It’s no doubt that dogs make us laugh. But the bigger question is: Do WE make our dogs laugh? Or, do dogs make each other laugh? And if a dog DOES laugh, what does it sound like?
Fortunately we’ve got this thing called science that can explain it all! Here are 10 ways dogs are known to “laugh”:
1. Dogs Laugh, Just Not The Way We Do
Depending on the size of the dog and shape of their face, the way a dog laugh’s will differ, but generally a “head up, toothy broad-mouth, sparkling eyes, and a chuffing pant typify canine crack up”, according to Psychology Today.
A dog-respiration study published in Stanford University’s Science News describes dog laughter as “a broader-frequency exhalation” than panting. It also found that playing back recordings of dog laughter calmed anxious dogs, giving them more confidence to interact with other dogs and people.
2. They Smile. Hard.
A University of Wisconsin Stevens Point (UWSP)-compiled dog behavior defines dog smiling as a “relaxed, open-mouthed facial expression” that is often a response to a human’s smile, known as laughter contagion.
3. They Wag And Wiggle
While this may seem like a pawbvious one, but the word wag is actually a synonym for comedian, humorist, jester, jokester, or prankster. Even when their face doesn’t show it (which it usually does), their tushies do. What I love about this is that dogs who have shorter tails tend to compensate with wiggling their entire bodies. And it is delightful to watch.
4. They Play And Frolic And Derp Around Like The Happy Dinguses That They Are
It may look like she is scratching her back right here, but I am a witness to this every day. This is Oona’s “HANGING OUT AT WORK WITH MY MOMMA AND MY FRIENDZ” dance.
5. They Get All Up In Your Business
Just because HOOMANS find it inappropriate to randomly nudge their face in a stranger’s junk, doesn’t mean dogs play by the same rules. For dogs, a crotch snuff is nothing more than a fist bump.
6. They Swipe Your Stuff
Like children, dogs are simply amused by objects that are not their own. Seeing their human’s response when they turn a pair of undies into a chew toy is a fun game for them. Part of the fun for the dog is seeing a human’s reaction when they snag something they know they’re not supposed to.
7. They Like To Hide In Weird Places
Another bazaar way dogs entertain themselves at the expense of their human’s frustration is hiding weird places.
8. They Get Loud
When dogs are happy, they make noises. Weird noises. Like this tiny puppy learning how entertaining howling is for everyone involved.
9. They Dance… Like They Know We’re Watching
Nothing is funnier to watch than a dog dancing. But it’s not just because conceptually it’s funny. It’s also knowing how excited a dog has to be in order to suddenly realize they’ve had impeccable rhythm their entire lives.
10. They Know Their Audience
Dogs are extremely sensitive to the emotions of their humans. They know when we are sad. And they know when we are fascinated by them. So the next time you see your dog smiling like a dingus, maybe it’s not because they don’t know what’s going on. Maybe for once they’re trying to get US to be the ones to pee in the house.