What Does It Mean When a Dog Yawns?

Contrary to popular opinion, a dog’s yawn is different from a human’s. When we yawn, we often happen to be bored or tired. However, it is a little different with dogs. Every dog yawn tells you a different thing.

Depending upon the situation and how your dog yawns, you could figure out what the yawn means. As a pet parent, you need to pay attention to the yawns of your pet. Have you ever caught your canine yawning in the car or right before they go to bed?

With the help of this short and crisp article about dog yawns, we will tell you what it means when your dog yawns in a particular situation. Read on to find out!

What Is a Dog Yawn?

Before we discuss this topic, let’s talk about what a dog’s yawn is. Is it the same as a human yawn? Take a look!

To answer this in one line – yes, a doggo’s yawn is the same as a human yawn. It is a reflex where your doggy opens its mouth to take a deep inhale. However, there is one massive difference between a human yawn and a pet yawn.

Humans yawn when they are tired or bored. But, dogs yawn for several other reasons – including love!

As science hasn’t given us a definitive answer on what yawning is about, theories are all that we’ve got. Some theories indicate that dogs yawn for the following reasons –

  • Love
  • Stress
  • Avoiding conflict
  • Tired

Without further ado, Now, let’s discuss –

Love for You

As surprising as it sounds, your dog could be yawning because it loves you. Yawns are contagious. Don’t you agree? We yawn when we see someone else (in person or even a picture) yawning.

We yawn because we are empathetic, and we can sense the yawn in the people around us. It turns out that it’s a similar thing for dogs too! Surprising, isn’t it? They are empathetic towards their humans. They can sense our yawns, too!

Of course, as the saying goes, you cannot measure a dog’s empathy because it has too much of it. Nevertheless, a dog’s yawn symbolizes its bond with you. So, it’s a yawn that undoubtedly came out of love and empathy!

Researchers believe that dogs are capable of catching yawns from their human parents. A study by the New York Times outlined that catching yawns is a definite sign of bonding between humans and dogs.

So, the next time your dog yawns just after you have yawned, you should know that your dog is possibly picking those cues from you.

Avoiding Conflict

A unique reason why dogs yawn is to avoid conflict. Studies show that yawning is a possible sign of submission to other dogs. So, if your pet is yawning when it is around other dogs, it is likely because your dog is trying to show that it is non-threatening or passive.

A yawn is its signal to announce to the other dogs that it just wants to chill. If you are interested in reading more about calming signals, you should check out this guide by Amber Drake, a canine behaviorist.

So, when your pet yawns around another dog, the two furry pups may want to be friends. Furthermore, it can also help you understand the social behavior exhibited by your dog, delineating its boundaries.


The scenarios we spoke about above are, of course, occasional. However, if your dog is yawning too much, you should be worried. Yawning too much is a sign of stress or anxiety. In such a situation, you should pay attention to when and how many times it yawns.

If your dog yawns when meeting someone new or when it is training, it is an indication that your pet is feeling either overwhelmed or stressed out, or maybe both.

If you are caught up in a situation like this, you should immediately remove it from the stressful situation so that it is easy to calm down.

If your furry friend continues to face trouble with excessive yawning, it might be best if you contact a veterinarian or a canine behaviorist.


As we already know, we yawn when we are tired. This is one way in which humans and dogs are similar to one another. They, too, yawn when they are tired.

So, if your dog is yawning at the end of the day, it means that your furry friend had a long day and now wants a good night’s sleep. Your pup can experience grogginess at different times of the day.

Some of them have high energy while others have a considerably low amount. So, depending upon your pet’s breed, you can tell if it is tired and yawning. Some dogs have a standard yawning time at the end of a long day.

This yawn is its way of telling you that all it wants is to curl up and go to bed.


Again, this is surprising. But yes, excitement is one of the reasons why your doggy might be yawning. Have you ever noticed how your dog circles you whenever you bring out that walking stick?

Sometimes, you may even have seen your dog yawning while it circles and paces around you. This is a common routine for your furry friend. Your dog may yawn when it is under stress. Likewise, it can yawn when excited too.

So, your dog yawning when it sees you is nothing to worry about. Your furry friend is just excited to see you!

Final Thoughts

So, we hope you have found the answer to the question – what does it mean when a dog yawns? There are many different reasons why your dog could be yawning. Mostly, they yawn because they’re tired and want to sleep.

However, there are other reasons, such as excitement, stress, love, and empathy. Your furry friend could simply be matching your vibe or avoiding conflict. If you notice that your dog is yawning excessively, you should consult a veterinarian.

We hope our article has helped you understand your furry friend a little better today. If pets are a man’s best friend, it is only natural to understand our best friend’s behavior, isn’t it?


When Does Yawning Become Concerning?

If you notice your dog yawning once in a while, there is nothing to worry about. However, if it is yawning rapidly, it is something to be concerned about as excessive yawning is a sign of anxiety and stress.

What Should You Do if Your Dog Is Yawning Excessively?

If your dog is yawning a lot, you should remove him from its current situation. This will help him to calm down. If the yawning does not stop and continues to persist, it is advisable to contact a vet or a canine behaviorist.