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What Do Dogs Find Funny?

By Cuteness Team
published: June 22, 2018 - updated: September 14, 2022 • 3 min. read
dog licking man's face

Key Takeaways

  • When dogs make a forced breathy sound, usually during playtime similar to panting, they are laughing.
  • Charles Darwin, the famous scientist, found that dogs are not only playful but exhibit a sense of humor.
  • Some breeds have more of a sense of humor than others — English springer spaniels, golden retrievers, and poodles are among the funniest.

Did you know that dogs can laugh? Hard to believe, right? Findings in the field of canine gelotology, the study of if and how dogs laugh, show that dogs make a forced breathy sound, usually during playtime that is similar to panting but not panting. What is it? Doggy laughter.

Konrad Lorenz, author of Man Meets Dog (1949), writes in his book that dog laughter occurs when the dog’s lips are slack and curled up on the sides of his mouth, accompanied by quick heavy panting. This is the canine equivalent to human laughter and is usually an invitation to play.

What do dogs find funny?

While it may seem obvious, but nothing makes a dog happier than a loving and attentive owner that provides her with lots of mental stimulation. If you’re trying to make sure your dog is in a good mood, just spend time with him. Aww! Above all else, dogs are going to find their humans the funniest because that’s who they spend the most time with. A magic trick or pretending to throw the ball can be seen as a form of play for your dog. If you perform these acts in love (not maliciously) your dog is sure to think you’re the smartest and funniest guy around.


Dogs have always been known to have a sense of humor.

Studies of the doggy sense of humor date all the way back to Charles Darwin. The infamous scientist in his studies on human evolution, observed the behavior of dogs to examine parallels with human behavior. Darwin found that dogs are not only playful but exhibit a sense of humor and will go as far as playing tricks of their own on humans. In the 1872 edition of The Descent of Man, Darwin writes:

Dogs show what may be fairly called a sense of humor, as distinct from mere play; if a bit of stick or other such object be thrown to one, he will often carry it away for a short distance; and then squatting down with it on the ground close before him, will wait until his master comes quite close to take it away. The dog will then seize it and rush away in triumph, repeating the same maneuver, and evidently enjoying the practical joke.

Essentially, if you pretend to throw the ball, don’t be surprised if your dog pretends to return it. Oh Fido, such a kidder!

The internet proves that dogs find humans funny.

If you try to imitate your dog’s laugh, he will find your human accent hilarious and maybe even laugh back at you!

And if all else fails, dogs, like humans, will find tickling the funniest of all (because none of us can help it).

Certain breeds have a greater sense of humor than others.

Any dog with a playful owner is bound to produce a laugh or two, but certain breeds are known to have a greater sense of humor than others. It’s impossible to know exactly what a dog is thinking, but humans can pick up on clues that let us know when our pups are happy, sad, hungry, or ready to play.

Dr. Benjamin Hart and Lynnette Hart, animal behaviorists from the University of California-Davis, found that dog breeds with the greatest sense of humor are those that are the most playful. They defined “playful” as those most willing to catch the ball or play hide-and-seek for example. Perhaps with little surprise, the Irish setter, English springer spaniel, airedale, golden retriever, and poodle ranked the highest while the bloodhound, bulldog, and basset hound ranked lowest. Those in the latter group tend to be working dogs that are no-nonsense and don’t have time for your jokes.

Not. Funny.

So, whether you have a playful poodle or a brooding bulldog, keeping your dog mentally stimulated with tricks and games is sure to make him happy and you may even get a breathy laugh out of him! Our pups provide us with so much joy and we happily do the same for them. Whether they’re laughing with us or at us, our doggies find us the funniest of all.

This article is provided by Cuteness—the go-to destination for passionate pet parents. Cuteness has answers to all of your health, training, and behavior questions – as well as the cutest, funniest, and most inspiring pet stories from all over the world.

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By Cuteness Team

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