Sunday, August 11, 2013

Do dogs laugh?

Dogs certainly smile.

But do they laugh?  Researchers who use computer spectrograms to "see" sound, say that the huffing sound dogs make during play looks a lot like human laughter.  On the monitor, dog laughter looks like "hee hee hee" without the h.  (Read about Patricia Simonet's study in Bark magazine.)

This is not a human and dog laughter spectrogram,
but it would  look a lot like this.
Mounting evidence shows that many animals make vocalizations that sound a lot like laughter.  Lab rats laugh when their tummies are tickled! See this marvelous video of scientists tickling rodent bellies.

A friend of mine who uses a guide dog told me, "My dog would confidently guide me to the wrong hotel room door, always the one that was just before ours.  I knew this was a joke and not pure naughtiness because she would wag her tail furiously and make a happy dog laughing-huffing sound, then take me to the correct door.  She loved playing this game and would wag even more furiously when we finally arrived at the correct room, as if to say, "Wasn't that just the funniest thing?"

"Wasn't that just the funniest thing?"

1 comment:

  1. I don't know if I've detected laughter as such, but when I play with my dogs, and tickle them they do make sounds that indicate they enjoy the playful interaction, and if I move my hand away they nudge my hand or arm letting me know that I should continue to tickle them!!!!