That’s why your dog yawns when looking at you

Hangai Lilla

2024. April 29 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

You've surely noticed before that often, when your dog sees you, it opens its mouth wide and lets out a big yawn. While we humans often associate yawning with boredom, in the case of dogs, this reaction means something entirely different.


Without further ado, let’s see what it means when the dog yawns while looking at his owner.

When the dog yawns, it serves a special function

Yawning actually helps to calm the dog down. It’s similar to when we take a deep breath. Essentially, the furry creatures are so overwhelmed by emotions – whether positive or negative – that they need some time to settle down. With this small gesture, they not only buy themselves time but also appear calm to those who are watching them or are with them.

Research suggests that yawning helps their brains focus and stay calm due to the large intake of oxygen. It’s a useful tip for us humans too: if emotions overwhelm us and we want to regain our composure immediately, we can use some breathing exercises. While it may seem trivial, scientific tests confirm that it’s an effective technique.

Too many stimuli, too many emotions…

So pay attention to yawning

Although, as we’ve mentioned, this is a self-soothing mechanism for dogs, it’s the owner’s responsibility to monitor the dog’s behavior and intervene when necessary. By this, we mean that if you see your dog constantly yawning while you’re trying to drink your coffee at a café. Or while you’ve bumped into an old acquaintance and their energetic pet or child, try to remove yourselves from that situation so that your companion can also relax.

Continuous, prolonged stress affects dogs’ bodies too, so let’s not make the mistake of ignoring the signs. Of course, this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t socialize the dog.

Click here
to find out why your pet may turn its back on you. This could also be related to stress or your behavior.

dog stressed dog with stress stress yawn

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