Why Do Dogs Tilt Their Head?

Splash and Dash for Dogs washes tons of dogs everyday! We watch these cute little ones and have always wondered why they tilt their heads when we talk to them. We’re not alone. HowStuffWorks also pondered the same question. They did the research and provided the closest scientific answer they could find in this video pointedly titled, Why Do Dogs Tilt Their Heads? The answers has to do with sight, sound, and psychology.

Many scientist believe dogs tilt their heads because of their snout. When a dog looks down their own snout they may need to pivot their head to see things at an angle and more clearly. The reasoning is that the longer the muzzle, the more they will tilt their head. The counterargument to this is that dogs without long snouts, like pugs, still tilt their heads.

The next answer science brings us is sound. An average human can hear anywhere from 20 – 20,0000 Hz per second. A dog can hear between 40 – 65,000 hz. This means that dogs can pick up higher pitches from further away on the scale of sound vibrations. The furry part of the dog ear which picks up sound is called the pinna. Scientist believe dogs may tilt their head to move the pinna making them more able to pick up a greater range of sound. This especially true for dogs with droopy ears like Beagles.

The last answer has to do with psychology. A study written by Stephen R. Lindsay suggests that dogs tilt their head to better concentrate on sounds. Dogs have muscles that allow them to process sounds. Scientists believe the tilt of dog’s head is a reflexive byproduct of concentration. Essentially, when a dog tilts their head they are trying to focus.

Splash and Dash for dogs thinks this is remarkably interesting and cute no matter the science behind it. We applaud HowStuffWorks for making this video, and we hope you enjoyed it, and learned a few things in the process!

Scroll to Top