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Pitbulls often come across as intimidating or even violent because of their appearance. However, these dogs are known to be affectionate and friendly with those around them. Many owners claim that they often notice that their Pitbulls are smiling, especially when they’re in a good mood.
So, do Pitbulls Smile? Pitbulls do smile. They exhibit an expression that involves loosening their jaws and letting their tongues lap over their teeth in a way that resembles a smile. However, dog smiles are different from our smiles and they don’t always indicate happiness. They can also indicate submissiveness or aggression.
Keep reading to learn more about whether Pitbulls actually smile, the three main types of Pitbull smiles, and how to tell them apart.
Can Pitbulls Actually Smile?
Pitbulls tend to exhibit an expression that involves loosening their jaws and letting their tongues hang out of their bodies and lap over their teeth. This expression is often interpreted by some owners as smiling, but there are some who interpret it as simply panting.
While scientists have had some success at interpreting non-verbal communication in dogs, they have yet to determine whether dogs actually smile and what their smiles mean.
Dog smiles are different from human smiles and they don’t always indicate that the dog is happy. In order to understand the meaning behind your dog’s smile, you will also need to take the rest of their body language into account.
What Are the Types of Pitbull Smiles?
There are 3 different types of Pitbull smiles and each of them can convey a different meaning depending on your dog’s body language and the situation it’s in.
Now, let’s take a close look at the different types of smiles and their meanings:
The Panting Smile
This smile is often considered the “happy” smile as it indicates that the dog is in a good mood or feeling content. Your dog will usually exhibit this smile after getting a good exercise or during playtime.
You’ll notice that the dog’s mouth is open and its tongue is hanging out. You’ll also notice that the dog’s body language is generally relaxed.
The Submissive Smile
This smile often indicates that the dog is trying to seem non-threatening. Your dog will usually exhibit this smile when it’s trying to please you or put you at ease.
You’ll notice that the dog’s teeth are slightly bared with its upper lip stretched over and that its eyes are squinted. You’ll also notice that the dog’s body language is generally submissive as its boy posture will be lowered and its movement will be softer.
The Aggressive Smile
This smile often indicates that your dog is becoming aggressive. Your dog will usually exhibit this smile when it’s stressed or uncomfortable with the situation it’s in.
You’ll notice that the dog’s teeth are completely bared and that its eyes are squinted. You’ll also notice that the dog’s body language is tense as its ears will be pulled back and it will be growling excessively.
How to Tell Different Pitbull Smiles Apart?
The key to telling apart the different Pitbull smiles is observing the dog’s body language as dogs generally communicate their feelings with their whole bodies, not just their faces.
There are various signs that indicate when your dog is feeling stressed and aggressive or when it’s feeling relaxed and happy. So, let’s break down all of these signs in more detail:
Stressed and Aggressive Body Language
- Your dog will maintain a tense posture and it will start cowering and avoiding direct eye contact as if it’s trying to lower itself to the ground.
- Your dog will hold its tail in an upright rigid position. It might also wag its tail back and forth rapidly.
- Your dog will bare its teeth completely while licking its lips
- Your dog will start barking and growling loudly.
If you notice any of these signs in your dog’s body language, then you need to remove your dog from its current situation and give it some time to calm down, otherwise, its behavior will escalate and it might even attack you.
Relaxed and Happy Body Language
- Your dog’s posture will be loose and they will usually keep their paws extended and hind end elevated.
- Your dog will have trouble remaining still and it will be running around or jumping excitedly.
- Your dog will usually maintain eye contact or squint to communicate what it needs.
- Your dog will hold its tail in a neutral position while wagging it slowly from time to time.
- Your dog will start barking to express its happiness such as during mealtime or playtime.
If you notice any of these signs in your dog’s body language, then you need to encourage this kind of behavior in your dog by rewarding it with treats or praise.
How to Tell If Your Pitbull Is Smiling or Panting?
Since smiling and panting appear very similar in Pitbulls, it can be hard to tell them apart. However, it all comes down to the rest of the dog’s body language and the situation it’s in.
If the dog has its mouth open with its tongue hanging out after playing or exercising, then it’s likely panting due to exertion. Meanwhile, if exhibits the same expression at the sight of its favorite toy or treat, then it’s likely smiling due to happiness.
Do Pitbull Act Hyper?
Pitbulls do act hyper when they have high energy levels. They will mostly act hyper when they’re young but by the time they become adults, they will start to calm down. Some Pitbulls might continue to act hyper and their behavior will eventually escalate to become more destructive or aggressive.
Are Pitbulls Aggressive?
Pitbulls are not aggressive as long as they’re properly socialized and trained when they’re young, they will grow up to be good-natured, obedient, and friendly around others. They will only become aggressive if they were provoked.
Are Pitbull Safe to Have Around Family?
Pitbulls are safe to have around family as long as they were properly socialized and trained from a young age. However, it’s not recommended to leave your children unsupervised with a Pitbull around as they might play too roughly with the dog and accidentally provoke it to become aggressive.
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