Why do Dogs Wink at You ..?

It's no doubt that dogs and humans have developed ways to communicate without saying a word. Sure, we may use vocal commands and hand gestures during the training process. However, physical behaviors and quirky actions can say just as much.

It won't take long for new owners to start picking up on these little physical cues and running with them. Think about the last time your dog needed to go outside or wanted to play. They probably started running to the door or pushed on your leg with their snout to get your attention. 

These types of actions are pretty easy for us to understand. But what about those uncommon gestures?

dog winks

One of the most adorable things a dog can do is wink their eye. No matter what breed it is, that little flick of an eyelid is enough to get any dog lover excited. As humans, we naturally search for the meaning in everything our furry friends do.

Some owners swear on the fact that their dogs are trying to tell them something or express their unique personality. While there's no harm in thinking that way, what's the real reason why dogs wink?

It's All About Eye Contact

The main reason why dogs wink is not because they're trying to be purposefully cute, but because they don't want to fight. Dog don't utilize facial expressions in the same way that humans do. When people speak to one another, eye contact is considered to be respectful and engaging. With dogs, it's a sign of aggression.

Have you ever seen two dogs who don't like each other meet? They'll often stand very still and stare at each other in the eye. This is like a test of dominance. Both dogs are waiting for the other to break the gaze and submit. When this doesn't happen, a fight usually ensues.

Obviously, your dog doesn't want to fight you. However, that instinctive act of staring and what it means to canines is still ingrained in them.

pup making eye contact

When you're talking to your dog in a sweet and loving voice, they may make eye contact and hold it a bit. However, it usually never lasts long, right?

That's because they're submitting to you. This is where that adorable wink comes into play.

The wink is just a way to break the stare and keep the peace. In addition to winking, you may notice that your dog looks down for a brief moment before returning your gaze. Alternatively, they may shift their eyes or look at something behind you.

Human Imitation

Another possible reason why your dog is winking at you is that they're simply mimicking your behavior. Dogs are intelligent creatures that imitate the things they see around them.

Typically, this type of behavior isn't noticeable. It starts out as small things, such as sleeping when you sleep, sitting down when you relax, and running when you run.

However, smaller physical behaviors can also be mimicked, such as winking. If you wink at your dog frequently, they may start to learn that trick all on their own.

dog imitating human

This psychological need to mimic you is actually very beneficial. For one, it makes it much easier to train your dog.

They'll follow your actions to learn how to behave in certain situations. You're like their role model, so they'll follow anything that you do. 

In households with multiple pets, this imitation act is even more noticeable. Young pups will follow the lead of adult dogs.

While not too many people know that dogs are capable of learning new behaviors just by observation, professionals use this trait to their advantage pretty often.

Dogs that are rescued from abusive homes typically experience psychological problems that affect behavior. To help with the healing process, these dogs are exposed to healthy adult dogs. In most cases, the traumatized dog will heal with the assistance of those canine role models.

Possible Health Issues

Unfortunately, those cute winks may also be a sign of some health complications. A genetic condition called entropion is known to cause regular winking and blinking. It's most common among dogs with short noses and "squishy" faces.

Basically, the condition causes the dog's eyelids to flip towards the eye. Needless to say, it's not a comfortable phenomenon at all. Most dogs that suffer from entropion will blink rapidly to alleviate the discomfort.

If you suspect that this may why your dog is winking, it's important to talk with your vet. The only way to truly treat entropion is with surgery. Letting the condition go on for too long can lead to some serious vision problems, so it's crucial to seek professional help as soon as you notice it.

Behavioral Shaping

Winking is a harmless action for healthy dogs. If you enjoy seeing your pup wink at you every day, you can train them to do it more often. Dogs are all about pleasing their owners. So, you can utilize behavioral shaping techniques to encourage action.

It's a relatively simple process. Whenever your pup winks at you, give them plenty of praise and a tasty reward. You can implement a command word as well to help them establish a connection in their brain.

Words like "Wink!" or "Flirt!" are commonly used. If winking is a rare occurrence that you want to see more of, you can encourage the act by tickling the whiskers on one side of their muzzle. When they wink, give your training word and a treat.

Chances are, your dog already knows that you love it when they wink. If you give them praise and attention when they do it, that's a reward all on its own.

Even if you don't supply treats, dogs will feel a sense of accomplishment and joy when you pay attention to them. Before you know it, they'll be winking at you regularly.

Conclusion

While winking is not connected to any significant emotions like it is when humans do it, that doesn't mean that you have to ignore it. Continue to use your imagination and view it as one of your pup's personality quirks.

There's no harm or foul. As long as you're praising your dog and showering them with love, they'll do it just to get a reaction out of you.

thank-you-for-sharing-dog
Related Posts

Why Does My Dog Pee on My Bed?

Squeaky Toys: Why do Dogs Like Squeaky Toys So Much?

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass Frantically?

Why are Huskies so Vocal?

Younger Dog Attacking Older Dog..? 7 Possible Reasons

How to Discipline a Dog Without Hitting & Punishment

How to Make your Dog Howl (w/ Sounds)

How to Dominate a Dog and Become the Alpha Leader…

How to Teach your Dog to Smile

The Reason Why Dogs Hate the Mailman & The Basics of Barking

Do Dogs Like Kisses? Do they Understand & Feel the Affection?

Dog Whistle Training: When to Use it & How to Get a Dog to Listen

What Smells Do Dogs Hate? 10 Scents That Repel Dogs

Why do Dogs Sneeze when they Play?

Why Do Dogs Lay, Sit, & Sleep on your Feet?

Why Do Dogs Lick Each Other’s Ears?

Top 5 Best Indoor Dog Potty Systems

How to Stop a Dog from Pooping in the House ..

How to Tame Prey Drive in Dogs and Stop the Chase!

Dog Won’t Lay Down .. (causes & solution)

Dog Training & Boarding, How Does it Work?

Can Dogs be Autistic? (symptoms & behavior)

Why Do Dogs Bite or Chew Their Nails?

7 Anti Dog Barking Devices – Best Picks To Stop the Noise

French Bulldog Harness – 5 Best Picks for Your Pup

Top 9 Best Wireless Dog Fence Systems (electric & invisible)

7 Best Dog Leash Choices for Running

Top 5 Best Dog Crates for Large Dogs

No Pull Dog Harness – Which is Best for Your Dog?

How Much Attention Does My New Puppy Need?

How to Make a New Puppy Feel Safe and At Home

How to Tell if Your Dog is Happy

How Long do Puppies Sleep a Day? (patterns, habits & places)

My Puppy Pees a Lot…. Why?

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

15 Shares
Share15
Tweet
Pin