Do Dogs Find Things Funny? [Facts]

Have you ever tried watching a comic series with your pup on the couch, popcorn in hand, and the most hilarious scene leaves you gasping with laughter? And you suddenly realize that it seems you are the joke too.

Well, that makes two of us. My Belgian Malinois,( I call him Captain), and I were binging on the ‘Friends’ series one of the holidays 

do dogs find things funny
Do dogs find things funny? [Facts]

On getting to the scene where Ross was trying to confess his feelings to Rachel, and a cat jumped on his head and prevented the confession from happening, I burst into a hysterical laughter.

As if on cue my dog started hollering on the couch as I was also laughing hysterically. And that got me thinking, does he get it? It has to be that he also thinks it’s funny that’s why he’s reacting.

It’s too much of a coincidence for Captain to show happy/playful signs right when the scene happened. And this happens often so that further validated my guess.

If you were asking if your dog can find things funny, the answer is YES!  It is very possible that your dogs also find the things you find funny, funny as well.

The Theories Behind Dogs Finding Things Funny

For ages, the ability to laugh or be humorous in the least kind of way was believed to be a unique quality exclusive to humans. Researchers have always believed that dogs cannot laugh.

However, recent studies have proven that dogs can have a good laugh when they find something funny. It happens mostly when you’re playing with them, like when they’re playing fetch, or when they’re tickled. 

Patricia Simonet, a Nevada College researcher, in her study on the sound of laughter in dogs, found a  fascinating way of knowing how dogs laugh. In her study, she found that when dogs laugh, they make the kind of noise we mostly mistake for panting as a result of tiredness.

When they laugh they make some kind of ‘Huuuuh’ Huuuuuuh’ sound. Interestingly, she also discovered that when humans mimic this sound, it can help calm the nerves of your pup and help with puppy anxiety. Yeah, you can try that out with your little pup.

Also, Charles Darwin in the edition of  the Descent of Man writes:

“Dogs show what may be fairly called a sense of humour, as distinct from mere paly; 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 manoeuvre, and enjoying the practical joke.”

If you pretend to throw a stick, don’t be too shocked, because your dog can pretend to return it. What a joke, right?!

A happy lab dog lays units back
Happy Labrador!

How Do You Know that Your Dog Thinks Something is Funny? 

While the signs exhibited by different breeds might differ, there are certain common signs among other behaviours that serve as a pointer to your dog finding something 

Although, your pup’s laugh depends on their breed. There are some common signs that your dog is laughing that seem to be found across all dog breeds, though.

Most times, they have a big bright smile plastered on their face, with their head up, a star sparkling eye and a pant that we mostly mistake for them being tired. They might also wag their tails in the process. 

happy puppy toy
A super happy puppy with a toy

Certain Breeds Have a Greater Sense of Humour Than Others

Dogs with playful owners that spend a lot of time with them are bound to have the happy juices flowing and outpouring in laughter. 

But, there are certain breeds generally known to have a greater sense of humour than the others. Though it’s impossible to be 100% sure of what a dog is thinking, we can pick up on a few clues that let us know when our pups are up for a catch game, hungry, happy, sad, and so on.

In a recent discovery by Dr. Benjamin Hart and Lynnette Hart, animal behaviourists from the University of California-Davis, he found that the dog breeds with a great  sense of humour are mostly those that are very playful. “Playful” is defined here as the utmost willingness to catch a ball or play hide-and-seek.

The Irish Setter, English Springer Spaniel, Airedale, Golden Retriever, and Poodle for instance rank the highest, while the Bloodhound, Bulldog, and Basset Bound are at the very bottom of the pedestal.

The Bulldogs and Hounds are considered to be no-nonsense dogs, trained to be disciplined in a way that they don’t have time for jokes.

Whether you have a playful dog or a roaming one, what keeps your dogs mentally stimulated are the tricks and games that are sure to make them happy

And you may even get a breathy laugh out of him! Our pups provide us with so much joy and happiness. We can do the same for them.

Whether they’re laughing with us or at us, our doggies find us the funniest of all.

Do Dogs Really Have A Sense of Humour?

Dogs naturally can make their owners laugh and be amused. They have a humorous ability to do that, especially when you spend a lot of time with them. 

Charles Darwin, the famous scientist in his found that dogs are not only playful but exhibit a sense of humour. And that some breeds like English Springer, Golden Retrievers, and Poodles are among the funniest  have a sense of humour than others

Sometimes your dog can take your things and give you a fit of the race around the room. Dogs also do things to make us laugh and just to lighten up our faces. That’s them saying, “Hi! Let’s play now.” 

Also, you may see them rolling around on the ground and acting all silly, and doing the weirdest things just to make you laugh. Often, they can jump on you, putting their face as close to yours as possible.

Hide and seek can be their thing when you’re feeling humorous or a throw and catch a play at the park. Once you start paying attention to these little puff noises and engage with them more, you’ll be able to tell the humourous ability they have.

Things Your Dog Might Find Funny

Just like us, dogs find quite a lot of things funny. But here are some common ones.

Your Dog May Find You Funny

You’re the most hilarious thing that a dog has in his fund and there is something that dogs find the funniest, it’s other than you it’s because you are your pet’s favourite person.  

Samoyed running in the garden
A Samoyed dog running to his owner in the garden.

Tricks and Games

Tricks and games have a way of mentally stimulating your dogs and making them very happy. There are plenty of ways to stimulate your dog’s mind. You can teach dogs a new trick.

Let them meet new people. Allow them to smell the flowers. 

cavapoos playing outside
Two cavapoos happily playing outside

Their Tricks

If you think your master can pull a trick on your dog, well you’re gonna have to think again. Just like the doggy humour established by Darwin when he noted that if you throw a stick, your dog carries it not so far away, then sits on and waits for his owner to come close to take the stick away. But then, instead of allowing his owner to get the stick, he seizes it and runs away in triumph, obviously enjoying his prank.

Now how’s that for doggie humor?

boxer dog with stick running on grass
A happy boxer adult runs in the grass with a stick


A game shared with you is not only funny but memorable to dogs. Any form of play makes dogs excited. A simple game of fetch or tug-of-war will surely bring out tons of breathy laughter from your dogs. 

Dalmatian plays tug of war
A Dalmatian dog plays tug of war with a little girl.

Your Laughter

Dogs respond to their owner and sometimes mimic what their owners are doing. They even mirror their people’s behaviours and personalities. They can pick up happy or sad signals.

They know how you feel and respond or adjust accordingly. Awesome right?

The next time you burst into laughter don’t be surprised if your dog comes up to you and starts panting. In that sense… laughing!

When you laugh in their company, your canine friend would likely see you as playful. They will pick up your laugh as a signal that you’re ready to throw a ball or cuddle. Either way, you should get some hearty pants from your dog!

woman and dog enjoys the snow
Woman laughing with his dog during a snowfall.

Acts of Love

Belly rubs, head pats, sofa cuddles… these little affectionate acts can also draw some hearty peals of laughter from your pet.

Any intimate interaction with you brings them so much joy. If your dog is naturally playful and you reinforce that by giving them lots of attention and lovey-dovey time, expect some belly chuckles.

The next time you let out a boisterous laugh, don’t be surprised if your dog comes up to you and starts panting.