Shiba Inu Smiling: Why Do Shiba Inus Smile?

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Shiba Inus are a beloved breed of dog known for their fluffy appearance, smiley cheeks, and amazing personalities.

One of the most endearing traits of this breed is their ability to smile, which can melt even the coldest of hearts.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the Shiba Inu smile and explore what makes this expression so special. From the science behind the smile to the different ways Shiba Inus express it, we’ll cover it all.

Whether you’re a Shiba Inu owner or just a lover of these adorable dogs, you won’t want to miss this comprehensive guide to the Shiba Inu smile.

So, sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of the smiling Shiba Inu.

Why Do Shiba Inus Smile?

Shiba Inu Smiling

Shiba Inus smile when happy since they’re affectionate dogs. Especially when you come back home, it’s a ritual for them to smile at you while wagging their tail.

Shiba Inus accompany the smile with snorting and heavy breathing. They smile at you when you arrive home from work or return from personal trips outside the homestead.

Also, another thing you might realize from your Shiba Inus after the smile is a shrill crying noise. They often shrill due to over-excitement.

You may be asking, how about the smile my Shiba Inu makes when bringing me their toys? Shibas bring you their toys to show affection and love. It’s all adorable.

They make it a ritual whenever they wake up from a particularly long nap to bring you their toys and show compassion. You should show appreciation with a little rub on your Shibas belly, chest, on the head.

Treats can also trigger a smile from your Shiba Inu. Whenever you share some treat with your pooch friend, they are excited and always want another one.

When your Shiba feels playful, they’re more likely to smile at you and suggest they want to play. This can involve staring at you directly in your eyes and doing the zoomies.

Why Do Shibas Look Like They’re Smiling?

Shibas, a small breed of dog originating from Japan, are known for their distinctive appearance, including their “smiling” expression.

This is due to the shape of their mouths and the positioning of their lips. Shibas have a slight upward curve to their mouths, which gives the appearance of a smile.

Additionally, their lips are positioned in such a way that they naturally lift at the corners, further contributing to the impression of a smile.

Another reason for the Shiba’s smiling appearance is the structure of their fur. Shibas have a thick double coat, with longer fur around their faces, particularly around their mouths.

This longer fur can make the corners of their mouths appear even more lifted, emphasizing the smiling expression. It’s worth noting that the Shiba’s expression is not actually a smile, but more of a relaxed and content expression.

The Shiba is not actually feeling happy or smiling, but due to the structure of their facial features, it gives the impression that they are.

In conclusion, the Shiba’s “smiling” expression is a combination of the shape of their mouths, the positioning of their lips, and the structure of their fur.

It’s not actually a smile, but rather a relaxed and content expression that is unique to the breed.

Also, read; Why do Shiba Inu show airplane ears?

Shiba Inu Smiling

What Makes a Shiba Inu Happy?

Your Shiba Inu can smile for several things, including “nothing.”

These reasons include;

  1. Feeling Happy
  2. Relaxed
  3. Playful
  4. Confidence
  5. Anxious
  6. Nothing
  7. Manipulation

Looking further into each reason;

Feeling Happy

Shiba Inus smile when they’re feeling happy or in the “zone.” They become so glad for several things, including seeing you after a long while, hours or even days.

When they’re happy, Shibas smile and fix their ears at the head’s side to look like an airplane. Also, they expose the teeth slightly and can make funny snarling noise.

You don’t have to do much when your canine friend is happy with you. Probably spend a moment with them before getting back to your stuff.

You can bond a little and cuddle, but remember that Shibas cuddle when they feel like it.


The feeling of relaxing, maybe after a long walk outside, gives your Shiba a good feeling. This makes them smile and feel happy.

Therefore, whenever you’re back home after a walk, expect your Shiba to give smiles. They can do this when lying down and having their mouth open. Also, the tail is often down since they’re worn out at the time.

They look calm and full of comfort. Soon after, your Shiba Inu might take a long nap. This is always adorable to experience and witness, especially in Shibas, which are somewhat weird.


Whenever your Shiba Inus is feeling playful, they use body language to signal you and request you to join them.

Smiling at you is one key signal often used by Shibas when sending you some message. When they feel playful, they’ll approach you whenever you are and attempt to draw your attention.

Shiba Inus can use their signature smile for several reasons. They’ll even manipulate you with that smile if you’re not keen. They know how to use the smile for manipulation without necessarily looking like it.


Shiba Inus can also smile and wag their tail due to confidence. They’re full of smiles whenever they feel confident about something, like when they just leaned to do something new.

Therefore, confidence makes Shiba Inus smile. Deciphering the Shiba Inus confidence smile is easy, though. They usually accompany the smile withholding their wagging tails high.


Shiba Inus can look like they’re smiling when anxious while, in actual sense, they’re not smiling. When they pin their ears onto their head and snarl, one can think they’re smiling.

Pro-tip, you’ll always tell when your Shiba Inus is anxious if you see the white in their eyes. When you note your Shiba Inu being anxious, do away with whatever makes them anxious.


You probably don’t know if Shiba Inus are manipulative, do you?

Shibas use their smile to manipulate you into doing what they want. This shouldn’t be the case, though. You should resist your Shibas manipulation whenever possible.

Remember, you should not let your Shiba be in charge. You should always be in charge of them. If you let them be in charge, they’ll soon overrule you.

Therefore, you shouldn’t take manipulation from your canine friend, especially when they want you to do something for them.

You don’t have to be mean to your Shiba Inus. What this means is that you should weigh what your Shiba wants and if it’s necessary.

If it’s something harmful to them, then stand your ground.

The Wrap-Up

In conclusion, the main reason why Shiba Inus appear to smile most of the time is due to their unique facial structure and muscle movements.

Their mouths naturally turn upward, creating the illusion of a smile. Additionally, when they are relaxed and happy, their eyes take on a relaxed and gentle expression, further enhancing the appearance of a smile.

It’s important to remember that just because a Shiba Inu appears to be smiling, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are feeling happy or content.

It’s always a good idea to observe their body language and behavior to get a better understanding of their emotional state.

While the smiling Shiba Inu may be an endearing trait, it’s important to remember that it’s just an appearance and not a reliable indicator of the dog’s true emotions.

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