August 18, 2015 | Posted in Doctor Sigmund Furry Series

Miles-Of-Smiles-2Dear Dr. Furry,

Is my dog able to smile at me?

Veronica, East Plantation, ME

 

Dear Veronica,

Yes! Happy dogs smile! That’s the short answer, of course, my dear.

As humans and pet owners we like to judge our animal’s behavior in human terms, such as perceiving a smile on their faces. But, what may seem like a smile to us isn’t always what your pet is communicating.

Dogs will bear teeth when protecting someone or something they possess, such as a bone or favorite toy. Believe me, you’ll know the difference between the two behaviors if you try to take the bone away!

Guilty dogs will also appear to be smiling in what is called a submissive grin. He/she may also display other behaviors like tail wagging or assuming a lowered posture. The “guilty grin” is saying, “Yup. You got me. I did something I wasn’t supposed to do”.

~ Dr. Sigmund Furry