Why Do Dogs Wink? What Does it Mean?

In this conversation, I’m going to explore the interesting topic of why dogs wink.

It’s a behavior that might seem a little puzzling at first, but it holds a lot of meaning in the way dogs communicate.

Dogs have their own unique ways of showing things, just like how we humans have our own expressions.

Understanding Dog Behavior

Dogs communicate in their own language, and much of it happens through the way they move and behave.

Just like when people talk, dogs also talk without words. Their bodies and faces help them say what they’re feeling or what they want.

Significance of Winking in Dogs

Winking is when a dog closes one eye for a moment and then opens it again. It’s different from blinking, which is when both eyes close quickly and then open.

Dogs wink in different situations. Sometimes, they do it when they’re having fun and feeling playful.

Other times, it might mean they’re trying to show they’re not a threat to another dog.

Winking can also happen when a dog is trying to connect with a person or another dog.

Possible Explanations for Dogs Winking

Looking back in time, when dogs were more like wolves, they might have done similar things to Wink.

This behavior could have helped them work well together in their groups.

Another reason dogs wink might be because they’re trying to understand us better. They might notice that we use our faces to show how we feel, so they might be copying us.

Diverse Winking Habits among Dogs

Dogs, just like people, are all a bit different. This means that not all dogs wink in the same way.

There are variations among different types of dogs, called breeds. Some breeds might wink more often than others. Also, how old a dog is matters.

Puppies might wink differently from older dogs. And just like how some people are more outgoing or quiet, dogs have different personalities.

Some might wink more because they’re playful, while others might do it when they’re feeling shy.

What Dog Winks Mean

Understanding what a dog’s winking means can be a bit like solving a puzzle.

Sometimes, it’s helpful to ask experts like veterinarians or animal behaviorists. These are people who know a lot about animals and can help us understand what our furry friends are saying.

Also, winking doesn’t happen all by itself. It’s like a part of a bigger story. Dogs also use other body movements to talk.

So, we need to watch how the dog’s whole body is acting to really get the message.

Addressing Worries

When dogs wink, it’s usually normal and just a way of talking.

But sometimes, winking could be a sign that something is bothering their eyes.

If a dog winks a lot and seems uncomfortable, it’s good to be careful. We should also keep an eye out for any signs that the dog might be in pain or feeling uneasy.

If your dog winks often, especially with the same eye, it might be a sign that something is not quite right.

Dogs might close an eye frequently if they’re in pain, sensitive to light, or feeling uncomfortable.

Another situation that can lead to frequent blinking and a winking appearance is called entropion.

This is a genetic eye problem that affects certain breeds with round faces and short noses, like the Chow Chow.

Similar to humans, dogs blink or wink when something bothers their eyes, like dust, dirt, or hair.

“If you notice any discharge, more blinking than usual (called blepharospasm), redness around the eye, or any injuries, make sure to schedule a visit with your veterinarian promptly,” advises Dr. Conrad.

Overall, winking is a normal and harmless behavior often seen in dogs.

If your dog occasionally winks, it’s not hard to figure out what they might be trying to say.

You might even have fun winking back at them or teaching them to wink on command.

Can Dogs be Taught to Wink by Winking at Them?

According to Dr. Conrad, the answer is a definite Yes! “Teaching dogs to wink is indeed possible.”

However, just like teaching any other trick, winking needs to be encouraged with a reward.

Normally, when introducing a new behavior, a dog is rewarded each time they sit or stay, for example. Over time, they start associating the verbal command “sit” with getting a treat as a reward.

While teaching a wink, it’s important to employ a verbal command along with a physical action like winking, as explained by Dr. Conrad.

Having a dog that can wink on command can be a fun party trick. If your dog naturally winks, it might be relatively easy to teach them.


Dogs wink for various reasons, just like we do things for different reasons. It’s part of how dogs talk to us and each other.

Understanding their winks and other behaviors helps us connect with them better.

Dogs are pretty amazing creatures with their special way of chatting. It’s important that we take good care of them and make sure we understand their unique language.

This way, we can be responsible pet owners and give our furry buddies the best life possible.

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Luke Grayson
By Luke Grayson

I'm Luke Grayson co founder of The Dogs Wiki and dog lover person. Plays the role of content writing and keyword selection with proper research.

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