Dog humor, is it a thing?


Hello everyone, CEO Olivia reporting. The other day, my huMom was reminiscing about Chelsea, the beautiful English Bull Terrier. That’s her face on our logo. She mentioned that Bull Terriers have a great sense of humor. Maybe I’m part Bull Terrier because I know I like a good prank now & then.

Some of you may be wondering if huMom might be doing something called Anthropomorphizing. That just means projecting human personality traits onto an animal. The answer is maybe a little, but research backs up the fact that dogs can posses a sense of humor.

Dogs have more or less juvenile minds. This is because for centuries we have been specifically bred not to fully mature, so our minds are like that of an ancestral wolf puppy. The technical term for this is neoteny, which means the delaying or slowing of the physiological development of an animal. It’s part of what makes us dogs unconditionally loving, but also why we remain puppy like.

I don’t play fetch but my late furbro Micky Moo Moo sure did. Here’s a good example of dog humor. Imagine a toy being thrown for a good dog. The dog fetches the toy then carries it a short distance, then sits down with it on the ground close before him, then he waits until his human comes close to take it away. The dog quickly grabs the toy & runs off only to repeat the game. Moo Moo did this all the time, it was his idea of a practical joke. Hilarity.

Do we laugh? The answer is yes, dogs can & do laugh.

Research done by Patricia Simonet at Sierra Nevada College in Lake Tahoe looked at laughter sounds in dogs. She went to dog parks with a parabolic microphone that  recorded the sounds that dogs made while they were playing. When the recordings were analyzed, some sounds, like a panting, ‘hhuh, hhuh” went into a wider range of frequencies than just regular dog panting. She then confirmed positive effects of this laugh sound in an experiment on 15 puppies, which romped for joy when hearing the recorded canine laugh. She has also shown that these same sounds helped calm dogs in a shelter.

huMom calls me her little clown sometimes, she means it in a nice way. I know I can make her laugh by being silly. She makes me laugh too.

Does your good dog have a sense of humor? What’s their idea of a good joke? I’m always looking for new material.

CEO Olivia