk to each other. But we still have a lot to learn about why dogs yawn.

“Dogs yawn to express their feelings, quietly sharing messages of peace and comfort in their own special way.”

1: Stress

Why do dogs yawn? Many trainers and behaviorists suggest that owners pay attention to signs of stress in their dogs, and one common sign is excessive yawning.

Dogs tend to yawn more when they feel anxious. For example, during obedience classes, dogs that sense stress or disapproval from their owners often yawn, possibly showing they understand punishment might come.

Similarly, during walks, if you stop to chat with a neighbor, you might notice your dog yawning a lot. This could mean they’re uncomfortable with the person or eager to keep moving.

After all, a dog excited for a walk usually doesn’t want to wait around for 20 minutes.

2: Indifference

Why do dogs yawn? Yawning is observed in both domestic dogs and wild canids as a way to express indifference. When a dog faces aggression, it might respond with a yawn, signaling a lack of interest in conflict rather than submission.

This yawning behavior helps ease tensions. Additionally, dominant dogs and wolves may also yawn when they encounter submissive or fearful individuals, demonstrating their indifference rather than asserting dominance.

This yawning tendency appears to have a calming effect on anxious pack members or strangers.

3: Catch a Yawn

Why do dogs yawn? The concept that yawning can be contagious extends beyond humans. While it’s believed to be a learned behavior, as younger children don’t seem to catch yawns as easily, it’s commonly observed among adults.

What’s fascinating is that dogs also exhibit contagious yawning. They’ll yawn in response to other dogs yawning and even to humans yawning, especially those they’re close to. This suggests that dogs may have empathy for both their own kind and humans.

So, when your dog yawns, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re stressed or anxious. Although it could be the case sometimes, yawning is often just a normal part of their daily routine, much like it is for humans.

To learn more about pets, read our article at Harpersatelier.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Does my Dog Yawn so Much When I Pet Him?

Dogs calm themselves by yawning when stressed. If your pet yawns when petted, they likely feel safe. Yawning can spread among dogs.

Why Does my Dog Keep Yawning and Stretching?

When your dog yawns, sighs, licks their lips, or stretches a lot, it might mean they’re deeply engaged in learning or feeling stressed. Dogs show emotions in various ways, so don’t worry if your dog yawns.

Do Dogs Yawn When they are Tired?

Yes, sometimes they’re just tired, but there’s usually more to it. Dogs yawn when sleepy, like us. If your dog yawns while stretching or before bed, they’re probably just tired, trainers say.

Why Do Dogs Yawn in the Morning?

Your dog’s yawns might mean tiredness or waking up. They can also show discomfort. Ensure enough rest, boost their mood, and reduce stress.

Why Does my Dog Yawn When I Talk to Him?

Dogs yawn to calm themselves, alongside actions like licking lips or lifting a paw, signaling nervousness or self-soothing during stress or excitement.

Why Do Dogs Yawn in Your Face?

Yawning is a calming signal in dogs, used to defuse tension. When feeling threatened, dogs may yawn to avoid conflict and show they won’t act aggressively.

Do Dogs Yawn When in Pain?

If your dog yawns a lot, it might mean they’re uncomfortable or in pain. Watch for other signs like whimpering, limping, or changes in appetite, and consult a vet.

Why Do Dogs Lick You?

Dogs naturally lick for grooming, bonding, and communication. They may lick to show affection, seek attention, calm themselves, show empathy, or simply because they like your taste.

Why Do Dogs Pant?

Dogs pant to cool down in hot weather or after exercise. Their breathing rate varies from ten to thirty breaths per minute, depending on their size.

Why Do Dogs Yawn When You Pet Them?

Yawning helps dogs calm down when stressed. If your dog yawns while being petted, it could mean they feel safe. Also, yawning can spread among dogs.

Why Do Dogs Yawn When Excited?

Active dogs often yawn when they’re excited about what’s coming next. According to Jasmine Kleine in K9 Magazine, yawning helps them prepare by boosting oxygen flow to the brain.

Why Do Dogs Yawn in the Car?

Dogs yawn to signal feeling threatened or anxious without aggression. It helps avoid conflicts. More yawning may show stress, like in the car, at the vet, or during thunderstorms.

Why Do Dogs Yawn When You Talk to Them?

Yawning in dogs is seen as a way to calm situations and signal appeasement. When approached by someone or another animal, a dog may yawn and look away, indicating feelings of anxiety or threat without aggression.

Why Do Dogs Yawn and Whine?

When dogs feel scared or tense, they might whine, bark, or do things like yawning, drooling, or licking to calm themselves. Yawning can mean they’re tired, bored, or stressed, with stressed yawns being longer and more intense than sleepy ones.

Why Do Dogs Yawn When they See You?

Dogs may yawn when they see you as a way to communicate various emotions, such as anticipation, anxiety, or even empathy.

Why Do Dogs Yawn so Much?

Dogs may yawn frequently due to various reasons such as tiredness, boredom, stress, or as a way to communicate with humans and other animals.

Why Do Dogs Yawn Loudly?

Dogs may yawn loudly due to factors like being in a state of heightened arousal or feeling stressed or anxious.

Why Do Dogs Yawn at You?

Dogs may yawn at you due to stress, tiredness, boredom, or to communicate emotions like anxiety or anticipation.

Why Do Dogs Yawn When they are Tired?

Dogs yawn when they’re tired to increase oxygen intake and stretch their muscles, helping them stay alert.

Why Do Dogs Yawn and Make a  Noise?

Dogs yawn and make noise for various reasons. It could be due to tiredness, stress, or as a way to communicate.


Dogs Catch Human Yawns

Aftab Tariq

I am a dedicated content writer with more than five years of experience, particularly skilled in the art of storytelling. My writing journey commenced during my college years, where I pursued journalism and unearthed my talent for creating captivating narratives.

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