Well, demiPUPPY, it’s pretty obvious that when Dobby smiles it’s because he knows something we don’t. But that alone hardly constitutes a post, and it doesn’t do much to fulfill the objective of this site (helping people understand dogs and puppies). So, for our other readers, let us explain it in the broader context of dogs in general.
So, one specific bit of body language alone does not tell you how your dog feels. Dobby, for example, frequently uses his ears to express his mood. There is one particular position he puts them in that can have three different meanings. When he lays his ears against the sides of his head, he could be happy or excited, indicated by the wagging of his tail, running, jumping, or any playful behaviors, he could be scared, in which case he will tuck his tail between his legs and scuttle backwards if approached, or it could mean he is in a calm, submissive state, which you would know by the slow, relaxed wag of the tail, and also by his displaying signs that he wants to be picked up or scratched.
In the same way, a smile could mean several things. However, those two websites did not explain the kind of smile that demiPUPPY was referring to and that Dobby frequently demonstrates. When Dobby smiles, he does not show his teeth. Then there is also the smirk, which is basically a smile only on one side. Dobby does both with his tail wagging at a moderate pace and his ears in an attentive position. Does this mean he is happy? Let’s get another opinion on that:
This article does a good job breaking down the various components of canine body language. You may not have been patient enough to read as far down as the parts that mentioned smiling, so for those of you, yes, that article did refer to the kind of smile that Dobby displays, and, yes, the smile is an indicator of happiness, providing that it is accompanied by positive body language such as tail wagging.
But, while we’re here, is the smirk any different? Since it is seen with the same body language as a smile, I would say yes. But, again, a second opinion is always good.
But, search engines are dumb, and they use synonyms so that you don’t have type in a bunch of words that mean the same thing just to get all the possible results. And stupid Google thinks that smirk and a smile are the same thing. They mean the same thing, in dogs at least, but they are still different. Same with Google and Bing. They do the same thing, but they are still different. Ha. I win.
I guess that means that we must now conclude this post (gettin’ pretty long anyway). Have a question about your dog, or someone else’s dog, and something that they do? Post your questions in the comments on this post.