Can dogs laugh? That’s what’s behind it

by Pramith

Normally you would think it’s not a good sign when a dog shows its teeth, but the four-legged friends can actually laugh too. In this article we tell you why this is so and how you can tell a threatening gesture from a dog from a smile.

This is why dogs can laugh

Dog owners are actually always well advised not to anthropomorphise their pet too much. However, some human traits the dog does take on over time.

  • Some dogs, in moments of joy, can actually be said to smile, with their chaps pulled up and their teeth showing.
  • The four-legged friends have copied this behaviour from humans and have stored it in their memory that smiling expresses joy and affection.
  • The scientific confirmation of this theory is provided by the behavioural scientist Dorit Feddersen-Petersen.
  • Dog breeds that are particularly commonly said to smile are greyhounds, poodles and Dalmatians.

How to tell the difference between a smile and a threatening gesture

As a rule, you can easily tell the difference between a dog smile and a threatening gesture.

      • If the dog generally has a relaxed posture, showing teeth represents a smile.
      • The corners of the mouth are constantly changing and the dog keeps pulling up the lips when smiling.
      • Also, he usually wags his tail in delight.
      • If the dog shows a threatening gesture with its teeth instead, the posture looks rather tense. The dog then fixes its counterpart and does not let it out of its sight.
      • There is often a dark and threatening growl.

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