Why Do Dogs Wink At You? Is It Normal?

Why do Dogs Wink at you
Written by Emma Watson

We mostly wink our eyes to convey a signal of affection, greeting, or sometimes as a joke while hiding a secret. So what a winking dog actually wants to convey? Dogs cannot speak, so they convey their messages through their body language, whether it’s their ear or tongue. Pets convey a lot with their eye signals, especially dogs.

If you have ever seen two dogs confronting each other, then you will notice that they make aggressive eye contact, and if one of them breaks it, they will start a fight. Thus, eye-contact is a sign of their aggressiveness, but how it correlates to a wink?

Thankfully, a winking dog is not conveying an aggressive behavior, but this symbolizes his joyful and happy mood. It is normal for dogs to wink at you, and you can wink back as well, but winking is not always the same. There might be some health conditions behind its winking.

Some people confuse the meaning of winking and blinking. Both words totally convey a different meaning. So lets first clarify the definition of winking.

If your dog closes and opens his one eye quickly while other is wide open, then we would call it a Wink.

If your dog quickly closes and opens both eyes, then we would call it “Blinking,” which is common among dogs and is nothing special while Winking is not so common among dogs.

Winking Dog

Why do Dogs Wink?

Dogs wink for many different reasons, but most of these reasons are joyful while others might be disturbing for your pet. If we normally see, then the reason behind a winking dog is its joyful behavior. It indicates that your dog is happy and playful. However, if your dog starts starring at you after a wink, then he might be wanting your attention.

Let’s have a look at some detailed reasons behind winking by categorizing them in two different types:

  • Joyful Reasons
  • Possible Health Issues

Joyful Reasons

Here are some of the joyful reasons that are totally normal, and you don’t have to worry about them at all. Just wink back and share your dog’s joy:

Just Happy:

The dogs do various joyful things to just convey their happiness. If your dog winks at you, then he might be physically and mentally comfortable. Once dogs are happy, they will actively play with their owner. Your pup will jump here and there to just tell you how happy he is. The dogs are eager to play with humans if they are genuinely happy. So next time, if your dog winks at you, then happiness might be their reason.

Human Imitation:

Dogs are really good at imitating other’s behavior. The dogs unknowingly develop this type of behavior, For Example, dogs sit down when you sit, and they sleep when you sleep. These behaviors are developed over time, and once they are made, then it’s difficult to revert them. Mimicking is also very useful when it comes to training your dog.

The dogs will learn faster if they have an imitating behavior. If you have a winking habit and you wink to often with your friends and family, then your dog might try to copy you, and it’s nothing unusual. You can just relax and wink back.

The dogs can have physiological problems if they are in an abusive environment. The dogs are rescued from such homes and are kept in a healthy environment for proper healing.

Seeking Attention:

Pets crave your attention, and they give you various signals, especially when they truly want your attention. They might just wink to grab your attention. You can witness your pet’s wink by tickling the whiskers on the side of muzzles.

If your dog is staring at you, then there are chances that he might be feeling aggressive, or it is just another signal of seeking your attention.

Keep Peace:

If two dogs are confronting each other starring right in the eyes, then most probably, they will start to fight once eye contact breaks, but if one of them winks to the other, then it will symbolize peace.

The dogs also stare humans, but it does not mean that they are going to attack you. Most of the time, they are just seeking attention, but if they wink at you after starting, then it is a symbol of submission and peace.

Health Issues

The reasons behind winking are not always joyful. Your dog might have an eye infection and is just feeling uncomfortable. If there is an underlying eye condition, then you should seek medical assistance.


It is a genetic issue that is common among dogs. The condition is painful and uncomfortable, but its treatment is available.

In this condition, the eyelids of dogs move inward and they rub against each other. The condition starts from a simple itching, but it can form an ulcer with a passage of time. The condition occurs in dogs from different breeds, but the brachycephalic breed is most vulnerable to this condition.

Dry Eyes:

Many pet owners state dry eyes as Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca, just to sound a bit smart.

The KCS conditions occur when the tear glands of your dogs become dry and do not produce the required tears to water the eyes. As a result, the eyes become dry, and your dog might wink or blink uncomfortably. The continuos winking or blinking might occur due to the KCS condition.


It is the opposite condition of dry eyes. If the tear gland of your dog is producing extra tears, then your dog’s eyes will feel watery. The dog might wink or blink to remove excess water from his eyelid.

Such a condition needs immediate treatment; otherwise, it can result in blindness.


Dust or any dirt can irritate the dog’s eye, and they might start blinking or winking their eyes fastly. Dogs sniff a lot, and that’s why sometimes the dust get into their eyes and cause irritation.

There are other severe eye conditions that might be the underlying cause of your dog’s wink. It is recommended to consult your vet if winking or blinking is too constant or if you notice any symptoms.

How To Intentionally Train Your Dog To Wink?

Winking dogs are cute. Aren’t they? If your dog is winking at you, then you might think to train him so that it becomes his permanent habit.

It is possible with the dog’s behavioral shaping training. However, it is not as simple as teaching a dog to sit down or stand up. Dogs develop some habits naturally, while if you are intentionally teaching your dog to wink, then it’s not something they will learn naturally.

Before we actually move to behavioral shaping training, we must use this trick to make our dog wink.

Make Your Dog Wink (Trick):

You can make your dog wink by touching his whiskers at the side of his face. This will automatically make them wink most of the time. In case it does not work, trap their head with your hands on the side of the eye where you want to see them winking.

The dog might close both his eyes, but you can try again and again to train them a little while staying gentle.

Revise The Command:

Now, you know the trick. So, its time to give them a command. Each time you use the winking trick, make sure to give them a command by saying “wink.” Repeat it several times every day and make sure you are saying it at the right time.

Treat Time:

If your dog is doing good while you touch their whiskers or repeat the command, then give them a treat right after their performance. Continue it every day since the winking is normal for your dog.

Discontinue Your Trick:

After a few weeks, stop physically touching your dog and just repeat the command to check if he winks or not. If they wink, then congratulations, your dog is now a trained winker, but if he fails, then no worries, just repeat the previous steps and wait for the final wink.

Questions You Might Have:

Q. Should I Wink Back To My Dog?

Don’t give him a signal of rudeness, just wink back and share his joy. These types of behaviors make your pets more friendly.

Q. Why my dogs wink with his one eye?

The winking is actually done with one eye; it does not matter if it’s left or right eye. If your dog is closing and opening both his eyes, then we would call it a “Blink”.

To Sum Up

Winking is normal and common among dogs, but you should also be aware that winking is too excessive, and you notice something unusual. However, if we normally consider it, then it’s a sign of joy in pets, especially dogs.

Do you wish to make winking a permanent habit of your dog? Or you just want him to reveal his hidden intelligence? Have a look at this Brain Training For Your Dog 

Watch Video Below To Understand About It

let’s unleash his intelligence and amaze your family and friends. Keep Winking! 😉