Of course your dog is happy! Why wouldn't he be? We’re pretty sure this was the first thought that came to your mind while reading the title. And we trust you when you say your dog is happy.
That being said, do you know exactly how to spot a happy dog? In this article we’ll explore a few behaviors that your dog can have, which can signal a good general wellbeing of your canine friend.
When your dog is on high alert, you’ll see his ears pop up for a closer listen or, if he is scared, you’ll see the ears go back against their head. When he’s happy, on the other hand, the floppy, relaxed ears will be very visible. This will signal that your pup is having a great time with the family.
Similar to the ears, the brows can also indicate your dog’s general state of mind. A happy dog will have a relaxed forehead, just like humans do, as brows are an important means of expression to them as well.
There are times when your dog becomes so relaxed and so content that you can see him smiling. Basically, when your dog is in a deep state of relaxation, he will turn the corners of his mouth up, and maybe even show a bit of teeth. This is not to say that your dog is showing aggression, but rather a state of happiness.
Just like with the ears, your dog’s entire posture can be a sign of happiness or defensiveness. When your dog is happy, his body language will signal this. You will notice how your dog’s muscles are relaxed, when your pup is calm and happy.
The telltale sign that a dog is comfortable and happy is when he is wagging his tail. Whenever you see that, it means that your dog is paying attention. However, when your pup is really happy, you’ll see him sharing his emotion by wagging his tail so hard, it actually moves his entire body. Careful though, make sure that your dog is not being overstimulated to get him to do that. At some point, you may even see your pooch dancing or hopping from place to place to show you that he’s happy to see you.
Belly rubs are part of the bonding experience between an owner and his dog. So be honored when a dog shows you his belly or allows you to get near and rub their belly. This means they trust you and are happy to be bonding with you in that way.
A happy dog will have a healthy appetite. They will not skew away from food or choose not to eat. Keep in mind though, to always take note of changes in your dog’s regular appetite. If your dog doesn’t eat as much as he used to, something might be wrong. The same thing goes for if your dog’s appetite increased suddenly without explanation. A visit to the vet’s office might be recommended in that instance.
Getting lots of ZzZs
Sleep and rest in general are beneficial to all living things. In dogs, like humans, sleep is a way to rest and recharge their batteries, so when you see your dog sleeping peacefully, that means that they feel safe and content. They would not sleep in an environment where they might think there will be any sort of danger. Depending on the breed of dog you have, keep in mind that dogs can sleep up to 16 hours per day.
Happy dogs usually tend to get along just fine with other pups at the dog park. They are playful and cheering and will not exhibit any territorial or aggressive behaviors. When your dog is content, he shouldn’t be displaying any aggressive behaviors towards other pets, not even out of jealousy.
Also on the topic of friendly activities, a dog that’s happy and wants you to play with him will play bow to you. That’s when they use their front paws to lower talf of their body, when the lower end of their body stays in the air.
Another thing that can indicate a happy pooch is a healthy, shiny, strong coat of fur. Any stress and sickness signs will become visible within the fur immediately. So, if your doggo has a shiny coat, with just the normal amount of shedding, but otherwise healthy and strong furr, you can draw the conclusion that your dog is healthy and happy.
No “bad dog”
Chewing or destroying things is somewhat normal for dogs. However, they should normally just go for their toys which will not cause any problems. If, on the other hand, your dog starts to destroy your things, it could potentially mean that he’s suffering from separation anxiety, he’s bored or he’s trying to signal something, but doesn’t know how to communicate it.
As you can see there are a lot of things you can look for to indicate that your dog is happy and healthy. These are all subjective, so if you think that anything your dog is doing is against his regular behavior, make sure to analyze it and ask a vet/ dog trainer/behaviorist if this is something that you should be concerned about. If not, then just enjoy your happy dog!