Derpy Doggos, Explained: Examining Funny Dog Expressions

Your derpy dog's goofy grins and funny faces are more than just playful quirks — they're fun clues into their emotions.

Published December 17, 2023
derpy doggo running at camera; Funny puppy cavalier king charles spaniel dog

Do you have a goofy, lovable pooch who often pulls hilarious and quirky expressions? Dogs, with their adorable, sometimes silly, facial antics, can be incredibly endearing and amusing. Whether it's a funny tilt of the head, an unexpected grin, or a tongue-out moment, these charming expressions add to the unique personality of your four-legged friend. And, because I love these derpy doggo moment so much, I'm having some fun, digging into what these dog facial expressions are actually saying. #doggeeksunite

What's a Derpy Doggo?

Doggo is a cute way of referring to our dog buddies and a "derpy" dog is a funny dog known for their silly facial expressions. It may be that your dog's prone to sticking their tongue out, or hilarious missed-the-ball faces, or it could just be a derpy doggo moment where your dog suddenly rolls over and all the folds of skin on their face go flapping. They might look a bit goofy or clumsy, but that's part of what makes a derpy doggo so darn charming.

Quick Tip

Dogs use their whole bodies to share how they're feeling. Check out your dog's overall body language to figure out what they're saying to you.

What Are Those Derpy Doggo Expressions Really Saying?

I looked at some of my favorite derpy doggo photos and used my dog behavior and training background to interpret a few of these derpy moments. 

That Derpy Fixed Gaze

derpy doggo Chihuahua staring into eyes

Many derpy doggos are shown like this, with their eyes tightly locked on something. Nothing can break that concentration.

Our dogs may have a fixed gaze at something because they really like it. If they're staring at you, it could be a sign of affection. Or they could be trying to figure out what you're about to do. If you're heading toward the leash near the door, they're going to watch to see if you're going to grab it. It's walk time! 

Need to Know

Oxytocin, AKA the love hormone, is released when you stare back at your pup. 

Slow-Blinking Doggos

Derpy Dog blinking

Derpy doggos often have the expression for only a moment — as long as it takes to blink.

When your furry friend starts blinking at you, like this adorable doggo, it's like they're playing a guessing game, trying to figure out what's going on in your mind! This adorable blinking is their way of saying, "Hey, what are you thinking?" or "How are you feeling?" They're not just seeking a bit of love or maybe a treat; they're genuinely interested in your mood.

This eye-blinking language is a special chat line between you two, showing just how much they care and pay attention to their favorite human's every move. It's their cute, doggy way of staying connected and showing they're totally in tune with you.

Need to Know

If your dog is blinking repetitively, it could mean they're in pain or not feeling well

Oh-So-Much Flappy Skin

derpy doggo Bulldog playing on sand at beach

Some derpy doggos take being goofy to a whole new level with their delightfully floppy skin that bounces all over as they eagerly dash towards you. Their loose, jiggly skin seems to have a life of its own, adding to their adorable charm and silliness. The sight of their boundless energy and uncontained enthusiasm, combined with their flapping skin, is a fun reminder of the carefree, 'in the moment' spirit dogs bring into our lives.

Doggo Smiles

derpy corgi dog smiling at camera

When your dog looks like they're smiling, it's because they open their mouth, pull back their lips, and let their tongue rest over their teeth. This usually means they're super happy or excited, but sometimes it just means they're relaxed and feeling good.

When around other dogs, this smiling face can also be a way for your dog to show they're friendly and don't want any trouble. Basically, your dog's smile can tell you a lot about how they're feeling, whether they're happy, chilled out, or just trying to get along with their furry friends.

Licking Their Chops

derpy poodle doggo licking chops

Derpy dogs are often tongue-out dogs, but if you notice your dog licking their lips, it's important to consider the situation they're in. This behavior can indicate several things: they might be showing submissiveness, especially if they're licking other dogs or people, as a way to communicate peace or deference. It could also be a sign of anxiety or nervousness, perhaps in response to a new environment or a stressful situation. 

Or, something as simple as being thirsty can cause your dog to lick their lips. Understanding the context of their behavior is key to interpreting what your dog is trying to tell you and will help you respond to their needs effectively, whether they require reassurance, water, or just a calm environment.

The Derpy Head Tilt

derpy puppy with head tilt

When your doggo tilts their head, it's a sign they're really curious and trying to understand something better. This charming gesture can mean they're intrigued by a sound, a word, or even your tone of voice. It's like they're putting on their detective hats, trying to figure out the puzzle in front of them.

Head tilting helps them adjust their ears to pick up sounds more clearly, showing their deep focus and interest. This adorable move isn't just cute; it's their way of engaging with their environment and showing how keen they are to learn and interact with the world around them.

Ears Flat to Their Head

two derpy doggos playing

When your doggo's ears are pressed down, it's like they're telling you they're not feeling too great, maybe scared or a bit on edge. Their ears are a big part of how they talk without words, letting you know if they're nervous or feeling the need to be brave. It's really important to notice this, as it helps you understand what they're going through.

Seeing their ears down, even in what otherwise looks like a derpy moment, along with other signs they show, lets you know if they're just a bit uneasy or if they're trying to look out for themselves. Paying attention to these little signals and giving them some extra love and reassurance can make a big difference in keeping them happy and safe.

Giant Doggo Yawns

derpy chihuahua doggo yawning

Did you know doggo yawns are contagious? If they see you, or another dog, yawning, they're likely to mimic the behavior. Next time you let out a big yawn, watch your dog — they might just yawn right back at you. Other times, if they're feeling a bit stressed or anxious, a yawn is their way of chilling out a bit. And, of course, they might just be bored or really need a nap.

Figuring out why your furry friend is yawning can actually tell you a lot about how they're feeling.

Raised Eyebrows

derpy doggo looking at camera, smiling staffordshire bull terrier

When a dog raises their eyebrows, it's a sign of curiosity and interest in your actions. This facial expression indicates that your dog is paying close attention and is engaged with whatever you're doing. It could be a response to a new object, sound, or activity in their environment. By lifting their eyebrows, dogs can get a better view or understand a situation more clearly.

This gesture reflects their keen observational skills and their desire to be involved in or understand what's happening around them. It's one of the many ways dogs communicate their feelings and thoughts, showing their inquisitive nature and eagerness to interact with their surroundings and their human companions.

Need to Know

This is the 'puppy eyes' look your dog gives when they want something. 

Figuring Out Your Derpy Doggo Expressions

No matter what kind of face your dog is pulling, it's essential to consider their entire body language to fully understand what they're feeling or trying to communicate. A dog's facial expression, combined with their posture, tail position, and overall demeanor, can tell you a lot about their mood or needs. Plus, it's just really cute and fun!

Derpy Doggos, Explained: Examining Funny Dog Expressions