Main Reasons Why Dogs Sigh?

Main Reasons Why Dogs Sigh?

Author WDF Staff


Dogs communicate in different ways. They use their whole bodies and a wide variety of sounds to express their needs and emotions. One of the ways they will achieve that is by sighing. If you are a dog owner and you noticed your dog sighing, you probably stopped and wondered, “Why do dogs sigh?” or “What does sighing mean?”

Dog sighing is just one of the ways they tend to do express their emotions. Dogs can also grunt, bark, growl, and whine. Unfortunately, dogs cannot speak (but how cool would that be?!), so they have to use other methods to communicate. Here is what you should know about why dogs sigh.

Why do dogs sigh?

Unfortunately, the sigh alone can be interpreted differently. It can have different meanings. Even the most experienced dog behaviorists, owners, breeders, and vets cannot be entirely sure what the sigh means. The best way to determine what a sigh means is to look at other signals your dog is displaying. That means you should focus on the entire body language. Dog behaviorists believe there are two main reasons dogs sigh, although that is not entirely confirmed.

dog laying in grass

Sigh of pleasure

Dog behaviorists believe that a sigh combined with half-closed eyes and fully relaxed bodies mean pleasure and satisfaction. If you notice your dog is enjoying your time together or you are taking a nap together on the sofa and your dog sighs, it is a sign of enjoyment and satisfaction. The dog is fully relaxed, and they will sigh because they are thoroughly enjoying themselves.

Sigh of disappointment

The second type of dog sigh is combined with laying on the floor and having their paws in front of them. That usually happens if a dog expects some playtime, walks, or treats they are not receiving. The dog will lay on the floor and let out a disappointed sigh, indicating they are not too happy about a situation. Still, they won’t make too much of a fuss about it. It is their way of coming to peace with a situation that hasn’t developed in their favor.

Do puppies sigh?

Dogs will start communicating from the day they are born. Puppies are learning how the world works, who their mother is, and where they can get some food when they are hungry. If you notice puppies sighing and communicating, there is a lot to uncover there. Again, we can never be too sure about why puppies sigh. It is vital to keep an eye on their entire body language.

Puppies can let out a slow, soft sigh while they are close to their mothers or breeders. That is believed to be a sigh of pleasure and satisfaction. If they have eaten and are ready to take a nap, the puppy will let out a sigh that lets you know they are happy and satisfied, and their bellies are full. If we may add, it is one of the cutest sounds you can ever expect to hear.

sad pug

Puppies can sigh when they are being petted by their breeder. They will develop a bond with their breeder as well as their mother. From the moment they are born, puppies will enjoy signs of affection humans are giving them. Petting is one of the clearest and most endearing signs humans can show them. At that moment, a puppy can sigh, and it will be a sigh of satisfaction.

Another type of sighs exists in puppies and younger dogs. The “tired sigh.” If you just finished a long walk or a tiring game of fetch, your puppy or dog can lay down and let out a tired, long sigh. Dog behaviorists and owners believe it is a clear sign of tiredness. Your dog just spent a decent amount of energy, and they will benefit from some rest and alone time. They are tired and need to recuperate their spent energy. Let your dog have a rest and make sure they aren’t bothered.

Another way dogs communicate their needs and wishes is by whining. Check out this article for more info - Why do dogs whine?

Reacting to your dog sighing

Like with any other dog behavior type, dog owners should know how to react to different kinds of sighs. Some dog sighs can signal positive emotions, and others might not be so positive. Suppose your dog expects a treat every time you enter the kitchen. In that case, it is a type of behavior that should not be encouraged. Giving your dog too many treats can be bad for them and eventually lead to obesity.

Obesity is a massive problem in the US. More than 55% of American dogs are overweight, and obesity will shorten a dog’s life for 2 years. If you want to know more, check out this article - Obesity in dogs.

black lab laying

Positive sighs of pleasure and satisfaction are nothing to worry about. Your dog is already exhibiting signs they are pleased with their situation. That is the goal of all responsible owners; making sure their dog is happy and satisfied. You can encourage that behavior by petting and giving your dog a small treat; just make sure it is not too often.

In conclusion

Dogs are very communicative, and some breeds more than others. Breeds like Shiba Inu are very vocal, and they will quickly let you know how they’re feeling. Keep in mind that sighs alone can be challenging to understand. Still, if you look at their entire body language, you can easily determine what your dog wants or needs. In the meantime, enjoy listening to the adorable sound of your dog sighing.

World Dog Finder team

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