Why and when do dogs show “submissive grinning”?
​Submissive grinning, sometimes also called smiling, in dogs is a behavior commonly monitored in situation of greeting. It has been argued that submissive grinning functions as an appeasement gesture and is used to communicate harmlessness and possibly actively solicit attention, inviting interactions from others. However, there are also arguments that this gesture can aim to increase distance between the dog itself and other individuals in threatening situations.
To date, it is scientifically not evaluated in which situations submissive grinning occurs and what the underlying causes and motivations of this gestures are. This project therefore aims to clarify these questions using a modern 21th century citizen science approach by enquiring of completed questionnaires and video resources of the public and evaluation and analysis of existing video resources in the internet.


Update June 2020: We have finished data collection and are currently preparing the publication.