4 min read


Can Dogs Feel Humor?



4 min read


Can Dogs Feel Humor?


Most people love to feel happy and to laugh. In fact, it is a well-known fact that laughing can really help to boost your mental health and happiness levels. For those that have a good sense of humor, there is generally plenty to laugh about each day. 

However, is it just us humans that can feel and understand humor or does this also extend to our pets? Many dog owners are convinced that their pooches feel humor because of the way in which they act and express themselves at times. While there is no conclusive evidence to show that dogs feel humor in the same way as humans, it is clear that they can respond to it.


Signs Your Dog is Feeling Humorous

You may have noticed that when you are laughing or playing with your dog, it has a very different attitude from normal. In fact, you can even see this when your dog is playing with another pooch or even a favorite toy. Dogs are very adept at showing their feelings through their body language and behavior. 

Dogs do not understand humor in the same way as we do – for example, your pooch won’t be sitting in front of the box watching a comedy sit-com and rolling about on the floor laughing. However, a dog’s sense of happiness and humor is all about interaction with others.

When you are playing with your dog, you will see how excited, happy, and playful it can get. The same goes if your pooch is playing with another pet or with toys. For dogs, it is not so much about humor as happiness. 

Some of the signs your dog will display when feeling this sense of happiness that we may construe as humor include tail wagging, panting, barking excitedly, jumping, running around, and looking up at you expectantly as though waiting for you to take the next step in the game. Another common sign is when dogs lower the front of their bodies with their bottoms up in the air (play-bow). 

There are many body language signs that will indicate your dog is feeling happy, humorous, and paw-sitively ready for some fun and games. Charging back and forth and scampering around excitedly are some of the common signs. 

Your pooch will also bow down with its front paws stretched out, its head down, and its bottom up in the air, which indicates that it is ready to spring into action as soon as you are. The tail generally tends to wag furiously when your dog is feeling happy and humorous. In addition, there are dogs that actually have been seen to smile, which is a delight to see.  

Body Language

Signs your pup may be feeling humorous include:

  • Panting
  • Jumping Up
  • Wag Tail
  • Running
  • Play Bowing

Other Signs

<p>More signs that your dog is feeling funny are:</p>

  • Hyperactivity
  • Having A Mischievous Glint
  • Charging Back And Forth

History of Dogs Feeling Humor


Canine emotions and behavior have been studied extensively over the years. As a result, we have learned a huge amount about the way in which dogs behave and why they do this. One of the things we know is that dogs react to their environment and the emotions of those they are with. 

If they see you laughing, smiling, happy, and excited, they will react in the same way in many cases. This is because they can pick up on your body language, your tone, and your behavior. When you see two dogs playing together excitedly, it seems that they bounce off one another.

There is no doubt that from what we have learned over the years, dogs can be very humorous in their actions. Some would consider them to be quite the jokers, which is partly why so many dog owners find their pooches are very entertaining at times. 

Of course, all dogs have times when they want some alone time and can be relatively quiet and subdued. However, this is exactly the same as humans and other animals. When dogs want to play little jokes and have some fun, they certainly know how to do it. 

The Science of Dogs Being Humorous


So, how do we know when or if our dogs are feeling humorous and playful? Well, we see all sorts of curious and amusing actions and behaviors from our dogs when they are in this mood. The actions when they are being playful indicate that dogs certainly do have their own canine sense of humor and can definitely understand ours too. 

We already know from past research and studies that a wagging tail is a positive sign in dogs and means that they are happy, playful, and excited. When coupled with other actions such as the play-bow and jumping up, we know that our dog wants to enjoy some fun and games.   

Learning Your Dog's Humor


If you want to find out if and when your dog is in a humorous and playful mood, all you need to do is watch and see how it acts in certain situations. Of course, your pooch won’t be charging around and playing the fool all of the time – which is good news for you, otherwise, you would be exhausted! 

However, make sure you watch its actions when your dog is playing with another dog or pet. You will be able to clearly see the difference compared to its usual behavior and this shows that your pooch is having a fun time, playing the joker, as so many dogs do, and exercising its own unique canine humor.

There are dogs that do not tend to show these behaviors and signs very often but all dogs are capable of it. It may well be that some dogs simply aren’t in the right situation to feel that level of humor and excitement, but this is something that you can change. If your dog tends to be subdued most of the time, why not try different play situations to see whether any of them appear to provide a greater level of fun and excitement? Dogs can actually be fussy when it comes to activities and what you think is fun may not be your pooch’s idea of fun.

You should try out different types of activities with your dog, ranging from traditional fetch games to Frisbee games, tug of war, and the wide range of other activities that dogs tend to love. You may find that your pooch prefers some over others and this is something that you will be able to tell from its actions and the way it behaves. Once you find the right ones, you will really be able to see the humor and playfulness come out in your pooch. 

Have questions or concerns about your pet?

Chat with a veterinary professional in the Wag! app 24/7.

Get Vet Chat

By a Boston Terrier lover Reno Charlton

Published: 06/11/2018, edited: 04/06/2020

Wag! Specialist
Does your pet have a supplement plan?

Learn more in the Wag! app

Five starsFive starsFive starsFive starsFive stars

43k+ reviews


© 2023 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.