Can Dogs Laugh? - Find Out If Man's Best Friend Can Laugh/Smile

Do Dogs Laugh? - Often we find man’s best friend behaving in ways that make them look more human to us than ever.

From nodding at our conversations to helping us out if we are hurt - our dogs have shown “humane” emotions and actions surprising us. 

So, if all of this ever made you wonder - “Can my Dog laugh?”, then you are not alone.

Can Dogs Laugh

Many pet parents (including us!) have had this question. So, we went digging to find you the answers:

Important Discussion Points In This Guide

  • Do Dogs Smile?
  • Do Dogs Laugh?
  • How Do Dogs Laugh?
  • What Makes Dogs Laugh?

Do Dogs Smile?

A few indicative signs that your dog is smiling or has a human-like grin on their face is:

Yes, dogs can smile. Or at least they can make a face that is similar to a human smile.

But unlike humans whose smile can be triggered by many factors like joy, amusement etc. A “dog smile” usually occurs when they are relaxed or in play.

  • Relaxed ears
  • Mouth open with lips pulled back
  • Tongue lapping over their front teeth &
  • Eyes in a teardrop shape.

Other than playtime, a dog can also smile when they find their favourite human smiling. The phenomenon that causes a dog to smile when we smile at them is similar to “laughter contagion". 

Do Dogs Laugh?

So, do dogs laugh? Yes and No.

When it comes to smiling, dogs can smile similarly to humans. Whereas, dogs do not laugh like humans.

But even though a dog’s "laugh" sounds nothing like a human’s laugh, they do emit this "dog laugh" when they are happy or in play.

Can Dogs Laugh

How Do Dogs Laugh?

Unlike a human’s laugh, a dog’s laugh sounds more like panting.

Canine laughter mostly starts with a dog smile and then gradually develops into a breathy-panting.

This breathy panting is usually emitted in a “hhuh-hhah” variation. Since, dog’s pant (or laugh) excessively during playtime, this canine laughter is also known as play-pant.

What Makes Dogs Laugh?

“Play-panting” as the name suggests, occurs in dogs when they are playing with their favourite human or with other dogs.

So, activities that can make dogs laugh or play-pants are interactive playtimes, walks/runs or any quality time spent with their pet parent.

Play-panting also has many benefits for your dog. It does not just bring them joy but also helps them relieve anxiety, cool down and stay relaxed.

Can Dogs Laugh

Another fun fact about laughter and dogs is - dogs can detect your emotions and change of tone.

So, when you (the pet parent) laugh - your dog can sense it's a happy moment. This can in turn lead them to laugh/smile or wag their tail with excitement.

And sometimes dogs may get into mischief merely to earn your reaction and a giggle for their misbehaviour.

So, that proves it - dogs can respond to joy through "laughs".

Can Dogs Laugh

But it is important to note that every dog is unique. In fact, laughter/smile is not the only way a dog can showcase their feeling.

A dog can show their emotion through their whole body by wagging their tail or through raised ears.

So, it is inevitable that not all dogs laugh/smile is going to sound or look the same. But no matter how your dog shows happiness, we hope you and your furball have a joyful journey.

Happy Pet Parenting!

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