Why do dogs tilt their head to the side

Charming purebred dog with fluffy black and white fur looking at camera while lying on meadow

Dogs have a lot of adorable mannerisms they usually love doing in front of you. You’ve probably noticed your dog cocking their head to the side while looking at you. This behavior is so cute. Not all dogs do this, but the majority do.

The most common reason dogs tilt their heads is to hear better. By tilting their heads, dogs can expose one ear more so that they can hear the sounds you are making more clearly. This is because the ear is up and forward in position. This means that sounds that the dog was hearing before as static or fuzzy will now become clearer to him or her. Dogs have their own language and don’t necessarily understand a lot of our language.

When you converse with your canine companion, they may comprehend a word or phrase occasionally, but they primarily rely on other cues to understand what is being communicated. Dogs, much like people, are adept at discerning signals such as the intonation of one’s voice and body language.

Dogs engage in cute behavior for two reasons: to get attention and to earn a reward. When a dog is being cute, people naturally want to pet them and tell them how adorable they are. In addition, the dog may also receive a treat as a result of their cuteness. Your dog likely tilted their head to the side a few times so they could hear you better and then enjoyed your reaction, learning that tilting their head to the side is a good way to get attention from you.

When your dog hears a word that interests them, they are likely to tilt their head to the side in the direction the sound is coming from. Sometimes the dog won’t do this though and that just means your dog can already hear well enough and doesn’t need to cock their head.

The breed of your dog also affects whether or not they will cock their head to the side. If your dog has erect ears, they will be less likely to tilt their head. However, if your dog has floppy ears, they will be more likely to tilt their head.

Tilting their heads isn’t just a useful tactic for dogs to get treats and cuddles, but to hear and understand you more- in a way, this cute habit is something they do to get to know you.