Dogs are quirky, fascinating, and sometimes mysterious creatures that are both adorable on the outside but a mystery inside. We would love to know everything about our furry friends, but animal scientists are the only ones who can truly understand their behavior. They try to answer the most pressing dog-related questions like why some dogs tilt their heads when we speak to them.
Animal Cognition, a peer-reviewed scientific journal published a study on dog head tilting. It examined how dogs tilt their heads in relation to a cognitively demanding task. After being asked for the name of the toy, the task required dogs to remember the name and retrieve it from their memories.
Researchers observed 40 dogs, and discovered that dogs who were more adept at recalling toys tilted their heads more often than dogs who weren't. Researchers suggest that the head tilters could be paying more attention to the command or matching the name to a visual in their heads when they hear it.
The researchers recommend further research into why dogs tilt their heads in particular directions. It could be a personal preference that a dog tilts his head left or right. Brain scans were used in research that showed 12 dogs had brain scans and found that the brains of the right side of dogs are more active in processing praise or positive words. However, further research is needed to determine if this observation has any effect on head tilting. Head tilting was not affected by where a person stood when asking a dog for a toy.
This study is filed under interesting dog behaviors that are still in the early stages for scientific research. Even if your dog can't turn their heads or know how to use a toy, they are still excellent pups.