How to Teach your Dog to Smile ( 4 Easy Steps)

How to teach your dog to smile


Have you seen some viral pictures of dogs showing their white pearly teeth? Now you want to teach your pet the same? Then, don’t worry, I am here with the tricks you can teach your dog how to smile. This training is not that easy, so you have to take proper information before starting. So here is the answer to the question of how to teach your dog to smile.

Unlike other tricks, teaching a dog to smile is complex and requires more work, but it is achievable. Keep in mind that a smiling dog is not always a happy dog. Somehow, this is an awkward trick for your pup to learn. Still, this is such a cute and full of fun trick to teach your puppy how to say cheese! So let’s begin!

How to teach your dog to smile in 2022

You need to follow the following steps:

1. Dog Comfort

Before starting, the foremost thing you have to check is whether your dog is comfortable or not. Suppose he is in a good mood or not. If you make him feel uncomfortable during the training, you may get bitten—so better start after playing with him or when the pup is getting scratched in his favorite areas. Smiling behavior in dogs is not the same as in humans. Dogs mostly show this impression when they have to do mild panting.

Moreover, it is also possible that the dog is either snarling or showing a submissive grin. Dogs submissively grin when they are nervous and are in a stressful situation. So make sure before starting your training that your dog is in a happy mood or not.

2. Give him your Favourite food

So, you have to charge your dog before starting the training. Are you wondering how to assess your dog? Don’t worry. It means you have to show your dog his favorite snacks or anything as a treat. Make sure that he will be awarded his favorite treat if he does what you are commanding about when you are sure that now your dog knows that you have promised him a treat. Then, he will do anything for you. So, after making him sure about the treat, feel free to experiment.

3. Use a Whistle Tracker

The best of all is to use a whisker tickle. In this trick, you have to scratch gently in his whiskers. This thing will make him lift his lips when he leaves his lips to award him with a treat. He will click this act that he is awarded a treat whenever he lifts his lips. So, whenever you tickle him, he will raise his lips. But technically, his smile depends on the physical stimuli to smile or show his teeth. So, repeat this trick again and again whenever you see your dog lift his lips and award him with a treat whenever he smiles. However, to earn more treats, your dog will start to lift his lips on his own.

You don’t have to do this step fast. This step can take five minutes or even five weeks, depending upon the savviness of your dog. The first thing you have to keep in mind is to do fun training. If you and your dog are frustrated, then none of you will get succeeded and will end up disappointed. Don’t use punishment, force, or something wrong if he doesn’t get it. It is pretty standard. Punishment mistakes will make him less interested in training. If you start getting frustrated and your pup is not clicking the movement, then end that session early and go to enjoy the party.

4. User Verbal Commands

After step 3, you have to slowly fade away the physical stimulus and use verbal commands to make him smile. To start this, you have first to follow the steps and know your dog with a verbal cue like ‘smile my dog’ or ‘say cheese’. The verbal cue depends upon your choice. Then tickle him and award him with a treat when he lifts his lips. Repeat this process several times, and he will get familiar with this verbal cue. After getting familiar, whenever you pronounce this verbal cue, he will respond to you by showing his teeth.

Remember that treats are payments for lifting the lips of your pup. So always award your puppy when he does his task perfectly. This will appreciate him, and he will practice this trick more and more to get more treats. Practice this behavior for more challenging situations like in front of the guests or at the park.

The other trick to make your dog show his smile is by lifting his jowls slightly. For some dogs, it is easy for us to teach them how to smile. All you have to do is touch his cheeks or jowls, and he will lift his lips. After connecting your dog’s cheeks gently and smoothly, lift your dog’s upper lip to show his teeth. At this time, your dog has responded to you either by physical clues, and you have to provide him a massive treat as a reward.

Read an excellent guide about the top dog harness

Frequently asked questions

What is the benefit of a dog smiling?

The benefit of a dog smiling is that it keeps your dog healthy. In addition, dog smiling tells you that your dog is happy, relaxed, and in a good state of mind.

Can I make my favorite pal smile?

Yes, you can make your dog smile by following the above procedure. We have created an easy guide for our viewers that can help them to achieve their goal of a dog smiling.

If you want to teach your dog some tricks read this guide.


Remember that smiling is not a natural process in dogs as in humans. So some dogs show this response because of annoyance resulting from tickling we do to lift their lips. In addition to this, as it is not a natural response in dogs, your pup may tire or get bored quickly. So to maintain his interest in training, you have to provide him a treat whenever he lifts his lips, either by a physical stimulus or by listening to your command.

This training requires a lot of practice. First, practice many times by providing him with physical stimulus or by tickling. Then slowly fades away the physical cue and makes verbal clues more prominent. With time and practice, there will be a time when he will only listen to your command and smile. You can also read about dog food for Shih Tzu with a sensitive stomach.

I hope you guys have found this article helpful!

Dr. Louise Cosgrove

Dr. Louise Cosgrove

veterinarian for 10+ years currently running a veteran house and I am here to serve my knowledge over the internet.

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