My dog, who is a Black Mouth Cur, yawns sometimes. I can't figure out the reason. Note that yawning doesn't appear to be due to tiredness or the dog feeling sleepy, because it will yawn even in the daytime when it appears to be fresh and awake.

Why is my dog yawning?


Expanding on kmm's comment, kmm's link references Brainerd at al. (2004) whom conclude:

Yawing is common to all vertebrates and thus only seems to serve the purpose of stretching.

In general, yawing is a sign of high nitric oxide levels. Nitric oxide is also the hormone that results in blood-flow toward the genitals, and thus could just also be indicating that your pet is horny.

However, excessive yawning has been correlated with heart problems, and of course poor sleep (secondary ref here). If your dog does yawn excessively, and it doesn't seem to be correlated with poor sleep / loud snoring, it may be worth it to have them examined by a vet.

  • Thanks.. and I upvote for you.. My dog have good sleep and only 6 months old , so it can't be horny. So it may be due to stretching .. Feb 4 '14 at 3:37

Yawning is also known as a calming signal in dogs. Meaning that a dog will yawn when it is over stressed and is either trying to tell another dog to calm down or trying to calm himself down.

For example if my dog is too excited and I ask him to sit or lay down....he needs a way to disperse that excess energy and will give a big yawn.

A shy dog might yawn a lot if he is in a situation where he is uncomfortable like meeting new people.

Do google searches for Turid Rugaas and calming signals and you will learn about all the different little body language hints our dogs give us.

link to Turid's website describing the list of calming signals


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