Dogs are considered man’s best friend. At the end of a tiring day, most pet parents want to see the beautiful white smiles of their dogs. It’s a fascinating scene to watch even though the reason they smile is different from their owners.
Teaching how to get your dog to smile is a great feat to show to anyone adoring your canine companion. But, it’s more than hard when teaching them how to sit or stay.
Owners have to be dedicated when training their dogs how to smile since they are not born with the ability to smile. Frequently, these fur friends can be taught that smiling is a good thing hopefully, with the help of their owners.
Before training, the owners have to know a dog’s smile is. Maybe what these owners consider smiling is just relaxed panting.
Your fur friend’s teeth may show when they slightly open their mouth when in a relaxed state from a good scratch, which is different when they are panting during a hot day.
To know the difference between the two types of smiling dogs show, check below.
Two Types of Smiling You Need To Avoid
This trick takes a great deal of knowledge about dog behavior. This is a difficult technique for your dog to master since they don’t smile when they’re delighted like we do.
When a dog flashes her teeth, your dog usually either:
1. Submission Smiling
As the name implies, it is the smile dogs give when they are submissive to the person they are with, which should be avoided. This type of smile is shown by a canine companion when they are in fear or threat.
It is also accompanied by specific body movements like sitting or lying on the ground with their ears tucked back on the top of their head, which signifies they feel threatened or scared.
This can be easily noticed since their owners would likely tell the difference from the dog’s ordinary smile since it is awkward.
This type of smile is shown by dogs when they are angry or territorial. This smile is opposite to what dogs feel during a submission smile but is also avoided.
This type of “smiling” also shows their teeth but comes along with a different body movement, particularly an aggressive forward stance. Its body is more tense than usual and is ready to pounce on its potential attacker.
The dog’s ears would be pointed upwards as having an alert stance, and its tail would be standing up and firm.
These smiles should be avoided by pet parents as these smiles bring discomfort and fear to a dog’s feelings. During the training process, if dogs show these types of smiles, owners need to change the way they train their dogs.
It’s not uncommon to see anxious dogs flash a meek smile in an attempt to defuse the situation. It’s like the dog equivalent of raising your arms in the air.
If you want to show off your dog’s teeth with a snarl, it’s not a good idea to teach it. Instead, it is recommended to use a whisker tickle to train a dog to smile.
There are different ways owners can teach their dog how to smile. It can be commanded from a voice or the sound of a clicker. Even the way they show their smile is displayed can also be taught.
Ways On Teaching Your Dog How To Smile
There are different ways to make your dog smile. Follow these simple steps on how to teach a dog to smile.
1. Be Attentive to your dog
You just need to give them a tiny nudge to get them to reveal their teeth. You may learn a lot about your dog’s behavior by paying close attention to how they react when they are excited.
Having their favorite treat in your hands or anticipating a stroll or a trip in the vehicle might be the reason they’re acting this way. When a dog is preparing to eat something sour, like a lemon, they will display their teeth.
Keep track of these occurrences and apply them in your training by taking detailed notes. This is how to teach a dog to smile with teeth showing off.
To be clear, we’re not referring to the fangs bared when a dog growls or engages in other hostile behavior. A dog that is trained to be aggressive is a threat to itself and others.
2. Basic Technique
This is the most common method on how to make a dog smile. It is done by owners helping their canine companion to pull their lips up to show their teeth and act a smile then rewarding them for doing it.
This can be initiated with a good scratch or belly rub so that the dog is in a happy and excited state. Repeat this process of lifting its lips with your thumb and middle finger and say “smile”.
After performing the act, do not forget to give your pet a treat. The training should all be done in a short time as the dog might get frustrated by the long and exhaustive repetitions.
After a few repetitions, the dog will eventually get that doing the action of smiling when the owner says “smile” will result in them having a treat. With this, owners need not raise the lips of their fur friends, and instead, they will do it already on the owner’s command.
3. Tickle Method
With the tickle method, the owners need to tickle the dog’s snout to produce a more natural curl and a quirkier smile as opposed to pulling their lips up to show a smile.
This smile looks funnier than the smile from the basic technique which the dog can do on its own. Again, wait for the time when the dog is in a peaceful state, and tickle the dog’s snout with your fingers or its whiskers on one side then say the command, “smile”.
By using the same steps, the same can be done by associating the command with the sound of a clicker. After the dog shows its smile, do not forget to give him a treat and always compliment them so that the training will not feel forced to them.
Eventually, the dog will learn to smile on the cue of the clicker or the owner’s voice without the owner tickling their dog. This is how to make a dog smile while not making it irritated.
4. Give Dog Treats
A simple approach may be used to teach your dog to grin if you know what causes it to expose its teeth. It’s possible to take the keys, say “smile,” and give your dog a reward if your dog reveals its teeth because it believes it’s going for a ride when you grasp the keys.
In time, your dog will learn to grin on cue, depending on how quick it is to pick up on the trick. Don’t forget to lavish your pet with praise when you reward it with a goodie.
Training dogs how to smile is different from obedience and housebreaking training since smiling is not their natural ability. Below are some tips for the practice to go as planned.
1. Make the training fun
Please do not force the dog to show a smile or react immediately to voice or sound commands since it is not that serious. Remember to make the training enjoyable for your pup since it is not natural for them.
Making training fun also helps them to remember the lessons taught to them rapidly. Owners may also reinforce the training with the dog’s favorite toy.
Trick training begins with this fundamental guideline. In order to be successful, you must not be frustrated, either with yourself or with your dog.
Maintain a pleasant and upbeat attitude during your workouts. Using punishment, coercion, or fear in trick training is not recommended.
As a trainer, it’s important that you don’t yell at your dog when she does anything incorrectly. Your dog’s enthusiasm for learning is already low, so punishing errors would just make it much worse.
It’s usually a good idea to end the training session early if you’re growing impatient.
2. Make the lessons short
Since dogs have short attention spans, make the training sessions about less than 10 minutes as they may lose focus quickly. Play with them for a bit if your dog can not get it right away.
Both you and your dog will have to put in a lot of mental effort throughout training, just as you would in your academic class. Working in 5-10 minute intervals and then taking a break can save your dog from being overtired.
It is recommended to often break up training sessions by playing tug or retrieve, going for a stroll, or snuggling with your dog. Only half of the time should you spend with your dog for training.
3. Be patient
Teaching pups how to smile is a tough feat to achieve. A few sessions may not be enough, so it is crucial for owners to remain calm and collected and not get frustrated with their pets.
Always compliment them and give them treats and avoid any physical abuse or yelling.
4. End your training on a good note
Training sessions should conclude on a happy tone. Trick training should be fun for you and your dog, so don’t call it quits when everyone’s unhappy.
You may want to drop your expectations a little if your dog is having difficulty and offer your dog some easy tasks. So, you may always simply ask her to sit down, or to shake her head before you call it quits!
5. Make the training simple
Think of methods to make the behavior simpler for your dog if he is having a hard time. It’s possible to offer your dog more of the “wins” by implementing these easy actions. The technique should be broken into smaller stages if you can.
Starting with eye contact, write down all of the minor muscle movements and steps that my dog must do in order to complete a job. Even the tiniest of successes may make a big difference in your training!
In the same line, consider the more challenging habits. Don’t forget about the difficulty of the situation. At a home party, you’ll want your dog to put on a smiling face for a stranger, so practice makes perfect!
Remember that even humans will have a hard time learning the basics at first. Similarly, you have to teach your dog with lots of patience and understanding.
Spending your time and some treats for your dogs will result in a positive impact to both you and your dogs.
In conclusion, smiling on command is a good party trick to show to other people but is not an easy feat to achieve.
Some owners do not even attempt to do this training to their dogs. So if other owners do their training persistently but as fun as possible, smiling is not impossible for their pets.
This behavior may be elicited by observing the dog’s actions while it is being rewarded with a goodie. For dogs, this is a simple way of telling them what you want them to do.
Praise the dog when it does the behavior, even if you don’t have a reward for it at the moment. This should only be done when the dog has really enjoyed his time with you.
This trick should not be over-trained. Stop training if the dog doesn’t grasp what you’re saying and come back to it later.
The dog will get confused if you teach him too much. Training should be done in quick sessions and only after the dog has had a chance to bond with you first.
When you’re patting the dog, engage with it. Look for your dog’s favorite spot of relaxation. Some dogs like to have their backs rubbed near the base of their tails, while others prefer to have their ears stroked.
Give the “smile” instruction to the dog after it’s been scratched in its preferred location. Treat the dog when it does what you want it to when it does it right.
Do you have other unique and effective ways on how to teach your adorable dog to smile? Share it with us by commenting down below!