Dogs fill the world with happiness. They are a man and woman’s best friend. The love a dog has for its owner knows no bounds, and they show it in super cute ways. Dogs follow their owners everywhere, wait for them by the door, and warn the “scary mail-person” to stay away, or else! One of the cutest things they do is tilt their fuzzy heads from side to side when being spoken to. It’s as if the dog is intrigued by what’s being said and paying close attention to every little word. They are simply the best listeners… so it seems. This cute head motion has got people thinking, “is my dog playing therapist or is there another reason for that irresistible head-tilt?” Scientists have investigated this very question and found that dogs tilt their heads for a couple of reasons.
A dog’s ear is super sensitive. It picks up frequencies that human ear would never be able to detect. Apparently, a dog can target the sound it wants to focus on to determine where it is coming from; and in the case where you’re talking to your lil-pup, that source is you. A dog strategically tilts its head to positions its pinnae, or outer ear, in a specific way that helps understand more about the sound its picking up.
The sweet head tilt is also beneficial for a dog’s visual field. A canine has a dramatically bigger nose than humans. When they look forward, the snout is smack in the middle of everything. When dogs want to see something or someone, they do the best they can to get their nose out of the way. How else would they notice that huge smile you get when you see them?
So it is true, dogs are fabulous listeners. They’re not tilting their heads to say “oh no she didn’t!” but they are trying to be as focused as possible to the words coming out of their mommy and daddy’s mouth. In any case, the most therapeutic thing for a person is to be listened to. Whether a dog understands what you’re saying or not, it is giving you its full attention. This is true even when you’ve got your “puppy voice” going, and that crazy-eyed obsessive look on your face, and there’s nothing sweeter than that!