Why Do Dogs Tilt Their Heads? Do You Love German Shepherd Head Tilts?

Do you love it when your German Shepherd tilts his head? But why do dogs tilt their heads?

German Shepherd dogs are gorgeous and regal dogs. They’re sweet, tough and smart – making them the perfect dogs that they already are. But let’s admit it, we can’t help but adore them even tilt their heads!

You probably noticed your German Shepherd do this adorable act when he hears something odd or new, or when you’re having a conversation with him. Dogs tilt their head for various reasons and looking cute while doing it just an extra. Here are some reasons why dogs tilt their heads.


Your German Shepherd tilts his head to find the source of a sound

German Shepherds have one of the most acute sense of hearing. Their ears are very strong and they are curious and wary about their surroundings. Whether it’s a footstep or a squeak, any odd sound can pique our German Shepherd’s curiosities – one of the reasons why German Shepherds make the best watch and guard dogs!

Your German Shepherd may tilt his head as a reaction to strange sounds. This process is known as triangulation, in which your Germans Shepherd or any other dog’s ears function and work as stereo receivers.

Dogs will often stop and tilt their heads upon hearing an odd and unfamiliar sound and they do this to locate the source of the sound. By tilting his head, your German Shepherd’s brain counts the delay between the time the sound reaches the ear that is nearest to the source of the sound and the time when the sound reaches the ear farthest from it. Your German Shepherd’s brain does this to estimate the distance of the sound and find where it is coming from.


Your German Shepherd tilts his head because he’s trying understand what you’re saying

Sometimes, your German Shepherd would tilt his head when you talk to him. In the Handbook of Applied Dog Behavior and Training, Steven R. Lindsay shared that when a dog listens to a human’s voice, the dog is trying to decode or determine any familiar tones or words that he can associate with something that he likes like car, food, or walk.

Why Do Dogs Eat Their Poop? Does Your German Shepherd Eat His Poop?

Just like all dogs, your German Shepherd’s middle ear muscles are controlled by the same part of his brain that controls his facial expressions and head movement. So if your German Shepherd tilts his head when you talk to him, he is doing two things:

  • Trying to understand what you’re saying,
  • And he’s telling you that he is listening.


Your German Shepherd tilts his head to see your face easily

According to a study published by Dr. Stanley Coren in Psychology Today, sometimes dogs tilt their heads to see their owners better so they could understand their facial expressions, body language, and eye movements.

Five hundred and eighty-two dog owners participated in Dr. Coren’s study and 186 of them have dogs with flatter faces.

  • Only 52% of the owners of flat-faced dogs reported regular head tilting;
  • 71% percent of the owners who have dogs with long and large muzzles reported that their dogs often tilt their heads.


The figures led Dr. Coren to conclude that dogs with long and large muzzles have more difficulty reading their owner’s expressions and body language than flatter-faced dogs.

So, how often does your German Shepherd tilt his head?

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