r/aww 14d ago

Charlie was not happy that my boyfriend took our other dog to work with him today. We had a chat about it... he was inconsolable.

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u/hardcore_softie 14d ago

For anyone unaware, the quick little sneezes that Charlie does at the end there are "play sneezes". Dogs use them to show they are excited and having a good time. They also use them to make clear that their behavior is only playful.

While we can't read the minds of dogs, it's a safe bet here that Charlie was making those sneezes to laugh along with how his human was laughing, and as their tones both started to sound more serious, with him barking and her saying, "No!", Charlie used them to essentially say, "Come on, you know I'm just messing with you! You know I love you."

It's one of my favorite things about dog verbal communication. If you can get a dog to sneeze like that, it means you're making them giggle or laugh with glee. If they do it while you're playing/rough housing with them, they are doing it to reassure you that they are only playing, even if they are growling and barking, and that they are very excited and having fun.

The dogs I've had have often done it when playing, as we jump back and forth chasing each other right before they launch into some zoomies. I've had some that will do it rapid-fire in the middle of play because they are so excited.

Every dog I've ever had has also done them when we've engaged in "conversation", just like Charlie did here with his human.

They do the same thing when interacting with other dogs and other animals, although they probably don't realize that other animals or even humans might not understand what they mean by it. Kind of like how we sometimes can't help but laugh when playing with animals, even though most of them might not totally understand what we mean when we make those sounds.

Here's a good article on the various reasons dogs sneeze. Another reason is they do them when "negotiating". My dogs have often done this when we've gotten into "discussions" about if they should go for a walk or if I should keep playing video games, etc.


Thank you for attending my TED Talk on dog sneeze/laughs.


u/GAM3FREAK708 14d ago

This is one of the coolest things about dogs imo. I even like to return sneeze at my dog sometimes, and she seems to get even more excited whenever I do. Sometimes she runs too fast and hits the door before I can open it.


u/hardcore_softie 14d ago

I totally agree and I also like to return the sneezes. They get really excited when we speak their language.