Teaching Your Dog to Smile


New Member
Hmm...I will have to try this trick. I know that certain people use "snarl bands" but I would not advocate this in any way.

Woofs & Wags,
Ashley & Kaine


Well-Known Member
This is a trick I have been trying for a long time to teach Jesse. The smile I am trying to teach is the "snarl" looking one. I have been using my fingers to raise his upper lip, and praising when it looks like he is smiling, but it hasn't worked that well with us:dognowink:
I have seen lots of dogs in the movies do this trick, but after finding out from the show Greatest American Dog that most used those snarl bands, I looked closly at the dogs lips, and they were wearing the snarl bands. The way the dog holds their lips up with those things on, looks completly unnatural. I would never use one to teach this trick. I guess I'll just have to try many more repetitions with the moving the lips up and treating, combined with the other great methods explained here, thanks!!:doglaugh:

~Heather and Jesse~


Honored Member
I've got Buddy to smile when i say "Are you a HAPPY BOY?" I started by petting the very back of his head, (for some reason, he also smiles at me whenever i first sit down--no idea why--so during training, i moved from chair to chair a lot, ha ha, is true! EVerytime i sat down, he smiles for some moments afterwards for some reason..:msngiggle:

Then i'd click and treat that smile, and i found petting the back of his head makes him smile, click/treat....over time he got it, and eventually, i was able elicit his kinda open mouthed smile without touching the back of his head.

Funny part is----his smile often looks kinda fake-y ---if you can picture a dog making a fake-y smile!! :msngiggle: Hlarious.


Honored Member

I dare anyone to keep a straight face while looking at this video.


New Member
I am defo going to try this, my puppys only 12 week, and I haven't seem him do this yet, but my other dog Diego is a year and a half and he oftens props himself up ont he sofa in a human like seated position and smiles at me!


New Member
my whippet-mix smiles (snarl smile) when-ever we come home. I really love it! I've lived with sight hounds all my life and I love their snarly smiles. I'm trying to teach my whippet how to do it on command now. It's really hard to reward her for smiling when she does it naturally when we get home, because shes bouncing all over the place.

I've started lifting up her lips and saying SMILE! then treating her. Been working on it for about a week now.. 5 to 10 minutes everyday. She's not really catching on. I read online that you can put peanut butter under her lips to make her raise them, that didn't work either.

I'm not sure how else to teach her to smile. I've tried getting her really happy and excited but for some reason she only smiles after we've come home from being out!

I guess I'll just keep it up and hopefully she will get it some day...