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Sighs. We know them and either love it or hate it because sighs can hold different meanings. Sighs express frustration. It can also express relief and with humans, it’s easy to spot the differences in sighs.

If only it were that easy to communicate with and understand our dogs. Can we understand dogs based on their sighs? When it comes to dogs and their sighs, what do they mean?

In this blog post, we review current knowledge of dog sighs. Let’s explore this together!

Why do dogs sigh?

It comes as no surprise that dogs sigh to express emotion. Understanding the sighs is in the hands of you, the dog’s human parent, and it’s suggested to observe their routines, body language, and behavior surrounding the sighs. describes it as “an emotional signal terminating an action. More simply put, sighing acts as a sort of period at the end of a dog's unspoken sentence. Determining what exactly that may mean requires a little patience and attention to your pooch's body language.”

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Do all dogs sigh?

This question we couldn’t find an answer to, but we do know that there will be dogs who sigh frequently and there will be dogs who don’t sigh frequently. Each dog has their own uniqueness and temperament about them.

Example Scenarios of Dogs Sighing

Trying to think back on memories and recall if your dog has ever sighed? Maybe these scenarios might jog your memory:

  • You and your dog spent the day at a dog park. They had the chance to run around with other dog friends and the two of you played a bit of catch in the field. You get home, shower, and snuggle up in bed with your fur baby for an afternoon nap. When they get comfy, you hear a deep breath - an exhale, a sigh. They’re content and ready to snooze after a long day.
  • You spent the day at the office much to your dog’s disapproval. They would rather have you home at all times! After your shift, you come home and your dog is excited and energized about your arrival. You sit down on the couch to take your shoes off and turn on the TV. Your dog is sitting at your feet with their head on your lap. Their tail is wagging and you hear them let out a sigh. This is your dog happy and pleased to have you around. Think of it as a sound of gratitude. 

What’s the long story short?

It’s common for dogs to sigh, and when they do, they’re typically communicating positive emotions along the lines of satisfaction, contentment, happiness, etc.

Should I ever be concerned about my dog’s sighs?

Pay attention to the sound of your dog’s sighs. If it ever turns into wheezing or sounds of respiratory distress, it may not be a sigh but an indication of a health issue. In this case, consult with your trusted local veterinarian. If your dog’s sighs are paired with signs of discomfort, also consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

This is just a sampling of tips and informational posts we offer at Joyride Harness. You can find more content including tips and tricks and how-tos for caring for your dog on our blog in this section.

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