This might seem like a silly question. It’s easy to assume that dogs yawn for the same reasons we yawn… they are either tired, bored, or are trying to take in more oxygen. However, that is often not the case.
Have you ever seen a dog yawn when he’s at a cross walk with traffic zooming by, or when he’s sitting alone in a corner at a dog shelter? That’s because yawning can often be a stress signal for dogs. It is very common for a dog to yawn right after he is yelled at or a collar correction is administered from his handler holding the leash. (Stress is only one of many reasons that leash corrections are never advised by positive reinforcement dog trainers.)
While I record music specially designed to calm dogs and hopefully make them yawn because they are sleepy, Sanchez and Gina experience the full range of my concert repertoire. In addition to the slowed down, simplified classical arrangements on the calming Through a Dog’s Ear recordings, I am often practicing music that is loud, fast, and lively.
In this video of me playing the introduction to Chopin’s Revolutionary Etude, Sanchez is sitting near my side at the piano, looking like he’s either ready to turn the pages (if there were any to turn), is preparing for a nap under the piano, or he’s giving a stress signal. What do you think his yawn means at :08 seconds into it? Thanks for sharing your thoughts in a comment below?
Delivering Calm, four paws at a time…
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