Tuesday, 28 October 2008

dogs recognise human laughter

When we were at K9 Kompany today enjoying the K9 Kup - our mini Melbourne Cup - I noticed that the dogs were excited and more active than usual. I thought Penny was trying very hard and watching me more closely than usual - and it seemed to me she was working for the reward of my laughter as much as the treats that she gets intermittently.

I feel sure dogs know what human laughter is.

I remember enjoying a cup of tea in a friend's house and taking no notice of the family labrador, who was lying under the table. He suddenly leaped up and barked to announce the arrival of a latecomer, and we all burst out laughing because we thought he'd been lazy about not announcing the other six people who had already arrived.

I might be guilty of anthropomorphism, but I would say that dog was humiliated by the laughter. He slunk away with his tail between his legs. (He cheered up pretty quickly.)

But the laughter today was different. It was silly laughter, fun laughter. Cindy, our teacher, was wearing a 'beautiful' hat, as one must if attending the Melbourne Cup, and we were enjoying the over-the-top competitiveness of it all. The dogs were leaping around and racing full pelt over and through the obstacles.

Science News, in 2001, published a item about the sounds dogs make when they are having fun - if you listen to the audio clip, it does sound different from normal panting. I'd love to think Penny was laughing too, as we raced around.

3 comments:

Slavenka said...

Parlance ,those photos of Penny are very good.I am sure that my dogs enjoy when my son and my husband burst out laughing with me because then our dogs are very excited.

Victoria said...

Hello Parlance & Penny--

My name is Victoria, and I'm with Rocket XL, a marketing agency working out of Los Angeles. I wanted to invite you to join in a great project we're working on to help homeless dogs, cats & animals everywhere. We're working on a project for one of the world's most successful pet adoption drives, Home 4 the Holidays, which has set a goal to place at least 1 million pets in loving and happy homes over this holiday season (Oct. 1, 2008 through Jan. 5, 2009). In fact, Home 4 the Holidays has 6 shelters participating in Australia alone this year!

With some help from animal-supporting bloggers like yourselves sharing the word about the program, and this year's Home 4 the Holidays celebrity spokesperson, Felicity Huffman and her beloved adopted dog Tucker, we know we can reach this goal! Last year alone, this pet adoption program helped nearly 500,000 families experience the joy of pet adoption. In fact, since it began in 1999, Iams Home for the Holidays has helped place more than 2 million pets into happy homes.

Please let me know if you'd like to be involved in helping spread the word about Home 4 the Holidays with your blogging friends. Thanks for your time & consideration!


Best,
Victoria
Victoria@rocketxl.com

parlance said...

Slavenka, I'm sure dog owners who live WITH their dogs (don't leave them in the yard all the time and not interact with them) would agree with us.