How to Teach Your Dog to Smile

How to Teach Your Dog to Smile
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How to Teach Your Dog to Smile requires you to be on good terms with your dog. Smiling is not a natural position for them. Typically, they show their teeth when being submissive or angry.

Again, don’t do this if you’re uncomfortable with your fingers around your dog’s mouth. Try another trick if that’s the case.

To keep your dog in one spot, it is a good idea to start in the dog sitting position.

Learn the dog sit trick here.


Start with your dog in the seated position and relaxed. After a good play time is ideal.

This trick is best taught when your dog is a little tired and not full of energy. You can do it with them in the standing position, but we’ve found seated is much better.


Lift your dog’s lips on both side while saying “SMILE.” Then, PRAISE and REWARD them.

The goal of this step is to get your dog to asscoiate the “SMILE” with their lips going up. As we said earlier, this is not a natural position for your dog, so some may have trouble with it.

Keep trying and award successes with a verbal praise and a tasty treat.


Slowly make it harder for your dog to earn a treat so you just say “SMILE” for them to pull their lips back. When they do, PRAISE and REWARD them.

In this step, you want to nail down the association of”SMILE” with the act of moving their lips up.


How to Teach Your Dog to Smile might take a little time since it is not natural for your dog to smile. But, with time and effort you can make this happen.

Your final objective is to get your dog to raise their lips with just the verbal command. If you can do this, you are on your way to a trick dog.

Let everyone know about your successes and challenges in the comments below.

Good Training…

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Steve Larrivee

Steve Larrivee

As a dog lover since his youth, Steve Co-Founded Athenas Pets with his son Kevin to promote dog training to the masses. Athenas Pets, focuses on training products and providing the "know-how" so the average dog owner can train their dog like a pro.

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