If you have ever seen your dog wink at you, you aren’t seeing things. Learn more about what the behaviour might mean and why do dogs wink?
As dog owners, we are devoted to our pets. Whenever we speak to them, we interpret every gesture as a conversation. In some cases, our dogs speak for themselves very clearly – such as when they need to go potty or when they are ready to eat.
If our dogs want to be understood, they will practically turn inside out. Despite all these efforts – or maybe because of them – we still seek meaning behind every little move our dogs make.
Who hasn’t wondered if a dog’s belch means that she enjoyed her dinner? Our dogs perform every action with meaning, regardless of how small or innocent it might be.
This is mostly wishful thinking on our part, and we feel silly doing it. Suddenly, our dogs do something so adorable, so charming, That makes us giddy all over again.
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Why do Dogs Wink at You?
- The Root Cause of Behaviour
- Behaviours to Encourage
- Other Considerations and Solutions
The Root Cause of Behaviour
What does it mean when a dog winks at you? Dogs, like most mammals, do not often use their faces to express themselves. However, after thousands of years of living with humans, they have adapted to our desires and wishes, often using their behaviour to manipulate humans.
It has been proven that wolves first observed humans leaving food behind for scavengers to eat when the domestication of dogs began.
Humans didn’t have to wait long to notice that dogs kept other animals at bay, either by directly challenging them or by serving as early warning systems.
Eventually, the dogs discovered that certain behaviours were rewarded with more food from their owners. Every day, people began training dogs to perform tasks they found useful. It is possible to train dogs to keep certain animals together in a herd, such as sheep, and to keep other animals away.
Dogs have been rewarded for this service by giving them food and shelter, then by giving them affection, medication, and squeaky toys as well. Humans may have domesticated dogs, but science is still divided over whether dogs did the same. Maybe we domesticated one another.
The dogs have been trained to do our bidding ever since those early campfires. First, they performed our tasks, and later, they entertained us.
While most of us no longer herd sheep or shoot ducks out of the sky for dinner, we still have German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers. We have instead found other uses for our dogs.
Instead of diving into ice cold water to pick up tasty bird carcasses that they won’t get to enjoy, our dogs do agility courses with us and accompany us to work, and sit still for photos that might be turned into memes and/or GIF s. Next, let’s look at our winking dog.
Behaviours to Encourage
Eye contact is a sign of aggression among dogs. Dogs stare at each other in the eye, and if neither breaks the gaze, the fighting begins.
People, however, use eye contact more than politely – it’s an integral part of communication. Eye contact is expected, and we reward it.
Dogs who maintain eye contact and look at us without raising their hackles or growling are often appreciated; a pat behind the ear, a kind word.
Dogs compromise because of that. The dogs meet the gaze of their owners, but they break the stare by blinking or even dropping their eyes, something they wouldn’t do with another dog.
When you do it with your dog, she sometimes will only close one eye, a wink. Why do dogs wink? What does that mean for you? Your dog should be rewarded and encouraged when it exhibits a behaviour you want to encourage.
The process of shaping a behaviour is called “shaping.” You should make sure that you have a supply of treats on hand while shaping your dog’s behaviour.
Why does my dog wink at me? If your dog performs the behaviour, be sure to praise and reward her. In order to get your dog to wink, you can touch her whiskers on the side of her face that you want to see her wink on.
Involuntarily, your dog will wink. Give her a command word, like “wink” or “flirt,” before touching her cheek. Be sure to praise and treat her every time she winks.
Other Considerations and Solutions
Breeds with short noses and a fleshy facial structure, such as chow chows, are at risk of a genetic condition called entropion, which causes one or both eyelids to flip inward, causing pain and irritation to the dog.
The condition can cause corneal ulcers and blindness if left untreated. In many cases, endotropion can be treated with surgery.
The eyes of any dog can be irritated by dust, hair or dirt. Talk to your veterinarian if your dog seems overly concerned with her eye, or if you see excessive winking or blinking.
Relationships between people and dogs have had a significant impact on both species. The practice of teaching your dog to wink may seem like a silly amusement, but it comes from a long tradition of mutual training, much of which has been more entertaining than useful.
Additionally, the answer of why do dogs wink?, she embodies the relationship between man and animal as an attitude.