Cracking The Canine Winking Code
Have you ever asked your dog a question or taken a selfie with them, only to find them winking at you? Although it would be awesome to know they were just doing it to be funny on demand, that may not be the case. Let’s discuss some reasons for this interesting behavior to help understand why dogs wink.
Your dog could be intentionally winking at you
So this actually can be a form of communication from your pup. Dogs use body language to communicate just like we do. A wink can show playfulness, friendliness, or even submission. For example, if your pup winks at you while playing and their tail is wagging, it could be their way of telling you that they’re having fun. Take notice of their body language when they wink to help you better decipher the nature of it.
Your pup could have irritation or health issues
Another reason why pups may wink is if they have something in their eye. Dogs can experience eye irritation so winking can be a way they try to alleviate the discomfort. Forms of this could include having dry eyes or debris like dust or hair irritating them. They could also have an eye infection so it’s important to watch the nature of why they are winking so you can get them prompt attention from your vet.
Your dog may be closing an eye because they’re wiped
Pups may also wink when they’re tired or sleepy. Have you ever noticed if your dog winks more after they have exercised or had a long day? Winking can be a sign that they’re ready to snooze!
Dogs can be trained to wink
Sometimes, pups are trained to wink as a way to signal that they’ve completed a task or to show you they’re ready to receive a reward. Service dogs are frequently trained to communicate with their handlers through specific gestures, so this could include winking. So you could train your pup to wink!
Certain breeds may wink more
Certain breeds may be more prone to winking or squinting due to their physical characteristics. Brachycephalic breeds (like pugs and bulldogs) often have prominent eyes that require more blinking or squinting. Your dog may need checked for entropion if your dog is consistently winking or pawing at their eyes. This is a condition where they have inward rolling of their eyelids and can cause pain and damage.
Your dog might be trying to imitate you
Your dog could actually be copying you if you wink a lot. Dogs mimic and take on some behaviors from their dog mom or dog dads, so winking could be one of their traits of choice to copy you on.
Did you notice any similar trends with these reasons of why dogs wink? Lots of pups can wink for the same reason you do! It can have various meanings so it’s important to pay attention to their body language and behavior to help you understand the context of their winking. If you are noticing excessive winking or your pup looks like their eye is irritated or they appear in pain, it’s a good idea to have your pup evaluated by a veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
Or, they could just be winking at that cutie from the dog park ;)
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