Unconditional love. This is what dogs are famous for and what we always say when we describe what they feel for their owners. However, this does not mean happiness. Is your dog really happy or do you just imagine it? Believe it or not, this is one question that every single dog owner out there needs to ask himself. So, here’s 10 signs that your dog is happy.
Learning as much as we can about dogs is always a necessity when we decide to take on the responsibility of caring for one. They will offer that unconditional love and it is up to us to make them as happy as possible. By knowing the signs that your dog is happy you can avoid the unwanted situation in which the pet is depressed. This could lead to sickness and many other problems. You surely do not want something like that.
The good news is that it is not at all difficult to figure out if your dog is happy or not. In most cases everything revolves around paying attention to how he acts and analyzing some body parts. Every single pet owner should know about these 10 signs that your dog is happy. When they do not appear, there is a strong possibility that the dog is not happy and the necessary steps to change that have to be taken.
1. It’s All In The Eyes
The eyes are the doors to the soul. This is something that applies to humans and dogs. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) issued an official statement some time ago that talked about dogs and their eyes. It was mentioned that when a dog is happy, the eyes will have a normal shape. When something is wrong the shape changes.
You need to pay close attention to the appearance of a dog’s eyes. Look at the eyes when the dog does different things and at different times of the day. After a short period of time you will realize that there are difference. It will take a little time but you will quickly figure out when the eyes are relaxed and when the dog is not actually happy.
Take it one step further and see if there is something that causes the shape of the eyes to change. As an example, it is normal to see that dogs are not happy some time before you go to work since they know that this will happen. They learned your schedule and anticipate your departure. In this case, it means you need to offer some sort of entertainment when you are away. This part of the dog’s life is surely shallow.
2. A Relaxed Body
There are many things that most dog owners out there do not know about their loved ones. This is one of them. We normally relate to ourselves when thinking about dogs. Because of this, we think that it is normal for the dog to have stiffer muscles or look bulkier as they run or they do something. What is not understood is that this is only a false belief associated with how bodies work. Just as with humans, when the dog is happy, the body will be relaxed, no matter what he does. (not considering really strenuous activities)
Look at the muscles. Are they relaxed or not? When you have a dog that is happy, the weight is evenly distributed and he will be relaxed. This is the case even when he bounces wildly, runs or plays with you.
Physical stress is a serious sign that something is wrong and you should act fast. It is possible that the dog feels some discomfort that makes him feel unhappy or he feels some sort of pain. Pay attention to him and try to see what the case is.
3. You Are Warmly Invited To Play With Me
Dogs will play with you even if they are unhappy. This is something that you need to remember and never believe someone that tells you otherwise. Remember that he loves you and will do anything to make you happy. His own happiness is secondary but for you this is surely a priority, right?
When the dog is scared or simply unhappy, he will hold the tail between the legs, bow down in a submissive way while he waits for your fetch command or whimper. The dog that is happy will have the rump high in the air, will wag the tail and will intensely look at you, inviting you to play.
While with some older dogs there is no longer a desire to play, with most of the younger ones, you will notice that they keep their behind up as they lay down the front paws and the head on the floor. At the same time they look at you and have an open mouth. This is a universal sign that the dog wants to play. A dog that invites you to play with him is a dog that trusts you and that is happy. When you are the one that wants to play and he does so in a submissive fashion, he is not happy. He is just obeying a command.
4. I Wiggle My Entire Body Because I Love You
The really happy dog will not show his happiness just through eyes or invitations to play. His entire body will tell you that there is emotion and that he is really happy. This is, most likely, the easiest way to see if the dog is happy because it is quite obvious.
You surely saw dogs that have a really strong brightness present in their eyes, that rapidly wiggle their tail with such a speed that even their behinds shake and move with the tail. The happy dog is so often funny because it seems that the entire body is wiggling in an anticipation of something great that is to happen. You can see such behavior in various possible moments like when you come home or when you grab the keys and the dog knows it is time for going out to play.
Keep in mind that this wonderful showcase of emotion is great and desired but you want to be sure that the excitement level does not go to dangerous highs. Obedience training is necessary if the dog is often moving around uncontrollably and disturbing people in the park. Some manners and restraints are easy to teach and the dog will still be happy.
5. I Want A Belly Rub Now
You surely saw many dogs that come to you and then drop on their backs or on their sides, waiting for a good belly rub. This is a clear sign that the dog is happy and really comfortable with you. At the same time, it is a sign that the dog really trusts you since the area is sensible and he will not let anyone touch it.
Whenever you see this behavior, do reward the dog with a really good belly rub! This actually makes the dog even happier. Surely this is not a bad thing, right?
One thing that you might not know about dogs is that they are happy when they initiate physical contact. You will so often see them with the muzzle on your lap or throwing a playful bump once in a while. The dog that avoids touching you is a dog that is not happy and you want to know why that is. The next time you see the dog bumping into you, it is a sign that he loves you and that he has to be near you. This is definitely a really happy dog.
6. I Want Some Quiet Time Since I’m Happy
This is another thing that many dog owners do not know. Content and happy dogs can show you that they feel really good by simply staying close to you, with the head on the lap or with the body really close to yours. In this case we are talking about a relaxed happiness state. It simply proves the fact that the dog is very happy to be in your company.
Unfortunately, many dog owners see dogs that are really quiet and that simply lie close to them with bad eyes. They think that the dog is not happy. In reality, he is. An attempt to cheer up the dog in this case may make him unhappy. After all, he already showed you that he loves the moment, in his own way.
Every single dog can act differently. It is important for the owner to stay close to the dog and actually learn his behavior. In time, it will be instantly visible if the dog is happy or not. You just have to look at the dog and you know his state of mind.
7. A Relaxed Mouth
If you want to see if your dog is happy, you should take a close look at his mouth. For many pets there is a connection between feeling relaxed and being happy. They are simply really relaxed when they feel great. This shows in the entire body, including the mouth.
Dogs that are happy have their mouth closed. Alternatively, it is slightly opened. This is normal when they are outside and the weather is a little hot since they use the tongue in order to cool their body. You want to pay attention to possible body language modifications that highlight a change in the mood of the dog.
It has to be said that dogs that show panting when their mouths are open are normally stressed or too hot. In this case the dog is not happy. Try to remove the source of stress or cool him off. As with any body language analysis, look at the other signs too. Some dogs may feel hot because of the temperature but they can be really active, will wiggle their tails and will invite you to play with them. In this case the dog is happy. He is just a little hot. That will not stop him from wanting to spend some quality time with you.
8. Today I Will Not Destroy Anything
There are so many pictures on the internet with dogs that destroy things. They are photographed as they are caught and they look so happy. The truth in most cases is that the dog is happy that you are now around or that he got to do something.
The destructive dog is a dog that is bored. This is reality in the majority of cases. Think about whether or not you are happy when you are bored. Answering that will show you exactly how the dog feels when he is bored. He is not happy and he wants to do something in order to relieve that boredom. You will find them chewing whatever they can find and will start eating your sofa without any warning.
If the dog is happy, he will not look for entertainment sources. If he wants to chew something, he will just go to his favorite chew toy and start biting. Younger dogs have teeth that bother them. They need to chew something. If they do not have a chew toy they will start biting the furniture. This is not necessarily a sign that they are not happy. It could be that they just have to as their teeth are growing.
9. This Yogurt Is Tasty
The happy dog will want to eat and will eat. There are some dogs that will be picky and will not want to eat some things but generally speaking, the dog that is happy will eat without any problems. When you see that the dog stops eating, there are different problems that may exist.
It is possible that the dog has a medical problem. This is something that the vet has to take a look at. In other cases the big problem is that the dog is lonely or misses someone. There are so many reports of dogs literally starving themselves as they miss their owners.
If you see that the dog is no longer eating regularly and there is no medical condition, you want to take some steps to make him happier. You might need to take him out more or you simply have to show more affection. This does vary from dog to dog but there are always some activities that you know the dog loves. Try to do them more often and see if he starts eating well again. You just made the dog happy.
10. Good Sleep
When the time comes for the dog to sleep, does he actually do it? Is he sleeping well or does he keep waking up or shaking during sleep? These are the type of questions you want to ask yourself. You can figure out if the dog is happy or not by simply watching him sleep. Ain’t that cute?
The happy dog will go to his sleeping spot or will pick a spot and will then simply go to sleep. He is relaxed so he has no problems in sleeping well. A dog that is too stressed and not happy will keep changing sleeping spots, will fall asleep, wake up and then repeat the process. That happens as relaxation is simply not there. It is impossible for the dog to get that deep sleep he needs.
The real problem with an improper sleeping pattern for dogs is that this can cause serious health problems. When you see that the dog does not sleep well, you want to take him to the vet to get him checked out. If all is perfect, it is time to see a trainer as the dog needs to become more relaxed. He might need help with that.