Dogs are not all the same when it comes to yawning. The reasons behind yawning in dogs and humans are still not understood. Although it was once believed that yawning is a way to replenish brain oxygen, science has yet to prove this. Even though we yawn when we’re tired or bored, yawning has not been shown to awaken a tired brain. It is thought that yawning can cool the brain because it is more common in warm rooms. This is still a subject that needs more research. It is believed that yawning can be used as a method of communication.
Many trainers and behaviorists advise owners to look out for signs of stress in their dog. One sign is excessive yawning. Dogs will yawn when they feel anxious. This information is correct. You might notice that dogs who are under stress or dissatisfied with their owners may yawn when they feel that punishment is coming. You might see your dog yawn several times when you are out walking with a neighbor. Your dog might be uncomfortable talking to the neighbor or just eager to get back on the trail. A dog that is excited to walk doesn’t want any time to rest.
Both domestic dogs and wild canids have been able to see yawning as a way to show indifference. When confronted with an aggressive dog, many dogs will yawn to show their disinterest. The yawning can be a sign that the dog isn’t interested in conflict. This is not a sign that the dog is being submissive, but it is a sign that they are being pacified. Dominant dogs and wolves can also yawn. They will yawn when they encounter fearful or submissive pack members or strangers. It can often have a soothing effect on anxious dogs or wolves.
How to create inner peace
A cat or dog may yawn if they feel uneasy, much like humans might bite their nails when anxious. It helps calm a cat or dog that yawns by causing them to take deep breaths. Many pet owners misinterpret yawning as a sign that their cat or dog is becoming sleepy. However, if the yawn is interpreted in the context of other body language cues the yawning might mean that the pet feels relaxed and chilled.
Inner Conflict: How to Deal
Your cat or dog may yawn when they are faced with difficult choices. A dog might yawn when she is told to “leave the sandwich” after being presented with a sandwich on the coffee table. Her internal struggle to choose between two options may be reflected in her yawning. She might move away from the food to satisfy her owner, or dive into a sandwich that emits an intoxicating scent. An underlying stress may also be a contributing factor to the yawn. The owner may use an intimidating voice to get the dog to stop, which could indicate internal conflict or emotional distress.
A sign of sympathy
Dogs are part of a small group of animals (humans and baboons), that exhibit empathy by contagious yawning. Dogs can sometimes respond to the yawn of a human with their own yawns, which is confirming what dog lovers already know: Dogs DO get how we feel. Dogs can also show the emotional bond they have with their owners through their higher likelihood of returning a yawn to their owner, as opposed to one from strangers.