Why do dogs yawn?
As you know, humans yawn when they are tired. We usually yawn to show that we are tired, sleepy or bored. The mechanism or the reason why we yawn is not yet fully understood. But why do dogs yawn? There are actually a number of reasons that try to explain this dog behaviour.
It is understood that yawning is a mechanism to oxygenate the brain and release the excess carbon dioxide. Science still needs to collect evidence of this. The same goes for yawning to wake up a tired brain, there is no scientific evidence to support it. We only have our experience of yawning when we are tired.
Given experience only, we can propose several reasons that make a dog yawn. They are not scientifically conclusive but based on several studies and experience, we can back them up.
Why do dogs yawn? Possibly a signal of stress
Almost every dog trainer will tell you that one of the signs in a dog that is stressed or anxious is excess yawning. In fact, dogs have this tendency of yawning whenever they are feeling anxious.
For example, whenever a dog senses punishment is coming because they did something wrong, they tend to yawn. You may have noticed that when you are walking your dog and you suddenly stop to talk to someone, your dog begins to yawn. This is a sign that he is either stressed with the stranger you are talking too or he is really anxious to continue walking.
Why do dogs yawn? Probably indifference
Another behavior seen in both domesticated and wild dogs is yawning when they want to show indifference. So, when a dog is trying to be aggressive, the other dog will simply yawn to reveal that he is not interested in the conflict.
The mirror effect
We all know that when we see somebody yawning, we will be unconsciously compelled to do so. They call this the mirror effect and it happens between dogs too. If a dog sees a fellow dog yawning, they will yawn in response. Even if they see a human yawn, they will do so as a sign of empathy and connection.
In Dogalize, we can help you connect with your canine. Because he deserves all the love that he can get, we have plenty of resources for you take a look at. Visit us to learn more.