Is your dog happy as you ?
Updated: Apr 6
How do you know when your dog is happy? Maybe it's the wagging tail, loud barking or excited run arounds. To most dog parents they just know when their dog is happy, but their are subtle hints to know if your pup is in the mood.
Dogs can't express their feelings like a human could, but instead they express their feelings through body language, behavior and even health. And believe it or not, their are signs that can indicate the happiness of your dog.
How dogs feel and (show) emotions
Dogs have the mental capacity of a 2 to 2.5 year-old child, meaning that they feel emotions such joy, fear, and anger. In fact, dogs have the same hormones and undergo the same types of chemical changes that humans do during emotional shifts
Like a 2 year-old child, your dog lacks the vocabulary to tell you how they feel. Also like a toddler, your dog can communicate through body langauge and behavior. For example most of us know when our dog is ''fustrated''.
For my dog Champ, fustration manifest as barking or ''talking'' to me in plaintive whines. The frustrated barking is very different from the happy bark.
Physical Signs of a happy dog
In general, a happy dog will seem relaxed. Here are signs of a relaxed dog:
In general, a happy dog will have relaxed body language. These are some of the physical signs of a happy dog:
A soft, partially open mouth
Ears that are relaxed, not pulled back or perked up with alertness
Overall relaxed posture, with a raised head, relaxed tail, and confident stance
Tail wagging accompanied with body wiggles or at least a relaxed posture.
Showin their belly
Making a “play bow,” with their bottom in the air and chest lowered to the ground as an invitation to play
Of course, every dog is different, and body composition may vary. But in general, a happy dog will appear comfortable and at ease.
Behavioral Signs of a happy dog
In addition to body language cues, there are behavioral signs of happiness in dogs:
Happy dogs are usually not destructive. Destructive behavior can be a sign of stress.
They are happy to walk, play, ride in the car.
They have a strong appetite. If any changes happen in their appetite it could be a sign of unhappines or health problem
They love attention, happy dogs will lean into your hand when you stroke them.
They’re happy to see you when you walk in the door.
Factors like breed, age, and health can impact your dogs overall happy meter. And of course your dogs personality will affect their overall happiness.
Factors like breed, age, and health can impact your dog’s behavior. And of course, your dog’s baseline personality plays a role in how they express happiness!
So your list on how your dog responds to different things just depends on the dog and knowing their personality will be more effective of how happy they really are.
How to make your dog even happier
Showing your dog physical affection, getting enough exercise, healthy diet and mental stimulation should keep your dog happy.
Another way to keep your dog a happy is to look after your own self. Your dogs overall happiness revolves around you. So the more that you are taking care of your affairs and keeping your self content, the happier your pup will be.
Finally to remeber that happiness is one of the emotions that your dogs is capable of feeling. It is important to look at your dogs emotional cues, body langauge that can indicate physical discomfort, stress of illness. But is also important to allow the shifts in mood.
Lets be honest everyone is grumpy form time to time but as long as you are showing affection and taking care of your pup they will be satisfied with their parent no matter how they show it.