A dog that knows how to smile! Now that’s fun to come home to! The Goldendoodle in this video is Milo, who likes to humor his mom with his smiles. His Mom squeals with delight when Milo does this. Actually, Milo goes the extra mile and smiles with his teeth. Wouldn’t it be fun to teach our dog this “trick”? Actually, it could be easier than we thought. Ann Compton wrote an article in Cuteness on this.
How to teach your dog to smile
Ann actually suggests several ways to go about it. One of them is done while we are petting our dog. It helps if we know what our dog’s pleasure spot is. Is it scratching behind the ears? Under the chin? Stroking the neck?
Wait until your dog is relaxed and feeling great when you are scratching their pleasure point, (notice when their mouth looks like a smile) then say “smile” so they associate the word with whatever they are doing at the moment. Keep reinforcing this behavior with something positive.
The woman in this video keeps praising Milo with a happy tone of voice, and Milo keeps showing her his smile. You can try something like that. I’m not sure if a treat works well in this case since they are so relaxed with you scratching their happy spot. Eating may take them out of that position of relaxing into a smile. Actually what humans often perceive as “smile” on a dog is mild panting with their mouth slightly open. Dogs usually do (smile) this when their favorite spots are scratched, or after they play, or when they are having fun. If we keep cathing them at this relaxed moment, and associate the word “smile” in a happy tone, it is possible that we can show off our dog’s new skill at the next party. Enjoy watching Milo smile for his mom.
Article source: Ann Compton in Cuteness