Do Dogs Smile?

Dogs make expressions that look like human smiles when they're happy. But are they truly smiling?

Joyful Faces

Upturned mouths, squinty eyes, wagging tails are signs your dog is happy, even if not technically "smiling."

Signs of Joy

Dog "smiles" likely evolved from showing submission, not sharing human-like joy. But they now show happiness.


Studies confirm dogs experience basic emotions. So their smiles do show real feeling.


Smiles strengthen the dog-human bond. They make people smile back and engage with dogs more.

Bonding Signal

Yawns, growls, bared teeth, whimpers also show dog moods. Learn what they mean.

Other Expressions

Seek vet if smiling seems abnormal or accompanies concerning symptoms.  

When concerned   

Most Lovably Goofy and Least Intelligent Dog