We all know that Dogs can’t speak, so they are unable to express themselves through words or expressions. The only way they can communicate is through body language. By carefully paying attention to your Dog’s body language, you will soon be able to work out whether they are happy or sad, or even if they like something or not. I have come up with the top 10 signs you have a happy Dog.
They are Happy to See You
The most obvious clue your Dog is happy is when they greet you at the door. Our two go completely bananas when we open the door and we have to go through a routine of picking them up for them to calm down. A happy Dog will also get excited when we wake up and they will keep an eye on you whilst you are wandering around the house. Another way to tell you Dog is happy to see you is by their eyes. Their eyes and eyelids will be relaxed. They will also blink often and have a soft gaze. Be aware that a hard gaze with narrowed eyes can be an indication of aggression. Wide eyes with their whites showing can mean your loved one is frightened.
Dogs will also have “Happy Barks” to show their owners they are happy. These are normally more high-pitched than a normal bark. For anyone that has met our Nelly they will understand precisely what I am saying !!!!!
If your Dog loves to stay close to you and even leans into you, then that is a sign she is really happy and enjoying contact time with you. It is a fantastic feeling having a Dog that comes to you for attention, and is relaxed in your company.
When he stays just out of reach or walks away from you then this usually means he wants more space. Stop the cuddles for a bit !!!!
The most significant sign that he is happy is by the movement of his tail. If it is high and wagging then he is a happy boy. Also, if the tail wag is soft and loose and in a more neutral position then this is also points to him being happy.
If his tail wags stiffly but doesn’t shake with the rest of his body then your Dog is most likely trying to tell you he is assessing a new situation and in a state of alert.
Relaxed Body and Mouth
If your Dog is not tense or stiff and seems relaxed then this is a good sign he is happy and feeling good. Other factors are him having soft and loose shoulders and the posture of a rag doll with no inclination to get up and get stressed out. This will most likely include a lot of sleeping. Make sure your Dog is happy sleeping as a lack of sleep can indicate distress.
If your Dog is not comfortable then they will normally seem tense, tight or stiff.
Happy Dogs also appear to smile. If the mouth is open and a few teeth are visible then this indicates he is in a good mood. His tongue depending on the breed can also be lolling. Studies have shown that if this is the case they are very happy and so relaxed they can’t be bothered to keep it in their mouths. Obviously this would not be the case if he were snarling.
Although there are many shapes of ears spread out through many breeds the consensus is they all react in the same way. If the ears are floppy and relaxed then this is a sign your Dog is happy.
If your Dogs ears are pricked forward this usually indicates they are interested in something going on around them. If the ears are are pinned back, then beware, as this is likely to indicate fear or aggression.
If your Dog is wriggling around on his back and showing his belly and tongue then this is indicating he is very happy. Our Hudson puts on a really good show when he does it and it looks as if he is swimming ha-ha.
Note that if the body appears stiff and he keeps his mouth shut then this could be showing submission instead of satisfaction.
A happy Dog will undoubtedly have a healthy appetite. This doesn’t mean that he will eat anything and everything you put in front of him, as you should be regulating his feeding, but you will see he is happy with his eating and will eat the right amount of food you have put down for him.
Some things to be aware of are that if his appetite significantly increases this could be a sign of disease. This goes the same way if his appetite drops. In any cases of changes in appetite it is always a good idea to have him checked out by a Vet.
Dancing and Playful
A happy Dog loves to play and go for walks. When I see our Dogs playing in the house or when we are out for a walk we know that they are happy. I have even woken up during the night and caught our Nelly playing with soft toys by herself which really puts a smile on my face. Be aware though that if they start becoming very quiet and reluctant to play then this can be a sign they are not well. Straight to the Vet.
Another sign of happiness is when they start dancing / hopping. If they do this then they tend to bounce from side to side on their rear legs. Our Nelly does this everytime we walk in the door ha-ha and then makes us pick her up once we have managed to catch her.
Related to the dancing is “bowing”. Play bows are a definite sign your Dog wants to play with you or his friends. You can tell when he is bowing as he will lower his chest to the ground and keep his rear in the air.
They Like Other Dogs
Dogs are very similar to humans when it comes to interacting with other company. If your Dog is friendly whilst out and about and not aggressive then this is a sure sign he is in a good mood. Lots of social engagement is great for your Dogs.
The more engagement they get, the happier they will be when they see other Dogs.
An excellent indicator that your Dog is happy is if he has a healthy coat. If your Dog is stressed or poorly they tend to shed hair and they can have skin problems. If this starts to happen you should go and see a vet immediately. If he is happy and his coat is shiny and healthy then he should be too.
So as you can see there are several ways to tell if your Dog is healthy. Having a healthy Dog makes our life a lot easier and less stressful as it does for our furry friends. Unfortunately sometimes our pets do get poorly which can turn our whole world upside down. Therefore, remember the warning signs and go and see a vet if you are unsure.
If you have any comments or tips please feel free to leave any comments below.
Also I have added a few books from amazon.co.uk that you may find interesting and they are all about keeping your best friend happy.
Until next time, all the best