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It has been demonstrated that dogs can indeed laugh and smile. Dogs experience a wide range of emotions, many of which they express through tail movements, body language, and various barks. Laughter and smiles typically appear during moments of happiness, like walks, playtime with other dogs or their family, when given a treat, and so on. Generally, any experience that is rewarding and makes them feel content, secure, and loved will trigger these expressions. Let’s explore how dogs smile and the sounds they make when they “laugh.”

¿Cómo sonríen los perros?

It was the ethologist Konrad Lorenz, a Nobel Prize winner, who suggested that dogs can laugh, especially during joyful moments of play. A dog’s smile involves a combination of gestures:

  • A slightly open jaw.
  • The tongue protruding between their teeth.
  • Eyes shaped like drops, with the corner of the eye stretched.
  • Ears pulled back.
  • A wagging tail.

If you have a dog at home, you’ll likely recognize this expression when your dog is happy and having fun, running around and playing.


What sounds do dogs make when they laugh?

A dog’s laughter sounds quite different from human laughter. Instead of boisterous laughter, a dog’s laughter consists of panting-like sounds. In moments of happiness and amusement, dogs emit these sounds, which are a bit like “hhuh hhah hhuh hhah.” Ethologist Patricia Simonet of Sierra Nevada College conducted a study in which she recorded these laughter-like sounds while dogs played. These laughs included a higher number of frequencies than normal panting. She performed various experiments and observed that dogs experiencing nervousness or stress calmed down upon hearing these sounds. She even used them in shelters where dogs suffering from anxiety and distress showed improved moods after listening to these laughter-like sounds from other dogs.

Did you find this interesting? Our canine friends have remarkable abilities. If you’d like to explore more articles about their capabilities and curiosities, such as whether they can see themselves in the mirror, see in the dark, or experience jealousy, don’t hesitate to visit our articles to get to know and be amazed by our beloved dogs.