Dog Yawning – What Does It Mean?
Yawning is a normal behavior of animals. They are mammals and they have vocal organs like us humans. They use their vocal organs to communicate with each other. Dogs don’t just yawn because it’s funny or cute; they do so because it helps them stay alert and calm.
Why Does My Dog Yawn When I Pet Him?
When your dog yawns, he is showing his emotions. He may be happy, sad, scared or anything else. Yawning indicates a variety of things in dogs:
1) Happy : Your dog is happy because he wants to show you that he cares about you and wants to please you.
He may even lick his lips when doing so. Yawning shows affection and love for the owner.
2) Sad : Your dog is sad because he feels sorry for himself.
He may cry, wag his tail or make other signs of sadness. Yawning signals sorrow and sadness.
3) Scared : Your dog is afraid of something or someone.
He may jump up and down, bark, scratch or any other type of behavior indicating fear. Yawning indicates fearfulness and anxiety.
4) Boredom : You’re doing something boring to your dog, such as petting him in a place or way that he doesn’t like or talking to him in a high-pitched voice.
To avoid this, you should always ask your dog first if he wants to be petted in a certain place or way. If he says no, then you should respect his decision. Yawning is an act of boredom and dissatisfaction with what you’re doing.
5) Pressure : You may be putting pressure on your dog in some way.
If you do something like poking him or moving his bed, he may feel that you’re pressuring him into a certain direction, so he will yawn to show you that he is not happy about this. Yawning indicates displeasure and frustration.
6) Excitement : You may be getting ready to do something that will excite your dog.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Yawning: the yawn is primal, unstoppable and contagious, revealing the evolutionary and neural basis of empathy and unconscious behavior (RR Provine – American scientist, 2005 – JSTOR)
- Allergic rhinitis and its impact on asthma (ARIA) 2008 (…, DY Wang, M Wickman, BP Yawn… – Allergy, 2008 – Wiley Online Library)
- Why do we yawn? Primitive versus derived features (AC Gallup – Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 2011 – Elsevier)