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You've probably seen a dog tilt its head in response to a weird noise
or something you said.
It's super cute, but why do they do it?
Well, the answer's not entirely clear,
and there hasn't been any peer-reviewed research about it.
But a couple scientists hypothesize that head-tilting might help dogs see and hear us better.
One popular idea comes from a 2013 blog posted by a psychologist named Stanley Coren,
who studies dogs and their behaviors, among other things.
He thinks that puzzled tilt means a dog is trying to see you better.
When you speak to someone, dog or otherwise,
you express a lot of emotion with the lower half of your face.
And according to a small 2015 study,
it seems like our canine companions can tell the difference
between facial expressions that show emotion, like happiness or anger.
But a dog with a bigger muzzle might not be able to see your smile or frown clearly,
so Coren suggests that tilting helps them get a better view.
He tested this idea by surveying 582 dog owners online,
asking them to describe about their dog's breed or head shape,
then to rate how frequently their dogs do the head tilting thing.
The data were split into two groups.
One was brachycephalic dogs with flatter faces like pugs.
And the other was a mix of mesaticephalic dogs with medium muzzles like beagles
and dolichocephalic dogs with long noses like greyhounds.
In Coren's survey, 71% of owners of bigger-muzzled dogs reported that
their pups “frequently,"“most of the time,” or “always” tilt their heads when spoken to,
as opposed to only 52% of owners of smaller-muzzled dogs.
That, he says, is a statistically significant difference.
But 52% is still a lot of dogs, so this probably isn't the whole story.
A psychologist who runs a dog cognition lab named Alexandra Horowitz thinks that
dogs could be trying to hear us better with those sideways looks.
Specifically, she thinks they're tilting their heads to adjust the floppy parts of their ears,
called pinnae, to get a better sense of where sounds are coming from.
A third take from a dog trainer named Steven Lindsay is that dogs tilt their heads because
one part of their brain is involved in both listening and body language.
We think a region called the nucleus ambiguous
controls a dog's head movements, as well as the muscles in a dog's middle ear
that help it perceive subtly different sounds.
So Lindsay suggests that when your pup is listening,
it can't help but show you with its body too.
We don't really know how accurate any of these guesses are,
but we do know that dogs tilting their heads is real cute.
So to any animal psychologists out there: round up some puppies, do some research,
and post more of these adorable videos online... for science!
Thanks for asking, and thanks especially to all of our patrons on Patreon
who keep these answers coming.
If you'd like to submit questions to be answered, or get some videos a few days early,
go to patreon.com/scishow.
And don't forget to go to youtube.com/scishow and subscribe!
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為什麼狗要歪頭? (Why Do Dogs Tilt Their Heads?)

12853 分類 收藏
Leo 發佈於 2017 年 7 月 14 日   Leo 翻譯   Ann 審核

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