Can Dogs Laugh? – The Answer May Surprise You!


We all like a good laugh, and humans laugh a lot, and dogs are known to be amusing.

So, one question that may be raised is if dogs can laugh or even have a sense of humor. Well, if you’re asking that question, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we will see if dogs can laugh and if they have a sense of humor or not. So, without further ado, let’s begin.

Being Playful And Having A Sense of Humor

A black and brown dog running

Is being playful having a sense of humor in dogs? Many reputable sources, such as the AKC, have considered the idea that being playful is actually like having a sense of humor in dogs.

Many refer to the book, The Descent of Man by Charles Darwin, where he suggests that dogs may have a sense of humor. He wrote about how a dog when playing fetch will sometimes grab the stick, only to run away farther when his master confronts him to grab the stick and would do this over and over until, eventually, quitting when he was satisfied with the “practical joke.”

Can dogs laugh?

A dog smiling (or laughing)

Research shows that dogs can indeed laugh. But can dogs laugh the same way we do? Well, not exactly.

Patricia Simonet, an animal behaviorist at the Animal Behavior Center in Washington State, conducted studies on dog vocalizations.

She and her team found that dogs can emit a specific pant which they called the “dog-laugh.” This pant probably sounds like normal panting to you and me, but, using a spectrograph, they identified a “pronounced breathy forced exhalation.”

A Possible Example of a Dog Laughing

I remember one day when I went to my aunt’s house for a family gathering, my uncle showed us how he tickled his dog, Chin Chin. The dog made a series of sounds similar to laughter. Instead of a pant, it was a mixture of growling and whining.

A logical explanation could be that the dog was simply agitated, which could have been the case. However, the dog never tried to bite or nip him, which is a typical response when a dog gets irritated.

So, is this an example of laughter? I cannot say yes or no. What do you think? Let me know in the comment section.

Can Dogs Recognize Human Laughter?

A study conducted at Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) found that dogs can detect emotions in humans.

The study detected an increase in blood flow in certain parts of the brain. This increased blood flow represented an increase in brain activity.

Like humans, dogs have certain parts of the brain that can recognize dog barks and human voices.

This study concluded that there are some similarities in the way dogs and human beings process social information. The more positive the tone, the stronger the reaction will likely be.

So, can dogs recognize human laughter? Well, we do know that dogs can detect emotions, and laughter tends to be a sign of strong emotion, so in a way, yes.


So, can dogs laugh? According to studies, they certainly can! You might have even heard a dog laugh, you just didn’t realize it.

Do you have a story about your dog laughing? Share it in the comment section below! I’d like to hear it!

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