Why Does My Dog Yawn When I Pet Him?

Why Does My Dog Yawn When I Pet Him?

My dog would often jump onto my bed to get my attention, and when he does this, I would start to pet him just to show him some love. But, when I pet him, he would start to yawn.

At first, I thought that he was just tired, but he yawned even after he had a nap.

This got me thinking, why does my dog yawn when I pet him?

Why Does My Dog Yawn When I Pet Him?

I did a bit of research and I found a few interesting results. In most cases, a dog will yawn when you pet him because he is excited that you are giving him attention. You will also notice this type of behavior when he is excited about going for a walk, a play date in the park, or any other activity that normally gets him excited.

7 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Yawning

I found this very peculiar because humans would normally yawn when they are bored or tired. But, dogs yawn for various reasons, not just because they are tired.

Let’s have a look at this in more detail.

1. Your Dog Is Excited

I briefly mentioned this earlier, but your dog will yawn when he is excited about something. I found this to be very true, especially when you pet them.

With one of my dogs, Charlie, I noticed that she would often yawn when she sees me. As it turns out, she is just excited to see me.

2. Your Dog Is Stressed

Humans would often act out in anger or fear when stressed out, but dogs can yawn when they are stressed. If they sense a potentially stressful event is about to occur, or when they are not comfortable with their immediate environment, then they can express their stress by yawning.

3. Your Dog Is Tired

Just like humans, a dog can yawn when he is tired. If you just returned from a walk in the park with your furry friend, and you notice that he is yawning, then it is a sign that he is exhausted and that a doggie nap is imminent.

4. Your Dog Just Saw You Yawn

I’m sure you are aware of the fact that yawning is contagious when it comes to humans. Well, as it turns out, this is the case with dogs as well.

Your dog can yawn when he has just seen you yawn, and yawning is just as contagious for them as it is for humans.

5. Your Dog Is Trying To Calm A Situation

When my dog, Vanilla, has been naughty, I would speak to him in a stern voice to let him know that he has been a bad boy. And sometimes, he would start to yawn.

As it turns out, dogs might start to yawn when they are trying to calm a situation. Like, for example, when you are mad at them.

6. Your Dog Is Confused

An interesting fact is that dogs might also yawn when they are confused. As an example, your dog might yawn when you are trying to teach him a new trick, and he is not sure what he is supposed to do.

7. Your Dog Is Not Feeling Well

If your dog is just yawning, then it is not a sign that he is ill. But when he yawns while burping, for example, then he might be experiencing a medical issue. If this happens, get in touch with a vet.


As you can see, your dog can yawn when you pet him because he is very excited to get some attention from you. Who knew?

Humans will often yawn when they are tired or bored, but dogs will yawn for various other reasons. They can simply be tired, yes, that’s a given. But, they might also be stressed, confused, trying to calm a situation, or they might be showing signs of an illness.

And, I’m sure you know how contagious yawning is, and when you see someone else yawn, you might also start to yawn. Well, this is also the case with dogs and yawning is just as contagious for them as it is for humans.


  • Jan Pretorius

    Meet Jan Pretorius, the passionate dog lover and proud owner of the popular canine haven, JackRussellTerrierDog.com. Born and raised in a small town known for its love of animals, Jan’s journey into the world of dogs began at a young age, fueled by an innate connection with our four-legged companions.