Thursday, October 28, 2010

Do Dogs Smile?

Yes, dogs smile when they’re happy (and frown when they’re sad or if we are sad).

Dogs grin by pulling back the corners of their lips and baring their teeth. A very relaxed dog will smile and then close his eyes. Dogs also have an open-mouthed ‘play-face’ expression, often accompanied by panting, which is the equivalent of human laughter.

(Don’t make the mistake of confusing a grin with a snarl. If a dog has his mouth pulled back, but is showing his incisors and back teeth, most likely he’s snarling.)
From the heartwarming book by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas The Hidden Life of Dogs: “All dogs smile, which is to say their faces become pleasant and relaxed, with ears low, eyes half shut, lips soft and parted, and chin high. This is a dog smile.

“Yet a few dogs will also imitate human smiles. In the presence of human beings, these dogs will draw back their lips grotesquely to bare their teeth, making the same face as we make. At the same time, these dogs may also roll over to reveal their bellies submissively, showing they understand exactly what our smiles mean.”

Haven’t we all seen that special look in their eyes, that wag of the tail, the gentle paw on our knees at just the right moment, the head cocked as if to ask us if everything is okay or one of these smiles we now know REALLY IS A SMILE and an invitation to forget whatever it is that ails us and enjoy the genuine love they clearly know we need?

Why do dogs smile? When asked why a dog smiles, dog behaviorist Janice Falk says it’s simply because they’re happy!

Alice England

Now are these dogs smiling?


Three Wishes Collective said...

what a great topic! I don't think Velvet smiles. She is very serious and constantly concerned that she might not get something to eat, lol.

HappyDapperDogs said...

I'm smiling! :o)
Scout looks just like my Boudreaux, and he does the very same thing if you try to take his toy, that is definately not a smile!! Cute video clips, thanks.

Art and Sew Forth said...

We all had a good laugh at this one! Great info, Alice! So true. And Scout would be totally frustrated if he knew that we all laughed at him instead of being afraid!

Giupetto and Gianna Tails said...

That is such a big tongue on that last dog. LOL It made me laugh.
I loved the first video. How funny. I loved it, and great post Alice. Great picture of Charlie, and great videos Athena.

doodypops said...

these are great! i love Max!