Isn’t it marvelous how human your dog can seem? Your pet may look like he is mirroring your behaviors and exhibiting similar facial expressions and the emotions you feel, whether you are sad or happy. Dogs also look like they are having fun and enjoying the time they spend with you. This is why more and more dog owners are often left wondering if their dogs can also double up in laughter like them. So, can dogs laugh just like humans do?
Can Dogs Smile or Laugh?
You have surely seen those photos of dogs on social media that look like they are grinning. However, it seems that dogs cannot smile the same way that humans do. But, a dog can make his face look like he is smiling.
It happens by opening their mouths and pulling their lips back, with their tongues lapping over their teeth. It is called the dog smile and it often occurs in instances when they appear happy and feel relaxed, and this is why most dog owners consider it a smile.
Dog smiles usually take place as a response to human smiles, a phenomenon is known laugher contagion. Dogs may look like they are smiling because you smile at them.
How about laughing, then? Can your dog laugh? There are plenty of debates among animal behaviorists regarding this but the general consensus is that dogs cannot laugh. That is, they cannot laugh in the same sense that humans laugh.
But, dogs can produce a laugh-like sound that they often do every time they play. This is the result of a breathy panting that is exhaled with force. It is considered a play-pant instead of a dog laugh, with dogs using it to invite people and their fellow dogs for some playtime. There are some animal species, with primates included, that were observed to play-pant. The play-pants of dogs are mixed with body language inviting you to play like play bows, teasing jumps to you with a relaxed demeanor, and a paw that reaches out to you.
There are also dogs that produce play-pant sounds and it was discovered that this had more frequency ranges than the usual dog panting. It is concluded that it is meant to be considered as a form of dog laugh.
Do Dogs Laugh When Tickled?
Every time you tickle your dog, it is possible that he will produce that breathy panting sound that may convince you that they are laughing.
Dogs produce many sounds and a force and breathy exhilaration are among those distinct sounds discovered. They described this as a kind of dog laugh since dogs produce it only when they are playing and this is different from the usual panting sound.
One study revealed when dog laughter’s recording was played to the shelter dogs, their stress levels were reduced. The dogs showed some increased social behaviors as well towards other canines such as lip licking and play-bowing.
If you think that your dog is laughing when you tickle him, chances are what you see is their play-laugh, particularly if they also give you that big dog smile at the same time.
Can Dogs Laugh in Their Sleep?
That laugh of your dog in his sleep is a sign that he is in sleep’s REM stage. Unlike you, your dog can get into a deep sleep during the first 10 minutes. Only 10% of a dog’s sleep is spent in the REM stage and this is the reason why they require more sleeping hours for them to recuperate and reenergize.
During this state, your pet may move their lids, twitch his legs, bark, or even pant a lot as if they have been running in his dreams.
Yes, you’ve read that right. Dogs can also dream like you and this explains that sound of laughter that you thought you heard from your pup.
Pet doctors can consider such signs as familiar and natural to pets with lots of physical activities during the daytime. It also indicates good sleep in canines and is completely normal. This means that you don’t have to worry about anything.
But, heavy panting may also be one sign of health issues in dogs. Too much play can predispose some pups to heavy panting although there are some breeds that are not.
Try to observe your pet if he pants heavily. If your pet does even if he is not that active, this might be a symptom of some cases such as the following:
- Temperature regulation
- Pain or injury
- Sore throat
- Airways obstruction
- Allergic reaction
- Other breathing issues
Make sure to bring your pet to the vet right away and have him check for them to get appropriate treatment.
How to Make Dogs Laugh?
By learning how to properly imitate your dog’s laughter, can make your pooch sit up, wag his tail, get near you, and make them laugh together with you. There are some things you can do to make your dog laugh.
- Try to round your lips a bit to produce a “huh” sound. This sound must be breathy without actual voicing. To check if you are doing it right, touch your throat and ensure that there is no vibration when making this sound.
- Make a smiling expression with an open mouth to produce the “hah” sound without actual voicing.
- Do the two steps together to mimic canine laughter. The sound should be “huh-hah-huh-hah.”
Can Dogs Find Things Funny?
Yes, dogs also have the ability to find things funny. Your dog can recognize humor if you are being funny with him and he may even do things they think might be fun for you. Dogs may wag their tails and wiggle their cute little butts. Your pooch can also show you their sense of humor by getting upright in your face. There are also times when they just become their doggo self, laying on you and placing their face near your face. They might even play some hide and seek when they feel humorous.
If Dogs Can Laugh What Did They Laugh At?
This may sound obvious but dogs tend to be happier if their owners are attentive and loving and offer them plenty of mental stimulation. If you want to be sure that your pet is always in a great mood, all you have to do is spend some time with him.
But, more than anything else, dogs tend to laugh at their humans that they spend most of their time with. Pretending to throw a ball or a magic trick could be considered by your dog as a form of play. Performing these dogs with love instead of malice will surely make your dog see you as the funniest and smartest person around.