Why do dogs tilt their heads?

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Most experts agree, that because of their snouts, dogs tilt their heads to get a better view of the person addressing them. Some dog trainers believe that it can be also a sign of intelligence.


Dr. John Ciribassi, a veterinary behaviorist with Chicagoland Veterinary Behavior Consultants. He thinks dogs react to the words by tilting their head, a possible sign they are concentrating on what’s being said and hoping to recognize more words. [1]

Visual perception

While psychologists think there are many reasons for the head tilt, it seems that dogs with big muzzles are more likely to do it so they can have a full view of our faces when we are speaking to them. According to this theory, the prominent muzzles block their view of the lower part of our faces, so they compensate by tilting their heads.

Health issues

In some cases, there is a medical reason for head tilting. If the dog frequently tilts her head, it could indicate she feels dizzy and imbalanced. This sensation of vertigo is associated with disorders of the vestibular system. Composed of portions of the brain and ear, the vestibular system governs an animal’s sense of balance.

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Cuteness Humor Distinction
burning questions is it cute when any dog does it? do some humans go out of their way to get the head tilt? do other animals do it?
favorites German Shepherd Pembroke Welsh Corgi Scamp the Tramp
theories re-enforced behavior hearing aid visual impairments

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