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You’re busy doing some things around the house when suddenly, you have to sneeze! You let it out and then your dog goes crazy or runs to you!
Sneezing seems like a normal thing that many animals and humans do, but your dog might react differently. You might find yourself thinking, “Why does my dog get excited when I sneeze?”
There are many different reasons as to why your dog gets excited or runs away when you sneeze. Some of those reasons include being worried for you, being startled, feeling curious, and even simply because you are encouraging the behavior. This behavior is also usually nothing to worry about.
There are many things that our dogs do that may seem unusual to us. Let’s take a closer look at the reasons already mentioned along with some other reasons as to why your dog gets excited when you sneeze.
Reason 1: Your Dog Is Confused
Some things that we humans do all the time might seem as strange to our dogs just as our dogs’ behavior might seem strange to us.
Your dog might get excited or run to you when you sneeze because they are confused. They might be confused about the sound you made by sneezing, where it came from, or why it happened.
When we hear a new and sudden sound, we are also confused, wondering what the sound was and where it came from. Your dog may find your sneeze unusual and are probably left feeling a little confused
Feeling a little confused can cause your dog to get riled up and excited. They may start to wander around trying to look for what the noise was or they might run over to you to get a better look at why you made that noise!
Reason 2: Your Dog Is Worried About You
Usually, if your dog is still a puppy, it is likely that they have never heard you sneeze before.
As mentioned previously, your sneeze is a new and strange sound that your pup might not have heard before. Just as if you heard someone you know make an unusual sound, you might be concerned and ask them if they’re feeling alright, your dog might get excited or run to you because they are worried about you.
Dogs are very loyal and caring creatures. If your treat them with love and care, they will try to return the favor the best they can. Even with something as small as a sneeze may be enough to cause your dog to show concern.
Interestingly, some breeds are known to be more loyal than others. For example, Rottweilers are known to be very loyal to one person and pit bulls can be very protective.
Loyalty is different both by breed and by the individual. From guarding backyards to checking out if you’re okay after a sneeze, it’s no wonder why dogs are known for their loyalty.
Reason 3: Your Dog Is Startled
Sneezing comes suddenly to the one doing the sneezing and those who are around them. While sneezing can be uncontrollable sometimes, it can also be startling.
Your dog might get excited when you sneeze because the sound startled them. You might also notice your dog coming towards you afterwards for the same reason.
If your dog is in the mood to play, sudden movements might trigger their energy and zoomies. Your movement when you sneeze might bring out that burst of energy for your dog and get them all excited. The little startling could be compared to the starting pistol during a race for runners.
Your dog might also run to you if they are startled. This may be because they find comfort in being near you. Similar to loyalty, our dogs seek comfort from us because we give them love and attention. We make sure they always feel safe.
If this is the case, your dog might lay on top of you if you are laying down when you sneeze or simply stay near your side for a short while after they are startled.
Reason 4: Your Dog Thinks You Want To Play
As mentioned in the previous reason, your dog might have the zoomies after you sneeze if they were in the mood to play. However, there might be another reason for your dog to get excited that’s related to playing.
Your dog might get excited when you sneeze because they think you want to play with them.
While your sneeze may be strange to your pup sometimes, sneezing is not uncommon for dogs. You might have noticed your dog sneezing when playing with other dogs.
Dogs use sneezing as a way to show that their wrestling and other actions are all just for play and that they mean no harm.
Check out this video of two dogs sneezing and snorting while playing:
Reason 5: Your Dog Is Stressed Or Anxious
Sudden noises can be frightening to any creatures, even to humans. Loud noises aren’t any better for your dog either, especially since they have better hearing than humans.
Your dog might appear to get excited after you sneeze because they are stressed or anxious by the sound. You might also notice your dog running to you after because, like mentioned before, they look to you for comfort since you make them feel safe.
Puppies are often anxious about new experiences. Like with human babies, they do not know much about the difference sights and sounds that we find common in our daily lives.
If you think your puppy is feeling a little stressed or nervous, try helping them learn that these things aren’t that scary. By comforting them and giving them treats when facing something frightening to them, they will realize that life can be fun and the world has so many different things to explore!
Reason 6: Your Dog Wants To Comfort You
Everyone has a different sneeze! Some people sneeze and you won’t notice it, while others sneeze and the whole building will know!
Sneezing can sound painful sometimes and your dog might take notice. The sound combined with the sudden jerking of the body can surprise your dog.
Your dog might get excited and run to you after you sneeze because they want to comfort you.
When you sneeze, your dog might think that you are hurt or injured in some way. Your dog can be very loyal that they might run to you to see if you are okay or to make you feel better.
Reason 7: Your Dog Is Curious
Dog owners will often call their dogs their babies. That’s because they we take care of them like they are our kids but also because they can act very much like human children!
Your dog might get excited when you sneeze because they are curious.
Dogs are very curious creatures like human kids. When you sneeze, they might wonder what that strange noise you made meant or where it even came from. They like finding different things, especially with their ears and nose.
Often times, dogs will feed their curiosity through sniffing different things including the air or the ground. Other times, they may use their ears and stare.
If your dog is curious about the sound of your sneeze, you might notice their ears twitching or them turning their heads back and forth to get a better listen. They’ll be surprised to find out that the strange sound they heard actually came from you!
Reason 8: You’re Encouraging The Behavior
It might sound strange, but your dog does almost everything to make you happy!
Your dog might get excited when you sneeze simply because you encourage the behavior.
Positive reinforcement is the conditioning of rewarding after a specific behavior. It is most often used in training dogs. For example, when training a dog to sit, you say the command, “sit,” and then give the dog a treat right after they sit. Sitting is the behavior and the treat is the reward.
In the case of you sneezing, getting excited is the behavior and attention is the reward. If you give your dog a lot of attention and rile them up after you sneeze, they might see that getting excited is what you want them to do.
How to Help Your Dog Not Be Scared When You Sneeze Or Cough
While sneezing and coughing may seem like two different things, they might cause the same reaction from your dog. Coughing is also a sudden noise that could frighten your dog.
If you notice that your dog gets scared and frightened when you sneeze or cough, there are some ways you can help your dog get over this fear.
As mentioned before, you can train your dog through positive reinforcement. After you sneeze or cough, you can give your dog a treat or some extra love just for being there when it happened.
Gradually, when your dog starts to get more comfortable around your sneezing or coughing, you can give your dog the reward less and less until they realize that sneezing and coughing is nothing to be worried about.
If you notice that your dog is still not getting used to sudden sounds, it may be a sign to reach out to a trainer. Trainers help assess what the problem could be and other ways to approach it.
Should I Be Worried About The Behavior?
While getting excited after a sneeze can seem a little strange, this behavior is usually nothing to worry about.
Hearing something strange, even for humans, can be a little frightening. It can also be exciting because your dog is curious or they feel like you want to play with them.
Although there are no serious concerns regarding being excited about a sneeze, you can still ask people about it if you have any concerns. Asking your vet or trainer can help with any questions you may have.
Understanding our dogs’ different behaviors, such as why they can get excited when we sneeze, brings us closer to them. It allows us to communicate with them without using any words.
By learning more about our dogs’ behaviors and actions, we can help them live the happy and healthy lives they deserve.