Anytime I say a word or a name Quinley, recognizes she cocks her head and makes the cutest, “Hey…I think I know what you’re saying” face. Does your fur baby do this? You know what I’m talking about right, the oh-so adorable tilt of the head like shown below?
Have you ever wondered what’s really happening when your dog does this? So why do dogs tilt their heads?
There are several different popular theories to ponder, so let’s take a look!
To Hear Better?
A lot of people think dogs tilt their heads to the side to hear better. In an article on The Huffington Post, Dr. Meredith Stepita, a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists now practicing at East Bay Veterinary Specialists in Walnut Creek, Calif., says the way dogs hear could play a part. Dogs have movable earflaps that help them locate the source of a sound. In addition to moving their ears, says Dr. Stepita, dogs’ brains “compute extremely small time differences between the sound reaching each ear. Even the slightest change in the dog’s head position relative to the sound supplies information the dog’s brain uses to figure out the distance of the sound.” So, when a dog cocks her head, she could be trying to more accurately determine the exact location of a sound, specifically the height relative to the ears, adds Dr. Stepita.
To Understand Better?
It’s no secret dogs can understand part of our language. Some say dogs know upwards of 200 words. But they can’t put everything together. It’s a lot like you would be if you knew parts of a language. Like me and Spanish. When someone’s speaking it, I can pick out words I know and if I were a dog, I’d probably tilt my head at hearing those known words too!
A Sign Of Intelligence?
Because not all dogs cock their heads, some people believe the head tilting is a sign of intelligence. Unfortunately there’s real no proof of that. And since some dogs can become conditioned to do the “head tilt” by their owners praising or giving them extra attention when they do it, pin pointing the real reason for head tilting becomes even more difficult.
Maybe A Little Of Each?
When it comes to Quinley, I tend to believe her head tilts are caused by any of the above theories at different times. Most of the time she does it when she recognizes words, like a non-fluent Spanish speaker in Mexico. But sometimes it’s sounds too. And we already know she’s really smart. Yes, that’s a proud parent speaking…wink, wink.
But whatever the real reasons are, I’m sure we all agree…the action is probably one of the cutest things our little buddies ever do!
Thanks for stopping by!