Do Dogs Smile?
March 23, 2005 1:45 PM Subscribe
My wife maintains that our dog smiles in response to being happy. I maintain that she smiles because she is panting (my dog, not my wife). I concede that there is a smile-like movement on the dog's mouth but, since she is part beagle and has a skin flap over her mouth, she is doing this to enhance her air exchange. Also, since she seems to pant more when she is excited, I think this "smiling" mechanism can be confusing because it happens on occasions when we would expect a smile.
I'm not sure what evolutionary purpose smiling would provide a dog (or a cat for that matter…she thinks the cat smiles, too). My guess is that smiling in humans serves a sexual/propagation purpose and, since dogs spend their time with their noses up the ass of other dogs, this would not make sense. Maybe that's why they wag their tails?
Anyone have any thoughts on this important matter?