Some Dogs With Sense Of Humor Similar To Kids, Expert Says


Have you ever felt like your dog was playing a joke on you, especially when they put on a smile that doesn’t look like they’re just panting?

You’re not alone.

According to canine expert and psychology professor Stanley Coren, some breeds do indeed have a sense of humor and this is often at their owner’s expense.

“This was suggested in 1872 by none other than Charles Darwin, who wrote a book on the emotions of animals and man,” he told ABC Radio Adelaide.

“He suggested that there are things dogs add to their play that seem to be the doggy equivalent of pranks.

“The most typical is their distance game, where if you throw something at a dog it will grab it, run away some distance, then drop it to the ground and wait until you do. approach, then grab it and run away. “

Professor Emeritus Stanley Coren with his playing dogs Flint and Wiz.(

Provided: Stanley Coren


The 14 years war

The professor emeritus in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia recalled how a 14-year ‘war’ unfolded between his cairn terrier, Flint, a playful breed, and his teaching wife, Joan, who enjoyed “Order, tranquility and predictability”.

“One day she invited a group of her friends over for an afternoon coffee and Flint was doing her usual job hovering under the table hoping someone would bend over and pat him or something edible fell. on the floor, “said Professor Coren.

“My wife thought he was going to disturb people, so she kicked him out of the room and basically said something near, ‘Go find something interesting to do.’

“He rushed out of the room with a specific purpose and a few minutes later reappeared wearing one of Joan’s underwear, which he smashed squarely from side to side with a lot. with joy, much to the amusement of his company. “

A black Labrador smiles while lying on the ground
Tama’s owner says the Labrador will smile because he knows he’s going to laugh.(

Provided: Joe


The poodle strikes back

Professor Coren also remembers a day when his friend brought a Standard Poodle and another friend visited a Pomeranian.

A black and white whippet lies upside down on a bed with his eyes open
Obi’s owners believe he is the strangest, most eccentric dog they have ever met. (

Provided: Beth Fisher


“The Pomeranian was just a parasite, running around and hitting the poodle, which was in my house a few times,” Prof Coren said.

“Back then we had one of those big old fashioned oversized tubs with lion’s paws and at one point Brandy the poodle got very bored and suddenly grabbed the pom pom by the skin of his neck like a mother would.

“The poodle took the little pom-pom to my bathroom, dropped it in the tub where the walls were too high for the pom-pom to come out, and all of a sudden started to twirl with its tail in rocking back and forth as if to say, ‘Look at this. Didn’t I make the biggest joke in the world?’ “

Listeners tell their own “tails”

ABC listeners in Adelaide and Perth responded by sharing their own stories about playful pets via social media and the text line.

“My kelpie will get up and bark moderately to get out… he’ll wait for the door to open, where he’ll turn around, jump on the couch and I swear he’s smiling.” – Anonymous

“Bozley’s last game is to run off with our socks on while we try to get ready for work. He’s very stealthy at that. Cheetah-worthy stalking.” – Lisa

“My dog ​​Marley loves the camera and one day we took selfies and he copied my every facial expression and smile. It was hilarious and he knew it, lol.” -Brendan

“I have a great sense of humor. I love dropping my crocodile under my human’s feet while he’s on the phone to be interrupted by his farting sound.” – sent on behalf of Dash by its owner

A brown and white dog in a house hallway with a green crocodile toy in its mouth
Dash enjoys dropping squeaky toys under his owner’s feet while on the phone.(

Provided: Dash owner


Not all dogs laugh

But not all dog breeds have a sense of humor.

Professor Coren pointed to a study undertaken by Benjamin Hart and Lynnette Hart at the University of California-Davis, in which a group of experts ranked 56 breeds in terms of playfulness, such as their willingness to hunt balls or frisbees. and play games like hide-. and seek.

A squash-nosed dog watches its owner from the ground.
Bozley likes to run away in his owners’ socks as they get ready for work. (

Provided: Lisa Pollock


This study found that Irish Setters, English Springer Spaniels, Cairn and Airedale Terriers, Golden Retrievers and Standard Poodles were among the most playful, while in contrast, Chihuahuas, Rottweilers, Bulldogs and the bloodhounds were the least playful.

“They are much more posed and stuck in the mud dogs,” said Prof Coren.

But he added that it was more than a playful acting dog, pointing out that there was a very strong correlation between humans who had a strong sense of humor and were also playful.

“We can’t crawl into a dog’s head and ask, ‘Did you do this because you thought it was a prank? “”, did he declare.

The side profile of a dog's face when looking at the camera
Luna often has what her owner describes as a “cheeky” look in her eyes. (

Provided: Julia Ellen


“But when their behavior is very similar to that of the dog trying to elicit a response in you, it sounds a lot like a sense of humor and some dogs are fed up.”

“You don’t tell jokes on the walls”

Professor Coren also answered questions as to whether he was just an attention-seeking dog.

A man and a border collie both seem to smile in a selfie
Marley likes to mimic her owner’s facial expressions by posing for selfies.(

Provided: Brendan


“The same type of personality that has the strongest sense of humor in people is also the same type of personality that creates a lot of attention,” Professor Coren said.

He said the key to understanding dogs’ behavior was to consider their minds to be equivalent to that of a two- to three-year-old human, claiming that dogs have the same sense of humor as a child. .

“Some groups of dogs have an incredible sense of humor and for them their motto is ‘Nothing is worth doing unless it’s all the rage’,” said Prof Coren.

Two blond labradors smile from the back seat of a car
These two Labradors are regular smiles, according to their owner.(

Provided: Peter Collings


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