Posted by: Tony Carson | 12 October, 2007

Why do dogs yawn?

I have two bear dogs. When they aren’t sleeping or running they are yawning. Why is that?

Enter, the internet. Google: Why do dogs yawn?


Q. When dogs yawn, are they sleepy or bored?

A. (From the book “Why Do Dogs Drink Out of the Toilet?”) Neither, really. Think of yawning as a kind of switching gears. A yawn increases the flow of oxygen and boosts the heart rate-actions that give the brain a good goosing.

A yawn can prepare the body for action — as in the yawning of a keynote speaker waiting for her introduction or a quarterback waiting to get back onto the field.

Yawning can also be a way to relax. Dogs yawn both to charge themselves up and to calm themselves down. It depends on the situation. If you go to a canine agility competition, you’ll often spot dogs yawning at the starting line while waiting for the signal to explode across the line to the first obstacle. They’re ready to run, and the yawn expresses that stress and excitement.

In the waiting room of a veterinary hospital, you’ll often see dogs yawning, too — a sure sign that they’re stressed and trying to calm themselves.



  1. Well, I’ll be dipped.

  2. I like cheese.

  3. Finally someone who could tell me why my 6month old Yorkie poo yawns at weird times …I thought it was hypoglycemia but the dog eats all the time ??I asked the vet and he said puppies do that ,,,But i could tell it was an odd behavior and the dog opens its mouth when i am talking loud around her ???

    • Yawning is a way to change state – Loud noise is a trigger to yawn ot panting.

  4. My Dachshund is 2 years old, and ever since he was a puppy, he has been yawning when I stroke him or even if I speak to him softly telling him he is a good boy.

    He seems to go into a calm state of euphoria because of the love strokes he gets.

    Oh, he also yawns when he is tired or when I tell jokes. :o)

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