Some dogs are smarter than others; and a new study finds that dogs who learn the names of their toys will tilt their heads, when they hear their person request a toy.

Study co-author Shany Dror says only the smartest dogs they looked at could learn the names of multiple toys.  And they exhibited the head tilt, when their people asked for a toy by name.  It suggests that there’s an association between head-tilting and “processing relevant and meaningful stimuli” – that’s information or activity.

The experts say we still do not have a full understanding of why or when head-tilting happens with our dogs.  But a study like this is the first step in the direction of showing how the behavior could be related to the presence of “meaningful and salient auditory stimuli for the dog.”

Bark up this tree, for more:  (EurekAlert!)

  • A study finds that among the smartest dogs that know the names of multiple toys, head-tilting could indicate the animal is “processing relevant and meaningful stimuli” but add that this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of research on when and why dogs tilt their heads
More about: