10 Signs that your dog is happy : Dog behaviour

Did you know that your dog has the emotional capacity of a 2 year old child? But  unlike humans though dogs cannot express their emotions through talking, however they still feel emotions such as joy and anger. Similarly to a toddler, a dog’s body language and behaviour can communicate their emotions. So how do you recognise these signs?

Here are 10 ways that your dog shows they are feeling happy:

Floppy Ears are a good sign

If your dog’s ears are floppy it is a sign that they are feeling relaxed, as dogs show stress by pinning back their ears. Some dog breeds, such as my french bulldog, will naturally have erect ears, however it is still easy to tell when your dog is feeling happy in this case as their ears will be pointed upwards rather than pinned back.

Waggy tails are the best

Another easy tell tale is your dog’s waggy tail. When your dog is happy or excited they will be wagging their tail, which usually results in a whole body wag, as many of us dog lovers have witnessed. If this is not the case and you dog’s tail is tucked between their legs then your pooch is probably not feeling the happiest.

A healthy appetite

Your dog’s appetite can tell you a lot about how they are feeling. A happy dog will usually have an enthusiasm for meal times, so a sudden drop in appetite can be a good indicator of a problem.

Big brown puppy dog eyes

Soft eyes can be a useful indicator of your dog’s mental state. When your pooch is feeling happy their gaze will be relaxed and they will blink often, you shouldn’t see much of the whites of their eyes.

The usual behaviour

If your dog’s behaviour is the same as usual then this indicates to a happy pooch. Happy dogs are usually fairly well behaved and will not show signs of destructive behaviour.

Friend or Foe

Dog’s in a good mood will usually be friendly towards others. If they are friendly with other family pets and not overly aggressive to new animals or humans, then it is a good indication that they are feeling pretty happy.

A smiling dog

A soft mouth with a loose jaw suggests they are feeling relaxed.  Commonly another indicator is a smile, this is when the mouth is open and corners upturned, there are usually some teeth showing but not in an aggressive manner.

The full body wiggle of happiness

The softness of your pooch’s body will indicate if they are feeling relaxed. A happy dog’s body will not be tensed and they will quite often wiggle, or in my dog’s case jump up and down because they want you to hurry up and open the door to take them on a walk.

Interested in the world around

A happy dog is an engaged dog, your pooch should be interested and reactive to new stimuli. If they seem abnormally reluctant or quiet then it can indicate that there may be an underlying problem.

Plenty of sleep

Your pooch should sleep roughly 16 hours a day, anyone else jealous? This is a good indication that they are relaxed and content.

Making sure that your pooch’s physical, intellectual and emotional needs are cared for is a recipe for success and will result in a happy dog! You can do this by making sure that they have a balanced diet, the appropriate amount of exercise and enough mental enrichment, plus lots of love!


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