What Does it Mean When Your Dog Winks at You? (2023)

Most dog owners find this adorable quirk to be a bit puzzling. It’s hard to know whether your dog is trying to communicate with you or if they just have an itchy eye.

The answer, experts say, is that they wink as a form of facial mimicry. This is similar to how we humans yawn when we want to communicate to others.

It’s a submissive gesture

Dogs have developed their own unique way of communicating with each other, and winking is one of the most common examples. It can be intentional or reflexive, and is an important sign of submission to your dog.

You might think that the eye squinting behavior is a sign of illness or discomfort, but it’s actually a normal response to bright lights or sudden movements. It’s also a way to protect their eyes from injury or irritation.

When a dog shows submissive gestures, they typically lower their heads and close one eye as a signal of respect. They may also expose their neck.

This is a variation of the submissive bow or hunch that wolves used to communicate with their packs in the wild. It’s also a good idea to learn the meaning behind your dog’s body language so that you can better understand what they’re trying to say.

It’s a sign of happiness or peace

Just like humans, dogs have a natural ability to make facial expressions. Some of these expressions are subtle, like a smile or laugh, while others can be quite flashy.

One such behavior is winking, which consists of closing only one eye. It’s a sign that your dog is happy or peaceful.

This behavior may also be a submissive gesture, which means they are acknowledging you as the leader of the pack.

In other situations, winking can indicate a problem with your pet’s eyes. It can be caused by irritants, such as dust and debris, in their eyes.

Another reason why a dog winks at you is if they are trying to imitate your behavior. They are natural copycats, so this behavior can help them learn your language better.

It’s a sign of eye problems

Winking is a submissive gesture that dogs do to show respect for their masters or anyone else they consider alpha. It may also be a sign of affection or happiness.

However, it can be a warning signal that something is wrong with the dog’s eyes. Frequent winking, especially with the same eye, can be a sign of pain or light sensitivity.

Some dogs are more prone to eye problems than others. Bulldogs, pug mixes, and those who have short noses or brachycephalic faces, for example, are prone to eye conditions like entropion.

This condition happens when the upper eyelid flips inward towards the lower one, causing irritation and discomfort. It is often a genetic eye problem and needs to be treated as soon as possible to prevent serious problems. It can also lead to blindness and ulcerated corneas. If you notice your dog winking excessively, be sure to schedule an appointment with a veterinarian to find out what is going on.

It’s a sign of submission

One of the most common reasons dogs wink at you is because it is a submissive gesture. It’s a way to break a stare and to show that they don’t want any trouble with you.

This is similar to a dog showing appeasement gestures such as licking their lips or yawning. These behaviors are also used by dogs to let others know they’re in peace with them.

In the wild, dogs form packs based on dominance. In this system, the weakest pups in the pack show submission to the stronger ones in the hierarchy.

When a top dog growls at a lower rank pup, the latter will blink to show they’re in compliance.

It’s a very subtle behavior, but it can tell a lot about how your dog feels about you. It can be a sign of trust or aggression, depending on how they interpret the situation.

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Author: Foster Heidenreich CPA

Last Updated: 18/08/2023

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