The internet is filled with photos of dogs grinning. Dogs can make their face look like they are smiling. This occurs when they open their mouth, pull their lips back, and their tongue laps over their teeth. They usually do this gesture when they are happy or relaxed, hence the owners think that their dogs are smiling.
The truth is that the dog smile is a response to a ‘human smile’. This means that dogs appear to ‘smile’ back at us, because we smile at them.
But, if dogs can’t smile on their own, how can we tell when they are happy or not? It can be determined from their body language.
If you want to know whether or not your canine is smiling, look at their body, is it bouncy? Are they wagging their tail? And is their facial expression relaxed? If so, then your dog is indeed content.
A neutral position of your dog means that it is relaxed. However, if their tail is dropped and their body language is submissive, it means your dog is anxious. Hence, instead of looking at your dog’s face, try to pay more attention to their body language and notice the way they are standing, how their tail is and what position their ears are in.
If you’re wondering how you can make your dog happy, then there are a few things you can do. You could spend time with them, go running with your dog or find activities that will help to stimulate their mind and cheer them up.
The reason we react the way we do to see a dog smile is due to ‘oxytocin’ and evolution. Dogs are well-aware of human behavior. Their ancestors have been charming humans since the start of time. Dogs quickly realize that there is a good reaction to this behavior and will continue to keep doing it.
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