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What Dog Breed Blushes When Happy?

Among the intriguing world of dogs there are many myths and old wives' tales going on, so it may be difficult to believe that there is a dog breed that blushes when happy or excited. Blushing in dogs may seem like something close to impossible considering that their faces are covered in fur. On top of that, blushing is something that tends to occur when some social norm has been broken, and last time we checked dogs seemed to care less whether they pooped in public places or dragged their bottoms across the kitchen rug! So what's up with the news that there is a dog breed that blushes? Turns out, many owners of some dogs admit that they have witnessed their dogs blush, so our next question is:

What Dog Breed Blushes When Happy?

A Pharaoh Hound

B Saluki

C Basenji

D Italian greyhound

The correct answer is: Drum roll please......


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The correct answer is A: the Pharaoh Hound

dog breed blushes

Blushing In Dogs

Blushing is an involuntary reddening of a person's face that occurs when experiencing certain emotions such as embarrassment, shame or guilt. This physiological response is quite visible on people's faces as blood vessels start to dilate, but since, as mentioned, dogs have faces covered in fur, blushing would be close to impossible to witness.

Even if dogs would blush under all that fur, the incentive to blush from emotions such as shame or guilt doesn't seem to part of a canine's behavior repertoire--at least, research hasn't shown any proof of dogs showing these emotions as of yet.

Dogs seem to care less about social norms as they lick their privates in public and care less about mating on the roadside, so how can you make a creature like that blush? point out D. Caroline Coile and Margaret H. Bonham in the book "Why Do Dogs Like Balls?: More Than 200 Canine Quirks, Curiosities and Conundrums Revealed."

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Even Stanley Coren seems to agree as per his statement below.

" Based on current research it seems likely that your dog will not have those more complex emotions like guilt, pride and shame." Stanley Coren

Exception to the Rule


Pharaoh hounds are nicknamed the "Blushing Dog" of Malta.

So how can a dog breed blush if dogs are not capable of blushing in the first place? Well, let's say it's a different kind of blushing.

According to many Pharaoh hound dog owners, their beloved dogs tend to blush when they are happy or excited or simply enjoying some affection.

You won't see their faces literally turn red, but if you watch closely you may see their flesh-colored nose and ears turn a deep rose color. We couldn't find any videos of Pharaoh hound dogs blushing, but we'll keep an eye should one come out.

This tendency to blush in Pharaoh hounds is not something new. There seems to be proof that this endearing trait has been observed since the 19th Egyptian dynasty.

A letter dating back those times indeed attests of a red hunting dog "whose face glows like a God" which most likely refers to this breed's habit of blushing.

 "It is beautiful to see a Pharaoh Hound glow with excitement or happiness—the nose and ears fuming a deep rose color, and the lovely amber eyes further enriched with a deep rose hue." ~American Kennel Club


  • Why Do Dogs Like Balls?: More Than 200 Canine Quirks, Curiosities and Conundrums Revealed, By D. Caroline Coile, Margaret H. Bonham, Sterling (September 2, 2008)
  • The Complete Dog Book: 20th Edition, By American Kennel Club, Ballantine Books; 20 edition (January 31, 2006)

Photo Credits:

Flickr, Creative Commons, AlanPeng0730, dog CCBY2.0

Kelb-tal Fenek (Pharaoh Hound according to FCI nomenclature), bitch, Ch. Tal-Wardija Arja Helwa, owner Jan Scotland (Germany) author (photographer): photo taken by myself, November 2005 --Jan Eduard 17:59, 20 July 2006 (UTC) CC BY-SA 3.0

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