Can dogs look up as a question and a bit of a myth was popularised by the 2004 comedy horror film Shaun of the Dead. In the film, the main character Shaun, played by Simon Pegg, brings up the fact that the pub landlord “Big Al” claims that dogs can’t look up, of course Big Al is not a reliable source of information (which is the whole point of the comment) but the myth seems to have remained and thousands of people search “Can dogs look up?” on a monthly basis. We believe many of the people who ask this aren’t dog owners.
Here’s the scene in full.
We’re here to answer that question and it’s a dead easy one to answer – yes, dogs can look up but we can see how some people may get confused. Yes, dogs can look up but their necks do not have the same range of motion as ours so they won’t be looking straight up, however if you ask a dog to sit and look up at a treat then you can see that they can look up at you.
Horizontal and with a straight back is a dog’s favoured position and this is why they wouldn’t look up without straightening their spine and pointing it up. Interestingly, dog’s ears are attuned to get noises on a horizontal plane, too. Try shouting or using a dog whistle in your home or outside on a walk towards your dog from a higher or lower plane and sometimes they may get confused! You can even use a camera to watch it if you have one.
We hope we’ve answered this myth for you and offered some information as to why the myth exists in the first place and why some people may be confused with the subject.