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Lizzy in anticipation

Head Tilt

The head tilt of a dog is an adorable feature we humans seem to melt with.  In the case of a puppy, it doesn’t matter what kind of trouble he got himself into, one tilt of the head and a smile is brought to our face and all is forgiven.  
Some speculation includes:
Tilting their heads can make a dog either see or hear better:

There is some thought that although dogs have a keen sense of hearing, they are tilting their heads to hear certain sounds or phrases better.  Psychologist Stanley Coren theorizes that dogs with longer muzzles tilt their heads more often and it is most likely in order to see the person better.  When you think about it, it would be hard to see a person’s whole face if you have a big muzzle.  Tilting their head can aid the dog in seeing the person’s whole face.

am I hearing you right?
In expectation of something:

Tilting the head may be used when a dog is ready for an action to be made by thee human (Like giving a treat, or throwing a ball)

dog ready for play

Lizzy in anticipation

Trying to understand something:

Dogs may tilt their head if they are unsure what you are trying to tell them and they are trying to figure it out.

dog awaiting adoption


Although these are some or the  speculations why dogs tilt their heads, there is no confirmed evidence as to why they do this.   My guess is that they are trying to figure something out.
One thing to be aware of however is that chronic head-tilt may be a sign that something is wrong.  If your pet has chronic head- tilt, he may have an infection of some kind,  vertigo or other ailment.  If this is happening with your dog, be sure to take them to the veterinarian to be checked out.  .  

Project 52-Blog Circle

This post is part of Project 52 which challenges Professional Pet Photographers to focus on a particular topic/assignment each week. There are photographers from all over the world participating.  Follow the next link to view how the next amazing photographer tackles this weeks challenge.  Then follow each link at the end of each blog until you return to me.. Then you have successfully completed our blog circle. Enjoy!

+++++ NOW head over to  Danyel Rogers of Wag to my Heart Photography  and see what makes her subjects’ head-tilt+++++

Come and find your Best Friend!

The dogs above Braydon, Lizzie and Celia are all available for Adoption.

Second Chance has a unique program near Syracuse N.Y. where inmates train the rescued dogs and it gives both the dogs and the inmates a second chance in life.  Come visit Second Chance Canine Shelter.  We are open Saturdays and Sundays 10-2.
Friends of Second Chance Canine Adoption Shelter
6660 E. Seneca Turnpike
Jamesville, NY 13078
Website for Second Chance
Here are some pictures of the dogs at Second Chance that are looking for Homes.

Nancy Kieffer is a photographer serving  the Central New York and Adirondack region and beyond.  Travel assignments welcomed.   If you would like to book a Day in the Life session for your pet, please email me at or call 315-469-8807.   Nancy also offers instruction in photography and Lightroom.