If your Golden Retriever tilts its head sometimes, this post will show you a number of possible reasons why it might do it.
So, why does my Golden Retriever tilt its head? Possible reasons are that it is trying to hear better, to see better, it is dizzy or injured, it’s curious or that you have inadvertently reinforced the behavior.
There are actually a number of different reasons why your Golden Retriever might be doing it. Fortunately, there are also a number of things that you can consider that will help you in figuring out the exact cause.
Why your Golden Retriever tilts its head
Below, I will show you a number of reasons why it might tilt its head and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.
To improve its hearing
Golden Retrievers have very good hearing and it is not necessary for them to tilt their heads in order to hear things. However, tilting their head may help them to single out phrases that are important to them such as when you are telling it to come for food (source). This could be the reason that it tilts its head when you’re talking to it.
To see better
Golden Retrievers tend to have reasonably large muzzles and it could be the case that it tilts its head in order to see better. This would be more likely if it does it when looking at things lower than it or something in the distance but less likely when looking at something higher.
Dizziness or injury
The reason that it does it could be that it is dizzy or it is injured. This would be more likely if it tilts its head repeatedly, it has been showing other signs of being dizzy or injured or it does it at unusual times (source). If you think that dizziness or injury is the cause then it would help to take your Golden Retriever to a vet to get expert help.
You have positively reinforced it
The cause might be that you have inadvertently encouraged it to do it by giving it things that it wants when it does it. This would be more likely if you tend to give it things such as attention, toys or treats when it does it.
You’re being emotional
Sometimes, Golden Retrievers and other dogs will tilt their heads when they are unsure of what is going on or confused. If your Golden Retriever tilts its head when you are being emotional with it then it would be more likely that it is tilting its head because it does not know what is happening.
Golden Retrievers will normally be very responsive to their owner’s emotions. When interacting with your Golden Retriever it would help to be calm with it and to use positive reinforcement training to get it to behave the way that you want.
It is curious
Sometimes, Golden Retrievers will also tilt their heads when they are curious about something. This would be more likely to be the reason if your Golden Retriever does it in situations such as when someone is at the door or if someone is interacting with it but in a way that it does not understand.