How can you tell if your dog is happy? Maybe it’s the way they zoom in circles around your home with a fast-wagging tail the moment they see you come home. Perhaps it’s the way they hippety-hop around like a bunny rabbit when you are teaching them fun tricks with their favorite treats or because they know it is time to go out for a long walk! You know your dog the best, and you will know when your dog is feeling happy. Still, it is essential to educate yourself on all of the different signs that indicate what your dog is feeling at all times. You want to know if your dog is feeling happy, sad, angry, or in fear.
Signs of Happiness in Dogs
Dogs feel emotions, and they show their feelings through body language, behavior, and health. Factors like breed, age, and health can impact your dog’s behavior. Of course, every dog is different, but a happy dog will generally appear comfortable and at ease. There are specific signs that indicate happiness. Read on and learn how dogs show emotions and how to tell when your dog is happy.
Physical Signs of a Happy Dog
Ear shapes vary from breed to breed, but in general, happy dogs will wear their ears in a relaxed, natural fashion and rest against the sides of their head.
Their eyes will be a regular, soft shape, and their gaze will be relaxed and gentle. They will also blink often.
Happy dogs can smile! The mouth is open, and some teeth are showing and visible. It should not be confused if teeth are showing with the lips curling, which could indicate an aggressive manner. Open mouth panting is not the same as smiling, which can reveal signs of stress or dehydration.
The dog’s body posture is relaxed, loose, soft, wiggly, with a raised head, relaxed tail, and a confident stance.
A tail wag that is soft and loose and involves the whole body to wiggle.
A happy dog will roll over on the back and expose the belly with a slightly open mouth, tongue out, and a wagging tail. It indicates they are happy and have trust in you.
A sign that a dog invites play, wants to interact, and have fun would be if they went into a “play bow.” In a play bow, a dog will lower their chest to the ground and keeps their rear up in the air.
Behavioral Signs of a Happy Dog
Destructive behavior such as excessive chewing can be signs of stress or boredom. However, happy dogs are generally not destructive and will not chew on your shoes or couch and instead will play with their chew toys.
Engage in Activities
Happy dogs are happy for playtime, delighted to be around other dogs, enjoy going out for walks, and are engaged in other fun activities. While all dogs slow down with age, if a dog is abnormally quiet and reluctant to engage, this may be a sign they are sick or feeling pain. Bring your dog to the vet to make sure they are not injured or feeling sick.
They have a healthy appetite which indicates they are feeling content and physically fit, and well. Conversely, changes in appetite can be a sign of potential illness or unhappiness.
Dogs feel happy when their parent(s) come home. They will greet them excitedly at the door, indicating a strong bond and positive relationship. Conversely, if a dog is lethargic, it is a sign that they are not feeling well.
Lean on You
Dogs are social furry lovers who enjoy being physically close to people, dogs, or other animals they bond and trust. If they cuddle up with you on the couch (if the dog is allowed on) or sleep next to you, it is a sign they enjoy your company, your touch, and your affection. It means that they feel safe with you in their environment, and they trust you enough to be that close.
Healthy, happy, and relaxed dogs enjoy sleeping. They will love dreaming about chasing squirrels and eating peanut butter and bacon snacks! If a dog is not sleeping that much, they may be in distress.
Happy dogs will do a happy dance such as hopping around, jumping up and down, spinning in circles when they see their favorite person or a dog friend!
Happy You! Happy Dog!
The best way to keep your dog happy is to provide for their physical, intellectual, and emotional needs. It is essential to ensure they have a healthy diet, appropriate exercise, enough mental stimulation, and lots of love and affection. In addition to dogs being able to experience emotions of their own, they also react to our moods. Therefore, keeping yourself happy, content, and healthy will also make your dog feel comfortable, happy, and healthy.
So go ahead! Have a joyful day together with your lovable pup! Tune in to some music and have a dance party, or enjoy the weather and go out on a picnic. Engage in some fun dog training using our programs in our Dogo app, such as Stay Active, Strengthen Your Friendship, or Pleasant Walks.