4 Reasons Your Dog Is Yawning

Your dog is yawning, primarily their way of conveying a message to other canines and people. The most common mode of communication for dogs includes pawing, mouthing and sounds so it is more likely that your dog is trying to tell you or other dogs a message when it yawns. To understand the meaning of your dog’s yawn, here are some of the possible reasons why your dog does the behavior.

Stretching Vocal Cords

One of the possible reasons why dogs yawn is that they are trying to stretch or warm up their vocal cords. Mostly, it happens after having a complete night shut-eye. It yawns to allow itself to wake up and warm up its body and vocals to make a great start to the day.

If you want to determine if your dog yawns to stretch its vocal cords or to wake up itself, consider what your dog is doing before it does the behavior.

Getting Your Attention

Another possible reason why your dog yawns are to get your attention. Some dogs particularly yawn along with noise to convey a message that it wants you to give it some love and affection. Most dog breeds are an attention seeker. So before getting a dog, make sure that you can not only provide care, food, and shelter, but also the attention it requires.

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Humans are naturally receptive when it comes to picking up sounds and dogs know that. They also know that the fastest way to get attention from humans is to make noise. You can observe your dog yawning along with noises on purpose to capture your attention.

Indicating Stress

Stress is also one of the most common reasons for yawning for dogs. You will get the same answer if you ask dog trainers about the reason for this dog behavior, and that answer is none other than stress.

During stressful situations like training and exercise, dogs yawn more often. Another reason why they do this is to ask for assistance when they feel uncomfortable with the situation and they want to escape. You can determine if your dog yawns because of stress when its yawn is longer than usual.

Some of the things that can trigger stress for dogs are the following:

  • Loneliness
  • Fear
  • Change of residence
  • Death of a family member
  • A new dog is introduced in the family
  • Others

Showing Submission

If another dog threatens your dog and then your dog yawns, this means that it is trying to deflect the threat. Yawn for dog indicates a calming signal, showing that it submits to the authority of another canine or human.

A dog yawns to say that it feels anxious and threatened, but it has no intention to attack. This particular behavior is used by dogs when they are trying to avoid conflict. The most common situations when a dog yawns as a sign of submission is when two individuals are fighting nearby. Another is when someone scolds him when a person hugs him, as well as other stressful situations.

Here’s a tip that you can use to calm your dogs down, yawn back to them.

Is Yawning Contagious Between You and Your Dog?

It is known that yawning is contagious between humans, but is it the same for dogs? According to a study, dogs with a high level of cortisol, which is a stress hormone, are mostly affected by contagious yawns than those that show a low level. The study suggests that stress yawns between dogs have the big possibility to be contagious.

Aside from that, several studies say yawns are contagious between dogs and humans. One study concluded that contagious yawning is a way of dogs to show sympathy to their owners and not an indicator of stress.

Other researchers also suggest that contagious yawning between dogs is a sign of social connection. Isn’t it amazing to learn these things?


To summarize, yawning for dogs is caused by various reasons such as vocal stretching, a way to get attention, an indication of stress, and a gesture of submission. Knowing what causes your dog to yawn can help you determine its needs and what it feels during a particular situation.

Yawning as being contagious between humans and dogs is also a fascinating thing. Whether it is your dog showing you sympathy or dogs establishing a social connection to other dogs, learning the reason for their behavior will allow you to know what your dog feels and what it is trying to tell you.

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