A recent study was published in Animal Cognition, analyzing the reasons behind why dogs tilt their heads at their owners. This is one of the cutest habits that our furry companions have, but why do they do it?

Researchers have proposed that this habit is a way for dogs to process relevant and meaningful stimuli. This means that dogs tilting their heads might have to do with how they are responding to a memory. Say you ask your dog if they want to go for a walk, and they tilt their head. This may be a reaction that they have in recognition of the work ‘walk.’

The study involved 40 dogs that would take commands from their owners, often being asked to grab a favorite toy. The study showed that canines that had better memory tilted their head more often. Those that did not retain memories as well tilted their head less often.

A 3-month long program that involved teaching certain dogs the names of their toys showed increased memory retention. This also resulted in more head tilting when commands were given.

More research is needed to fully understand why our furry friends tilt their heads so much. But this study has revealed that the most likely cause is them remembering something familiar.

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