Yawning is something that humans and dogs have in common. Have you ever noticed that when you yawn, a person in the same room is likely to yawn as well?
Well, it is also a cool trick you can teach your dog to do on command, it’s actually simpler than you would think. Humans and dogs have evolved in close proximity over thousands of years, dogs especially have highly developed senses that pick up subtle and obvious cues as to what their human counterparts are communicating to them.
Verbal and non-verbal cues, as well as reading our body language and facial expressions are all part of how our dogs know what we want. Your dog is constantly looking for your reaction to what they are doing, and how they are behaving.
If you yawn, it does not go unnoticed by your dog.
We all know yawning is contagious amongst us humans, and our best friend is certainly not immune to this contagious behaviour.
Here’s how to make your Dog Yawn on command.
Start by making sure your dog is looking towards you and not distracted or excited. Have a treat on hand, that is not his normal everyday kibble. A treat that your dog would favour. Do not show the treat, but simply look at your dog and let out a yawn.
If your dog yawns on the first attempt great, reward with the treat and associate whatever command you would use in the future to have them yawn on command. You can try yawning several times until your dog finally follows suit, then follow up with a treat and command. As your dog associates yawning with this command and treat, you can slowly remove you having to yawn and simply just the command should be enough. When the trick is mastered you can also remove the treat.
If you are having problems having your dog yawn when you do, here is a different approach:
Dogs will naturally yawn after they have awaken from a nap, sound familiar? Be ready for that moment. Use the same technique of giving a command such as “sleep” or “Sleepy time”, and don’t forget the treat.
Remember to keep your training times short and fun, if your dog is distracted, excited or generally not in a calm state, then it’s not the right time to optimise any learning. Praise your dog with any progress and continue another day if need be.
In no time at all by repeating the process you will really impress all your friends. So will your dog.