How do dogs feel when you laugh? A Step-by-Step Guide

Do Dogs Get Embarrassed When You Laugh at Them?

No, dogs do not feel embarrassment for being laughed at. While dogs can distinguish between positive (laughter) and negative (sadness) emotions, it is believed that they are unable to understand the social cues necessary to distinguish being laughed at and laughing with someone.

Is playfulness the same as a sense of humor in dogs?

Some theories suggest that, if playfulness defines a sense of humor, then dogs most certainly know what’s funny. Charles Darwin looked for similarities in emotions between animals and humans and observed what he considered a sense of humor that goes beyond just the game. In “The Descent of Man,” he wrote:

“Dogs show what may be fairly called a sense of humor, as distinct from mere play; if a bit of stick…be thrown to one, he will often carry it away for a short distance; and then squatting down with it on the ground close before him, will wait until his master comes quite close to take it away. The dog will then seize it and rush away in triumph, repeating the same maneuver, and evidently enjoying the practical joke.”

Many studies have shown that primates have a sense of humor. The most well-known is Koko the gorilla, who not only understood over 2000 words, but was also known for playing practical jokes and using wordplay. Scientists in the field of evolutionary biology posit that many if not most animals know what’s humorous. To paraphrase a saying: we may not be able to define a sense of humor, but we know it when we see it.

Do Dogs Have a sense of Humor?

Some experts believe that dogs do have a sense of humor. It may vary somewhat from the humor humans possess. However, humor is very subjective, even among other humans. What you find funny another person may find disgusting or offensive.

Humor is difficult to define, and harder to explain fully. We instinctively know when something is funny to us, but most of the time we can’t explain why it’s funny.

There are some indications dogs have their own sense of humor. Of course, you won’t find them telling knock-knock jokes. Instead, their humor usually consists of practical jokes. Have you played fetch with your dog, and had them wait until you were about to grab the object in their mouth to run away? Did they seem to be smug or even smiling when they did it? Perhaps they thought it was funny.

It turns out dogs laugh! The sound is different than a human laugh, but it seems to serve the same purpose. It’s actually a certain type of pant. Dogs use the pant when they are very happy or playing. When other dogs hear it, they will play bow, wag their tail, or initiate play. This behavior suggests it’s essentially their way of laughing.

Can Dogs Laugh?

Laughing seems to help us to connect and bond with others. It causes our bodies to release “feel-good” neurotransmitters called endorphins, which is why laughing can also lift our moods and spirits. Laughter is one of the elements that many scientists once believed made us uniquely human. However, new research shows that other animals are not quite as different from us as we once thought.

In fact, it turns out that we are not the only mammals out there that can laugh! Primates like chimpanzees, for example, exhibit guttural grunting and chuckling when they play, although it is much breathier than the laughter of humans. But what about our favorite canine companions–do they laugh too?

We now know that dogs are extremely emotional creatures and are big fans of play and intimate connection, both with other dogs as well as humans. But can dogs laugh? Keep reading to find out!