Just a yawn? Really?

When Ray yawns, he is often in his chair and curled up with his head resting on the padded chair arm (he has a good life!), and so we assume that he is tired. If we are out on a walk and odd circumstances present themselves, we may well interpret the yawn as a “de-stressing” action. If we are sidetracked during a walk by a lengthy conversation with somebody, we will probably interpret his yawn as a sign of impatience.

The simple Ray yawn or, perhaps more accurately, the not so simple Ray yawn, can tell us so much about what is going on in his mind. In the interests of communicating with him, we must try and understand him, and when we limit our understanding of yawning to human rationales, we are short changing both him and us!

Carol showed me a pic the other day, that she had taken of Ray, and asked that I stare at it for a few minutes and “see if anything happens”! My curiosity usually gets the better of me in these situations, and it certainly did this time. I stared at the picture for about a minute, perhaps a little longer, but nothing happened except that I yawned! You try it with the same pic!


Did you yawn? Apart from expressing different feelings, they can also be contagious!

I remember being told, in our early days with Ray, that if we think that he is a little on edge (i.e. stressed), produce a really exaggerated yawn that he cannot fail to see. He will probably then yawn, and settle down! It has worked!

Just a yawn? Really? I don’t think so!


21 thoughts on “Just a yawn? Really?

  1. Dog behavior is so very interesting. Yawning, ground sniffing, lip licking, all of these (and many more) signs that you might not notice if you didn’t need to. Once you have a reason to learn, the signs start to stand out. I’m going to try the big yawn next time we have a stressful situation.

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