Am I a Boring Dog Walker?

So I just mentioned Druno and Doobie yesterday. Well, those two little boys also have two big brothers, Dexter and Bogart. It’s quite the dynamic group and let me tell you, I receive quite the welcoming when I walk into the house! Every one of them is a sufficient watch dog, so there’s a lot of barking upon my entrance. However, amongst all of the barking, there’s a sound that I’ve just recently begun picking up on. After his initial barking, Dexter will keep yawning! And it’s not just any yawn, but it’s followed by a high pitch whine. Once I noticed it, I’d listen for his yawn everyday, and sure enough that’s what he’d do!

So yesterday, I decided to take note of any other dog who yawned upon my entrance. My day began with Kelsey the poodle. I thought back and couldn’t recall ever noticing Kelsey yawning during any of my visits. However, she does have a silly habit of “stalling” before going out. Like any typical poodle, she’ll bounce around, stretch, sit, get back up, sit, stretch! It goes on and on like that everytime I try to put her collar on and I must show a lot of patience as I wait for her to settle down. Well, sure enough, yesterday morning as I waiting for her “stalling” to finish, Kelsey let out a BIG, loud yawn! Ah-ha! Apparently Dexter isn’t the only one whose bored by my visits…..

And it didn’t stop there. Next I visited Gracie and Petunia. As soon as I went towards Gracie’s crate to let her outside, she yawned and followed it with a whine. Once I saw that it wasn’t going to rain any longer, I swung by my house to pick up Elsa and Reese. As I picked up their collars, both let out a yawn. And at the end of the day when I brought them over to play with Solo, sure enough, he also let out a loud yawn. Apparently I’m a boring dog walker…..

…But that’s actually not the case! Dogs don’t yawn for the same reasons as us. In dogs, it’s referred to as a calming signal and is used to cope with excitement. A yawn fills their lungs with air and boosts their brain with oxygen and increases their heart rate. When I walk through the door, all of these dogs are excited and anticipate a walk and a good time! So to prepare for action, they yawn!

Studies also suggest, just as with people, that yawning is contagious and can be used to calm your dog down. In theory, you can yawn at your dog and he’ll yawn back, making him more relaxed! Well, I just yawned about 15 times in front of Reese, she just stared at me as if I were crazy! And when I tried it out on Elsa, she saw it as an invitation to crawl up onto my lap. So, apparently my yawns aren’t contagious…but at least I’m not a boring dog walker!