/Why Do Dogs Sneeze When They’re Excited?

Why Do Dogs Sneeze When They’re Excited?

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You must remember this: A kiss is just a kiss, but a sneeze might be more than just a sneeze. So, why do dogs sneeze when they’re excited? There seem to be two schools of thought on the topic, adding a whiff of controversy to this common behavior.
Still, the fundamental things apply when asking, “Why do dogs sneeze when they’re excited?” Dogs have sensitive noses. And like humans, they sneeze if something irritates the inside of their nose, causing a tickle, then a sneeze from the chest and lungs to expel the offending intruder.
Why do dogs sneeze excited? They’re simply and truly just excited!
Why do dogs sneeze? They’re excited. Photography ©Tatomm | Getty Images.
Why do dogs sneeze when they’re excited? When dogs are in an excited state, they often sneeze more shallowly, emitting a snorting sound caused by a sudden force of breath from the nose.
“These are not sneezes the way we think of a sneeze in people: a respiratory response from deep down,” says Debra Eldredge, DVM. “This is more like a child fooling around and pretending to sneeze.” Such sneezes are a form of canine communication, says the Vernon, New York, veterinarian and author. They happen frequently during play, when dogs naturally get excited. “This can be a ‘remember it is just play’ sound, something to cool things off if they are getting a bit heated. The sneeze communicates that the dogs are playing,” Dr. Eldredge says. “Turid Rugaas was one of the first people to really categorize dog interactions.”
Why do dogs sneeze when they’re excited? It calms them down.
Rugaas wrote the 2006 dog-training manual On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals. In it, the Norwegian author and dog trainer identifies 30 ways dogs communicate with each other — and with humans — through what she calls “calming signals.”
These signals, including sneezes, are a way of calming a situation before it gets too wild. The behaviors are the canine equivalent of social skills, a repertoire of body language and interaction used to communicate many things, including avoidance of conflict and an invitation to play. All dogs understand the code — even those who do not display the behaviors themselves, Rugaas says.
Why do dogs sneeze when they’re excited? They’re playing.
Why do dogs sneeze? They might be playing. Photography ©graphicphoto | Getty Images.
So, “Why do dogs sneeze when they’re excited?” has a simple answer, right? Bruce Fogle, DVM, isn’t buying the above reasoning. “It’s not a signal, calming or otherwise,” says the veterinarian and author who lives in