Beagles may yawn because they are feeling sleepy or tired, just like humans do. However, our habits and intentions behind it can be different from animals.
Yawning is such a simple act, yet you will be surprised at why dogs do it.
All the reasons listed in this article are essential for all dog owners. It will help you understand your dog’s mood. Whether they yawn because they feel stressed or nervous, knowing ‘why’ will improve your communication and the entire relationship.
6 Reasons Why Beagle May Yawn
Your Beagle has many reasons for yawning, which we will get into detail. The most important thing for any owner to know is that it is essentially an involuntary reflex. Humans do it too, and we find it hard to control them in social situations.
You cannot stop your dog from yawning just as much as you cannot stop yourself from yawning as well.
Let’s take a look at the major reasons why your Beagle yawns:
Beagles are an energetic breed. They need a lot of exercise and playtime. Running around at the park or just a routine exercise is bound to make them tired. When your dog yawns, it means they are tired and sleepy. They need a goodnight’s sleep.
Dogs can experience exhaustion and grogginess if they have spent a long day in motion. Same as us, they yawn to tell us that they need to sleep.
Moreover, yawning helps stretch the jaw. It eases the tensed muscles around the face and neck. It improves blood flow and cools the brain and body. When dogs yawn, the intake of oxygen is deeper than “normal” breathing. It improves blood flow and cools the brain and body. The air that enters is cold; it cools the spinal fluid and the blood in the brain.
So, if your dog yawns at night or when extremely tired, it is because they want to sleep.
2. Stress or Anxiety
This may come as a surprise, but dogs yawn when they feel stressed. Humans have a few habits like tapping their feet that show they are anxious. On the other hand, dogs resort to yawning their way through stress.
Other symptoms can accompany the yawning like wide eyes, flattened ears, lip-licking, and tensed-up muscles. They will pace, whine, and lick as well. These are all signs of discomfort.
Dogs might yawn at obedience class, training, or at the vet’s clinic because they are anxious. If they don’t like being around children, strangers, or specific environments, they are feeling uncomfortable.
Even during training, they come to an understanding that you want them to do something. If they fail to do so, they know they can expect some form of punishment which makes them anxious.
You have to try to remove them from stressful situations and help them calm down. You can take them outside, give them treats and pettings.
Make sure your voice is soothing and calm throughout.
This will contradict our previous point, but it is nevertheless, true. Beagles yawn when they are excited.
Yawning helps your dog prepare their body for motion. The intake of oxygen is more. Especially sporty dogs will yawn when they engage in an exciting activity.
They also yawn when you get ready to take them out for a walk. If you take longer than usual, their yawn means they are getting impatient. They cannot wait to go out and explore.
Such excitement can become overwhelming for them. In addition to our previous point about stress, they can get worked up because of excitement. It becomes difficult for them to manage.
Playing fetch and running through sprinklers is exciting for your dog. Yawning is a way for them to control their enthusiasm.
When you pet them, they become excited that you are paying them attention.
In such cases, their yawning is not a sign of sleepiness or boredom.
4. Avoid Conflicts
When dogs meet other dogs, new and old, they yawn to show that they mean truce. They mean no harm and want to seem non-threatening. When other dogs are aggressive, your dog might yawn. They want to establish that they want to avoid any upcoming conflicts or fights.
It acts as a calming signal, a form of placation.
If you are mad at them for some reason, they will try to calm you down by yawning.
This can be a good way for you to know their boundaries while playing with others. It can also indicate their level of discomfort.
We have minimal proof that dogs match their owner’s yawn. However, there is no doubt that yawns are contagious. If they yawn, it means they have empathy for someone.
And, if they yawn after you yawn, it represents their bond to you. It means they love you.
The last two points prove that yawning can mean that they feel comfortable with you. They mean no harm and use it as a symbol of harmony with you and other dogs.
Yawning is a form of communication for dogs. They are trying to tell you they are stressed or sleepy, or excited.
Situations where Beagles might yawn
There are lots of circumstances where your dog will start yawning. All of them mean something and help you read the situation:
- During training, your dog might find all the commands tiring. They can become bored or stressed. To indicate their situation and deal with the frustration, your dog will yawn. You have to understand this and lower the intensity. Change your approach and give them a mental break. Your dog might be confused about the commands. They are aware they have to do something but have no clue what it is. In such cases, you need to reduce the pressure of the situation.
- Grooming can be uncomfortable for dogs which can lead them to yawn their way through baths. They will not be thrilled about what we ask of them.
- If your dog is in a new environment, it will feel uncomfortable. Adapting can be difficult for some dogs.
- While visiting the vet, they yawn to indicate their nervousness and anticipation.
- They will yawn after waking up because they feel lazy and groggy. The same occurs before they go to sleep.
- Beagles are prone to separation anxiety. If left alone for long periods, they will become anxious. As we already mentioned, Beagles will yawn when they are stressed.
- You can catch them yawning after long walks and play sessions.
- As we all know, they are likely to yawn if you or someone else nearby does.
Should there be any worries?
If your dog yawns an average amount, there is no need to worry. They have a reason, and all you need is to identify them and respond suitably.
However, if they are yawning excessively, it means they are either stressed or anxious. It would be best if you found a way to distract them and brighten their mood. Their discomfort will indicate their anxiety. Make your dog step away and soothe them.
Yawning at home might mean that you might need to evaluate your home for triggers. It can be the new environment, new pets, children always wanting to hug them, closed space in kennels, or even the presence or absence of a specific person.
Unfamiliar noises can also play a contributing factor.
We recommend you visit your vet if you catch them yawning excessively.
The crucial aspects we have discussed explain the different reasons your Beagle yawns.
Your dog might feel nervous, stressed, excited, sleepy, or confused. Yawning is the way they communicate to indicate what they are feeling and going through.
While it is normal, you still need to observe what is happening at the moment. It will help you recognize what they are feeling.
If you notice an increase in the frequency of their yawns, it is better to consult a vet.
Well, now it is time for us to catch some zzz’s ourselves. Share the article if you found it helpful and informative. Comment and let us know your feedback.
Dr. Aram Baker has been with Santa Clarita Animal Hospital since 1995 and his special interests include behaviour medicine and dermatology. He graduated from the Cleveland Humanities Magnet Program in Reseda, CA and attended California State University at Northridge where he received a Bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to pursue his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He also spent time in the zoological medicine department at U.C. Davis during his Junior and Senior years. He is dedicated to caring for all pets big or small, young or old with compassion, patience, kindness, and love.