Dogs aren’t usually shy when it comes to displaying signs of love and affection but it doesn’t always mean they are feeling happy.
It’s important to interpret your dog’s body language to gauge their state of mind & cheeriness.
A happy pooch will display a variety of tell-tale signs; soft, relaxed ears and eyes, a wagging tail, slurpy kisses and a revealing smile. Learning how to read your dog’s body language will help you tell when they are happy and when they might not be feeling quite themselves.
Here are 12 signs to look out for when working out if your dog is genuinely happy:
- Floppy ears: their ears will fall naturally and rest against the sides of their head. If their ears are pinned back, this is usually a sign of a stressed pooch.
2. Soft eyes: when a dog is happy their eyes will be a normal, soft shape. Their gaze will be relaxed and gentle and they will blink often.
3. Body wriggle: when a dog is happy their whole body will look soft, relaxed and quite often wiggle! There won’t be any tension and their muscles will look relaxed.
4. Smiling: happy dogs often appear to smile. The mouth is open, the corners are turned up and while some teeth may be visible, it is not in an aggressive manner.
5. Rapidly wagging tail: when a happy dog wags its tail, the tail wags their whole body.
6. Good behaviour: happy dogs are usually well behaved. Destructive behaviour is typically a sign of boredom and lack of mental stimulation. Separation anxiety is another common cause of extremely destructive behaviour in dogs.
7. Enjoyment of playtime and walks: while all dogs slow down with age, if your dog seems abnormally quiet or reluctant to engage, this may be a sign they’re not feeling well.
8. Good appetite: while not every dog is extremely greedy, a sudden drop in appetite could be a sign that your dog is ill or unhappy.
9. Lots of sleep: healthy, happy adult dogs usually sleep for up to 16 hours a day. If your dog isn’t sleeping that much, it could be a sign of stress.
10. Belly up: a wriggling dog showing you their belly and tongue is likely to be a very happy dog.
11. Play bow: A dog is telling you they are up for fun or want to play when they play bow. In a play bow, a dog lowers their chest to the ground but keeps their rear in the air.
12. Friendly towards others: If your pup is social at the dog park, friendly with other family pets, and not overly aggressive to new animals or humans, these are all signs they’re in a good mood.