In hopes that no one else felt that way, today I decided to make note of any yawning upon my arrival. My day began with Kelsey the poodle. As usual, when I picked up her leash she acted silly, bouncing up and down. And as I patiently waited for her to settle, to my surprise, she let out a big, loud yawn! Ah-ha! Apparently Dexter isn’t the only one!
And it didn’t stop there. Next I visited Gracie and Petunia. As soon as I went towards Gracie’s crate, she yawned. When I stopped by Solo’s house for a walk, he greeted me with a big, loud yawn. And sure enough when I returned home, my two dogs greeted me at the door. Tails wagging and mouths open wide…yawning!
Well I might as well hang up my leash now, because apparently I’m a boring dog walker!
Fortunately, that’s not actually the case. Dogs don’t yawn for the same reasons that we do. For dogs, yawning is referred to as a calming signal and in many cases, 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. To get ready for action, they yawn! So it turns out I’m not a boring dog walker after all… I’m actually quite fun!
Studies also suggest that yawning is contagious and can be used as a way 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 my dog Elsa and she just stared at me as if I were crazy. So apparently my yawns aren’t contagious…but at least I’m not a boring dog walker!