MY DOGUE DE BORDEAUX COCKS HIS HEAD

MY DOGUE DE BORDEAUX COCKS HIS HEAD

 

Okay seriously, is this face not utterly and completely lovable?! “I do not know what it is, but whenever my Dogue de Bordeaux cocks his head – I melt”. So says every sincere Dogue de Bordeaux owner who has ever lived. Have you ever wondered though why our canines make this movement?

 

 

 

The Better To Hear You

Dogs don’t start off life cocking their heads to get our approval. It is actually an extremely practical thing for them to do. Tilting the head to the side puts one of the ears up and forward. By turning an ear in the direction of fuzzy or inaudible sounds, dogs are able to hear a little more clearly. Genius!

We often forget how confusing human speech can be for dogs. Even though our Dogues de Bordeaux may understand some words, most of our conversation is just a blur of sound to them. That’s why they usually just ignore it. Given this fact, I find it so amazing that our fur babies can tell simply from our body language and eye movements when we’re saying things that concern them. That is how perceptive they are! Once something attracts their interest, they’ll often perk up their ears and tilt their heads slightly in order to figure out what’s going on.

An interesting fact is that our Dogues de Bordeaux rarely cock their heads when sounds are coming from the sides, since their ears are already in prime hearing position. They mainly do it when people are in front of them, since the sound waves aren’t traveling directly toward the ears, explains Emily Weiss, curator of behavior and research at Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas.

 

Age Is A Factor

You’ll see puppies cock their heads more than older dogs. It’s not that puppies have more trouble hearing mind you. They just haven’t been around us long enough to figure out what’s important and what isn’t. So they respond to almost any sound with a little head-cock, especially when we’re looking at them at the same time. Your Dogue de Bordeaux puppy knows something interesting is happening, and he doesn’t want to miss a thing.

my dogue de bordeaux cocks his head

 

Natural Limitations

The way a Dogue de Bordeaux’s ears are designed may play some role in why they cock their head as much as they do. Pricked-up ears may be more efficient than other ear shapes, since sound waves can go right in. Floppy ears present a problem for our Dogues. The sound waves have to pass through a big, heavy earflap before reaching the eardrum. This may not make a HUGE difference, but the heavier/longer a ear hangs, the harder the dog may have to work to hear what’s being said.

“The inside of a dog’s ear is shaped like a cup,” Weiss adds. This design allows the ears to scoop in sound waves-but only when the opening is unencumbered.

When dogs cock their heads, gravity pulls one of the earflaps away from the adutitory canal. Essentially, this opens the “cup” and allows more sound to flow in.

 

The Better To See You

Head cocking also helps our Dogue de Bordeaux see a little better. Unlike humans, who generally see things more clearly the closer they are, dogs do not see well at all when things are less than a few feet away. Therefore, when you are right next to your Dogue and he’s cocking his head, he may be trying to bring you into focus. I guess we could liken it to when we squint.

 

It Is Cute, Still…

Your Dogue de Bordeaux shouldn’t be doing it ALL the time. When he is, he may need some extra help to hear.

Speak in a higher tone of voice. Sound frequency is one way dogs decide what’s worth listening to. Pitching your voice upward will get your Dogue’s attention and let him know that he needs to listen carefully to what you’re about to say.

Stand where he can see you. Standing in front of your Dogue will allow him to watch your face, eyes, posture and body movements while you talk. Even if he isn’t hearing clearing, he’ll be able to gather a lot of information from your body language about what you are trying to tell him.

Check for an ear infection. A Dogue de Bordeaux who tilts or shakes his head constantly may have an ear infection. Use a flashlight to check for redness or discharge. If the ear looks irritated, he needs treatment.

 

THANKS FOR READING! -Diana