How To Tell If Your Dog Is Happy
Good dog owners want to make sure their dog is happy. Since dogs cannot speak, dog owners are left to rely on behaviors and vocalizations to tell if their dog is happy. Here are some signs your dog likes his life and loves you.
- Eyes are said to be the window to the soul. Happy dogs have relaxed eyes and eyelids. They gaze at you softly. Wide eyes with the whites showing prominently may mean the dog is frightened, while hard gazes demonstrate aggression.
- Relaxed ears also indicate happiness. Ears that are pinned back indicate fear or aggression, while ears that are cocked forward may indicate the dog is listening to something interesting.
- Some dogs smile when they are happy. This is different from bared teeth, which indicates aggression, or panting, which can indicate nervousness or being uncomfortably hot.
- A loose, soft, wiggly body is a sign of happiness. When your dog waggles over to you and asks to be petted, she is displaying pleasure. A tight, stiff body can be a sign of pain, fear, or aggression.
- When a tail wag involves the whole body, the dog is happy. A tail wagging while the body is stiff may mean the dog is interested in investigating something. A tail wag with bared teeth is a sign of aggression.
- Tail carriage can tell you your dog is happy. Each dog has a different relaxed tail carriage. In general, the tail will be about the height of the body. A tail that is pinned underneath the body is a sign of fear, while one that is raised high is a sign of aggression.
- If your dog is not destructive, he is probably happy. He should play with his toys and leave your stuff alone. Of course, puppies chew when teething, but adult dogs should not chew your stuff. Destructive behavior is a sign of boredom or stress.
- If your dog enjoys playtime, he is probably happy. If he acts like he doesn’t want to join in, he may be in pain or sick. You should take him to your veterinarian for a checkup in this case.
- If your dog has a good appetite, all is probably well. A sudden drop in appetite signals a problem worth making a trip to the vet for.
- Hopping and dancing is a dog’s way of greeting favorite people. Dancing dogs are happy dogs.
- Just like humans, dogs can furrow their brows. A wrinkle free brow is a sign of a happy dog. Of course, Shar-Peis are the exception to this rule.
- If your dog sticks his tongue out when he is sleeping, chances are he is happy. In fact, he is so relaxed that he can’t be bothered to keep his tongue in his mouth.
- Happy barks are also a sign of happiness. These barks are higher pitched than alarm barks and go on for a shorter time. You need to evaluate your dogs other signals to make sure these are happy barks, and not just unusual alarm barks.
This is just a short list of ways you can tell your dog is happy. Every dog is different. What are some ways your dog shows you he is happy?