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'Smiling' dog

(18 Posts)
LittleMilla Tue 26-Aug-14 20:41:34

Just watching that secret dogs programme.

My darling 5mo lab does actually smile. When he's really excited it gets even bigger and he does it when he's pleased to see people. Never any aggression, just massive waggy tail and wants to be fussed over.

His mum does it too.

Should I be worried about this and how normal is it? Never come across anything like this!

Blackpuddingbertha Tue 26-Aug-14 21:32:40

Mine does the 'smiling' thing when she's excited to see us and some family members. Often accompanied by sneezing. It's very different from an aggressive dog showing its teeth.

What they were saying was that children can associate dogs showing teeth with smiling as that's what people do. Which is obviously, in the majority of situations, not the right interpretation. I'd rather children thought my dog was being aggressive when she wasn't than approach an aggressive dog thinking it was 'smiling'.

flagnogbagnog Tue 26-Aug-14 21:34:11

It's lovely when your dog does this. Our Dalmatian smiles. But yes it can look a bit aggressive if you are not used to it

insanityscratching Wed 27-Aug-14 06:42:40

Eric smiles too and the happier he is the bigger the grin. He also "growls" bringing a toy or treat when he's pleased to see you which is a different pitch to the growl he gives when he is warning.

LittleMilla Wed 27-Aug-14 21:10:37

I love it but already some friends give a hmm look when I protest that it's normal.

Very rarely seen him cross actually. I am genuine;y worried that boys won't understand different between Digby's 'smiles' and another dog being aggressive. Hmmm.

ffallada Thu 28-Aug-14 14:14:00

If it helps I grew up with a dog that smiled (from two to 14) and I could differentiate a happy dog from an angry one - its all in the tail smile

My dog is a barker, so we have taught him replace a bark with a soft howl, which is particularly lovely when being welcomed home (and much quieter). It sounds like he's singing hello.

Your friends should be pleased your dog is welcoming them so nicely.

weaselwords Thu 28-Aug-14 20:34:58

I used to know a dog years ago who would greet you by boinging up and down, smiling and sneezing. It was very charming! I've never seen another dog do it since, so I think you are very lucky.

angeltulips Fri 29-Aug-14 00:21:56

We too have a smiler and sneezer (black lab), the sneezing in particular is v cute

I have also managed to train him out of barking - now he's down to a melodic yowl which he deploys at great length to whoever will listen. he is a talkative fellow these days!

soddinghormones Fri 29-Aug-14 07:00:37

Dpup is incredibly smiley - the happier he gets, the wider his smile! There was a thread on here not so long ago with lots of smiling dogs on it so it's not that unusual

It's very obvious that dpup is smiling because he's happy rather than through aggression - his whole body is loose and wriggly so it's not just a mouth/teeth thing

youmakemydreams Fri 29-Aug-14 07:36:22

Our Dalmatian smiles as well she has two. She has the check me I'm so proud of myself for leaving dp up the woods because it was far too hot for a run today and the ooooh I haven't seen you for at least 5 minutes so I'm pulling this silly looking face to show you how pleased I am.

ARightOldPickle Fri 29-Aug-14 07:45:08

Our old dalmatian smiled, DDs were quite young when we had him and they could always tell the difference between a smiling and a snarling dog (not that ours ever snarled!)

Our puppy dalmatian is beginning to smile, just a lop sided wrinkle of the nose at the moment but very very cute!

Notsoskinnyminny Sat 30-Aug-14 18:58:18

This is what we're greeted with when we come home and she says hello and I love you smile

Canidae Sun 31-Aug-14 12:37:31

I have seen quite a few Dalmatians smile. My golden does a deep growling grumble when bringing people toys and it is always with a soft wiggling butt and broad tail wags.

You need to look at the whole dog to read them I think.

Owllady Sun 31-Aug-14 13:37:19

All dogs smile imo smile

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Sun 31-Aug-14 13:57:46

I agree, all dogs smile, you can tell the difference between smiling and aggression by looking at their eyes and body language.

My dog not only smiles, he also jumps for joy when someone he likes comes into the house.

musicposy Sun 31-Aug-14 22:29:57

Here's our smiley dog (and DD1).
The lovely thing about this is she was a rescue ex breeding dog, never lived in a house before and more terrified than any dog you've ever seen when we got her 6 months ago. She literally stayed under the table and shook for 2 or 3 months. If you approached her or sroked her she looked away.

In the last month she's started to really enjoy life and we're seeing this wonderful smile.

One of our other dogs smiles too. She once chased a hare over 6 mountains in Scotland (or so thereabouts - not our finest recall moment! But in the photo we took when we got her back you have never seen a dog look so happy and pleased with herself!

Hope you are reassured, op. My girls have always been able to tell the difference between happy smile and aggressive teeth baring. I think very young children or those with no experience of dogs might find it harder.

SteveBrucesNose Mon 01-Sep-14 09:42:07

I've never seen a dog smile as widely as my dalmatian boy smiled when he came bounding over to me the other day. I'd just got out of hospital after 5 nights and DH said he'd been pining all the time, and sitting next to my place on the sofa and fretting, so wouldn't leave my side all night and had the goofiest grin on his face. Dalmatian smiles are most definitely awesome.

permaquandry Mon 01-Sep-14 09:51:04

We have a darling retriever in the family and she absolutely smiles, it's goes right to her eyes and it is so lovely to see. My dog just stares, a lot. smile

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