Posts Tagged ‘dog humor’

This is  relatively common behavior in golden retrievers, and two of my dogs always greeted me with a smile.  It is more widely known in Dalmatians, where it is called a  “smarl.”

It is either a “submissive smile, ” which is used as a pacifying behavior  in wolves,  or a dog attempting to imitate a human smile.

 My guess is that it is the latter. Dogs do imitate people, but they have such a different anatomy that it often doesn’t look like imitation when we see it.

 This dog’s behavior is a greeting behavior, not a submissive behavior. Bruce Fogle’s Know Your Dog (1992) shows a Dandie Dinmont exhibiting the same behavior. Fogle says that this dog is imitating a human smile.

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You may not know this, but I like both breed a lot.  Of course, you already knew this about golden retrievers, but I think Bostons are by far the nicest little dogs you can have. And if I lived in an apartment, I would get one instead of a golden.

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