A Dog’s Yawn And What It Means


I have begun to notice that my dog yawns multiple times a day, but it never seems to be for the same reason. For instance, she will yawn in the morning, yawn as she sits down beside me, yawn as I am getting ready to take her on her daily stroll, and then yawn once more as she lies down to go to bed. Well, after doing some research I have learned that a dog’s yawn doesn’t always mean that he or she is tired the way it does for humans. A dog’s yawn can have an array of meanings such as:

  • The “Oh, what are we going to do?” or “Where are we going?”

This reason explains why my dog yawns before I take her for a walk. She is excited that I am finally going to take her on a walk, and I don’t blame her since I lose track of time easily. Your dog may also yawn due to excitement before or during playing a game or being fed.

  • The “Eh, I am anxious.”

The last couple of times that my family and I have left for trips sent my dog in a yawning frenzy. At first I thought it was because we had all gotten up at about five in the morning, but now I have realized that she is yawning because she is anxious. My dog has a super power, and it’s called “the departure sense.” She can sense every time that my family is about to leave for vacation, and it makes her anxious. Therefore, it makes sense to why my dog goes in a yawning frenzy every time were about to leave because it is her way of telling us that our departure make her anxious and she doesn’t want us to leave.

  • The “I don’t know what you want me to do.”

My dog is not the best at participating in games, or performing tricks such as sit, down, and speak. Whenever my siblings or I try to play a simple game of catch with her, it lasts for about a thirty seconds, and she only goes and retrieves the ball once in those thirty seconds. Consequently, whenever we try to get her do a trick or play a game she yawns because she has no idea what she is supposed to do. We try to immitate what she is supposed to do, but she still doesn’t understand her part. She’s gotten better at performing tricks, but she still yawns whenever we dangle a rope in front of her hoping to play tug of war.

  • The “I am not going to attack you so please don’t attack me.”

This is also known as the “Calming Signal.” This specific yawn is distinctly communicated towards dogs to assure other dogs who may come off as threatening that they are not trying to start a fight. It is a dogs way of respectively backing down from a fight rather than partaking in it, which would be expected if the dog did not demonstrate the “Calming Signal.”

I hope this helps you understand your dog a bit more, but you shouldn’t forget that a yawn can also mean what it does for humans, which is that we’re simply tired. Enjoy! 🙂