What do Treats, Food, Cheese and Bye-Bye have in Common?

My husband posed the question “Why do dogs tilt their heads from side-to-side when you ask them a question?” Given the dismal economy, roller coaster-riding stock market and less than encouraging news all around, I was happy to delve into the deep-seated meaning of the doggy head cock. I thought it would be a Wiki-quick answer. Over 20 websites and blogs later, here’s what I found. Some dogs, such as Spaniel Parker, have pendulous (meaning hanging down loosely) ears that obstruct sounds. Short story: Sound waves get muffled by their thick ears. The dog has to cock his/her head so that sound waves can pass through their big, heavy ear flap before reaching their eardrums. I also learned that high-pitched sounds get their attention because they resemble the noises made by traditional prey such as rabbits or chipmunks. I believe all of this. But, I also believe that dogs quickly learn to interpret words that have meaning to them. Parker’s favorites are food, treats, cheese and bye-bye. Just say any one of these words and he is yours. Anyone have any other words that drive your dog or dogs to frenzied happiness?

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7 Responses to “What do Treats, Food, Cheese and Bye-Bye have in Common?”

  1. Sandy Pope Says:

    OMG…that is just too cute! I don’t know if I have ever seen Parker tilt his head like that before! That is very interesting info! Izzy tilts her head sometimes…Baylea never has! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Sandy Pope Says:

    Ooops, forgot…words that set them off are “do you want to go for a ride” or “do you want to go outside”!

  3. parkermblog Says:

    Baylea must have a keen sense of hearing! I’ll have to teach Parker “do you want to go outside” before he comes to visit. Thanks for sharing. Great to hear from you!

  4. Kaylynn Says:

    That is so cute! He is just precious. And Rhett’s word is Birds but treats and go for a ride are good. Scarlett is treats and go outside.

  5. parkermblog Says:

    “Birds!” Too funny. I found this $5 toy at Walgreen’s that chirps like a bird. Of course, Parker chewed through it in one day. I’ll check to see if they have another. I bet Rhett would love it.

  6. Shelley Corson Says:

    I tested this out on our dogs, having seen Parker tilt his head, and not remembering if mine do (they do not have the big floppy ears) and I could not get a good tilt, though I’m going to keep watching for it. My dogs (both large muts) perk up at the word “treat” but go crazy when they here “GO”!

  7. parkermblog Says:

    Isn’t that funny! They learn words that have meaning to them. I should have used the word “go.” Bye bye is a little odd. But, that’s what I called it, when he was a puppy. So, it stuck.

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