Though yawning is a natural response to the body’s needs, sometimes we use it as a trigger for subtle communication. Imagine you and your dog are hanging out at the dog park. You’ve had fun, but it’s time to go. Your dog’s new friends are not ready to see him go, so they keep dragging him out to play. You’ve met new dog owners who want to tell you every trick their pups know, and though it’s exciting to hear all about the skills of other furry friends, you are just ready to go.
If your older dog had a command or a cue, like “Are you tired, Bud?” he could give your captive audience subtle communication that it’s time to go without you needing to explain and get away. When Fido is ready to nap, every dog owner understands.
Training an older dog these new tricks can be a bit of a challenge, but who better to play the tired game than an older pup?