do dogs smile when happy

Do Dogs Smile When Happy ?

Do dogs really smile when they are happy? Is smiling just a facial expression that means something completely different to dogs ? We’ll examine if dogs are capable of smiling in this article.


How many times have you seen, at least on the silver screen, a playful dog whose face is so happy that you’re almost convinced it’s smiling at you? In my case, that happened countless times.

Even if we try to tell ourselves that it probably just looks like a smile to us and how a dog just sighs, again… there is a feeling in us that says that this is, at least to some extent, a sincere smile.

At the beginning of their research, people who deal with the interpretation of animal behavior, thought that facial expressions that resemble smiling had nothing to do with smiling at all, and it is about muscle reflexes.

However, new studies indicate that animals may, after all, be able to express emotions in the form of something we recognize as a smile. Of course, it is clear that dogs will not smile for the same reasons as we do.

For example, while there are jokes that make people laugh, that kind of reaction does not exist in dogs.

Do dogs imitate their owner smiling ?

Dogs are extremely good at scanning and interpreting people’s behavior, from which they can deduce what we like and what we don’t. In accordance with this, it happens that our smile prompts the dog to make a similar facial expression, however, it is not necessarily a planned imitation.

It is more likely that the dog will smile because it knows that this will arouse a positive reaction in its owner, which will lead to the dog being rewarded, helped or receives some other kind of attention.

This is exactly the reason why someone, say a dog who can stand on its hind legs and perform something that reminds us of a dance, will practice doing it more often after once it receives a reaction of admiration and delight from the owner.

Do dogs love when people laugh ?

It is interesting that, in the human world, “showing teeth” is a consequence of a smile that arises from happiness or joy, while in the dog world it is a clear warning and a consequence of aggression.

Now, you may have wondered if the dog thinks that you are threatening it when you smile and show your teeth. The answer is: no. As already stated, dogs can read behavior very well and know very well when we are happy and when we are angry.

Considering that dogs, like people, are emotional beings, of course they like to see someone happy, especially because they know that we will treat them even better if we are happy. That’s why they do everything to put a smile on our face!

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