Do Dogs Really Laugh

When dogs "laugh," they often make rapid panting noises while relaxing their jaws. Their mouths may appear to smile.


Dogs don't have the anatomical ability to laugh like humans. Their "laughter" is panting that signifies happiness and joy.

Not True Laughter 

Dogs will make laughing-like panting noises during or after playtime as a response to feelings of happiness and excitement.

Playtime Panting  

Dogs may make "laughing" sounds when greeting owners as an expression of excitement. It's a form of sniffing.

Greeting Snorts

 A dog's "laughter" can be contagious, triggering true laughter from human owners sharing in their pet's joy.  

Contagious Joy

Relaxed open-mouth panting signals comfort. Dogs do it more around trusted humans compared to strangers.

Sign of Comfort

Wagging tails, squinty eyes, bouncy movements, and relaxed ears/faces also help convey a dog's happiness.

Other Happy Signals

What’s Behind Your Dog’s Yawns