Can Dogs Laugh & Smile? When it comes to people, a smile is a common and positive manifestation, but when it comes to your dog and laughter, that is, showing teeth, this is just one of the ways in which dogs use body language to communicate with the environment. It can often be a sign of warning and aggression.
When a dog purses its lips and shows its teeth, it is a reflex action by which it sends a message that you should withdraw. It is usually a sign that precedes much more aggressive behaviour, and needs to be taken extremely seriously. This showing of teeth is accompanied by other signs such as erect ears, a rigid body, a highly raised tail and moving back and forth with a growl. If you ignore these signs, an attack can occur.
Usually, such aggressive behaviour occurs due to fear, defence of territory, food or offspring. Your dog is on the edge of his safety zone at that moment. In this situation, the dog should be left alone, avoid eye contact and walk away.
However, there are situations when the dog shows his teeth without aggressive intentions. It is a submissive smile, followed by undesirable signs of body language – licking the lips, relaxed body position, ears pressed to the head and a slightly confused expression of the eyes. You can usually see this type of smile when you catch them in the act, that is, when they know that they have done something wrong and in this way they are trying to calm the situation.
If your dog shows teeth, be sure to observe other signs of body language. If these signs indicate the beginning of aggressive behaviour, withdraw and or withdraw the dog from the person showing teeth. The advice is to turn to a dog behaviour expert for help as soon as possible, so that there are no unwanted consequences.
If you are still sure that your dog is simply laughing, and the body language shows you his calmness and obedience, you do not have to be upset and worried right away. Be sure to monitor your pet’s behaviour to make sure he’s not uncomfortable or nervous at the time.
If it’s just a smile, with no signs of aggression, you can teach him to do it on command. When he smiles at you, say the command, and then reward him. What you need to take care of is that this kind of training does not accidentally increase your dog’s anxiety or nervousness, because some pets show their teeth even when they are exposed to stress.
Also, you must know that a smile like in humans does not exist. For a classic smile, it is necessary to have another ability that is possessed exclusively by people, and it is a sense of humour.