Can a dog smile?


dog smile

 Dogs are able to experience a wide range of emotions, including joy. Those of us who have the pleasure of living with a dog know well that in addition to brightening up every day, dogs are also particularly happy on certain occasions, such as when they go for a walk, play with their guardian. or other dogs, receiving affection from those who love them, enjoying their favorite food, among other things.

But do dogs smile? And if so, why do dogs smile? Does he have his own sense of humor? In this article Can a dog smile? From AnimalPlanet, we'll try to answer the most frequently asked questions about dog laughter and what a smiling dog looks like.

Can a dog smile?

To know if dogs smile, we must first ask ourselves how dogs experience emotions such as joy, love and fear. Thanks to advances in science and technology, we now know that dogs (like many other mammals) experience basic emotions similar to humans. This is basically because our best friends have the same brain structures as us and emotions are “processed” in the deep regions of the brain that make up the limbic system.

In dogs and humans, emotions are produced by the capture of stimuli, but they are also linked to memory. This process of interpretation, which allows one to experience emotions as different as joy and fear, involves not only neural activity in the brain, but also the release of hormones that produce certain chemical changes in the body.

Fortunately, science has also enabled us to understand that dogs, having a certain emotion, go through chemical and hormonal changes very similar to ours. This is because their bodies produce oxytocin, better known as the "love hormone", and that is why dogs feel affection for their guardians and express it in different ways in their daily lives. , mainly by their unparalleled loyalty. A dog who is smiling can mean that he is feeling affection.

Logically, we still have a lot to learn about the minds and feelings of our best friends and that is why at PlanèteAnimal we are constantly sharing new articles and curiosities about dogs. But we can already say that dogs have very complex emotions, that they experience them the same way we do and that they say a lot about their lifestyle and the environment in which they thrive.

Can a dog smile when he is happy?

Guardians generally perceive their dogs to be happy because of the forceful movements of their tails. However, a smiling dog can also express a sense of well-being in it. Our best friends express their joy in a variety of ways through their body language, including postures, facial expressions, gestures and actions. And if you are wondering if dogs smile, the answer is: Yes! dogs laugh, even if they don't laugh exactly like we do.

How do dogs smile?

Many experts have devoted themselves to the study of dog laughter and its body expressions. Their dedication has let us know that a laughing dog tends to have their mouths open, relaxed, and stretched out to the sides, causing their mouths to curve slightly and their angle to be more pronounced. We usually observe the ears back and relaxed, the tongue prominent and the tail energetic. His eyes are usually relaxed and may squint in relaxation.

Although it is possible to see its teeth through the opening of its mouth, you can clearly see the difference with an angry dog   showing its teeth and adopting a defensive posture. When he experiences a positive emotion like joy, of course, his body language shouldn't contain any signs of fear or aggression. A laughing and happy dog   is a stable and confident dog who enjoys sharing the activities he enjoys with his guardians, family and dog friends.

Of course, dog language is very complex and each dog is a unique individual, so the way they smile can vary depending on their personality, mood, environment and the context they are in at every moment of their life.

What does a smiling dog look like?

When something is so funny that it makes us laugh, we usually make a characteristic sound that accompanies a sincere and prolonged smile. And according to the interesting study conducted by ethologist Patricia Simonet of the University of Nevada (USA), dogs can also laugh if they are very happy.

In order to expand the knowledge then available on the laughter of dogs, Dr Simonet had the great idea to record the sounds made by dogs when they met and played with other dogs in parks. Listening to and analyzing her recordings, she and a team of researchers discovered that while the dogs were playing, their panting sounded in a very special way.

When a dog positively interacts with other dogs and is happy, it will make a restless sound amid its usual panting. And then, their interlocutors react, being more excited and eager to play, which intensifies the play session between these dogs. According to Dr. Simonet, this kind of agitated gasp would be the vocalization of the dog's laughter, which to us would sound like a "huhuh, huhuh", when its particular sound is amplified.

In addition, they have reproduced the recordings in some protective shelters, making the dogs that were rescued and there wait for a family to hear them. The response to this sound stimulation was very positive, as several dogs improved their mood, reducing symptoms of stress and nervousness. Perhaps this is why our best friends always manage to infect us with their joy, improving each one of our days.