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We Decode the Facial Expressions of These 10 Dogs

Do your dogs use any of these looks? We know EXACTLY what they mean!

 |  Mar 18th 2013  |   6 Contributions


A look is worth a thousand words, right? When I was a kid, my mom would sometimes shoot me "the look" when she meant business. You know the look I'm talking about -- the "you better knock it off right now if you ever want to see the light of day again" look, also known as the maternal lightsaber. That sucker would slice you right down the middle and make you wish you'd never opened your sassy teenage mouth.

Now I'm the mother of two teenagers and have wielded that saber a time or two. I suppose sassy mouths are in the genes.

Dogs can also work a look. They know we're total suckers and they know how to make the face that will garner them the desired results, which usually is food. It's rarely a secret when they're excited, and when they're feeling guilty, their sweet droopy little faces cannot tell a lie. Even though they sometimes think they're being slick, dogs are an easy read. Here are 10 dog faces, translated.

1. Really??

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"No." Dachshund in Overalls by Shutterstock

Do I look like a train engineer? Last time I checked, I can't even unfasten buttons, so now I'm stuck in this pinstriped catastrophe until your jollies have been fully acquired. And hey -- I think I heard the cat say he wanted to wear it this afternoon. 

2. YAY!

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"This is my favorite!" Corgi on a Walk by Flickr Creative Commons

Everywhere I look is YAY! So much sniffing to do and so many places to pee! And did you see that squirrel? I don't know where to look next! YAY!

3. What?

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"I have no idea what you're talking about." Terrier With Dirty Mouth by Flickr Creative Commons

Dirt on my mouth? What? I have no clue to what you're referring, good lady. I've been lying in the backyard sun all afternoon. What? You think I've been in the garden? You have a garden? I had no idea! You must show it to me sometime! What? I'm cute, right? Right?

4. Sneaky McSneakerson

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"I see you not seeing me." Sneaky Dog by Flickr Creative Commons

You thought I was busy chewing my Nylabone, but I saw you build a delicious-looking salami sandwich. I saw every tasty slice of meaty magic. And the cheese, too. Saw it. You need to go to the bathroom, don't you? You look like you're harboring a painfully full bladder. You really better run -- I hear you can get an infection trying to hold it for too long. You don't want to have to fuss around with any of that antibiotic business, do you? Don't worry -- I'll keep an eye on "things."

5. Can I be more clear?

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"Do you see my belly? Do you?" Dog Showing Belly by Flickr Creative Commons

Look at my face. Look at my belly. Do I have to grab your hand and place it directly on my favorite scratchy spot. I think you're smart enough to get it. I'll just wait right here. Not going anywhere. 

6. Indecision

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"Conundrum." Dog Looking at Flowers by Flickr Creative Commons

I'm intrigued by these flowers, yet torn. I can't decide if I'd rather eat them or lift my leg upon them. They look like they might taste delicious, and I'll bet they'd make pretty vomit, but dang it -- I've really got to go, and I just saw Monty pee on this very same pot. I don't think I can give up an opportunity to pee right on top of where he just went. I can eat flowers when I get home.

7. Not sleeping, really

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"Still awake." Bulldog Falling Asleep by Shutterstock

Me? Tired? No way. I'm wide awake. You see, if I fall asleep, I just might miss opportunities for treats, scraps dropping on the floor, tennis ball tosses, cat-chasing ... you know, the good stuff. I don't want to miss any of it. What are you talking about? I'm not weaving back and forth. I'm perfectly fine. You must be seeing things. Did you forget to put in your contacts? 

8. Remorse

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"But you still love me, right?" Sad Lab Lying on a Rug by Shutterstock

Yes, it was I who chewed the full paper-towel roll and tossed the pieces about the kitchen like confetti. It was so much fun, and it felt like a party -- isn't there supposed to be confetti at a party? Maybe I was mistaken. I hope you'll forgive me. I'll just lie right here on this rug while you clean up that mess. It doesn't really feel much like a party any more. 

9. Astonishment

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"Aghast!" Close-up of Pug by Shutterstock

Well, yes -- Pugs look naturally astonished much of the time, but the cock of the head, along with the look of disbelief, just screams, "Oh no you didn't just say the 'bath' word." 

10. Can I have it?

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"For me?" Excited Dog by Shutterstock

Whatever you're holding, can I have it? Please? Is it a ball? 'Cause I love balls. Is it a cheeseburger? 'Cause I love cheeseburgers. Doesn't matter to me. I just know if you're holding it, it must be awesome -- and I want some of it.

Does your dog use any of these looks? Tell us about it in the comments!

Read more posts by Angie Bailey:

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