10 Signs your Dog Is Happy

joyful dog on grass

“How do I recognise that my beloved dog is happy?”. “How do I know that I am doing everything right with my dog and that it is completely happy with its life with me?”. Many dog owners ask themselves these questions.

The probability that your canine companion is happy is particularly high if it's well stimulated. Amongst other things, you achieve this by doing plenty of activities together, for instance, by devoting a large part of the day to playing together. In addition – and we cannot stress this often enough – high-quality food from specialist stores is crucial for maintaining the physical and mental health of dogs and therewith a positive frame of mind. Ultimately, only hormonal examinations give conclusive information on the contentment of your beloved dog.

Since all dogs descend from wolves, they all have a very similar means of communication through body language and sounds. Regardless of whether they have a short or long snout or tail, all dogs express themselves in the same way. However, it should be considered that some dogs can possibly no longer be correctly understood by fellow dogs due to their misbred, degenerated appearance, including cropped tails.

Indeed, dogs first learnt how to smile from humans. Baring the teeth is even considered a sign of aggression amongst wolves, though today's dogs have adapted to their owners to such an extent that they occasionally show their teeth as a greeting.

Here we will show you a few unmistakeable signs that reveal a lot about whether your dog feels happy with its life with you.

1) Wagging its tail

If your dog is happy, its tail will move from left to right roughly in a 120º angle. The root of the tail is particularly significant for dogs with short, cropped or rolled tails. The entire rear end of dogs with short tails often moves vigorously when they wag their tail.

happy playful dog garden
happy dog

2) The pupils are open

Dilated pupils are a sign that your dog is happy about something – just like with humans with dilated pupils when they see something nice. Naturally, the whole appearance of the eyes is crucial though: if your dog's eyes light up and come alive, you can be quite sure that it's happy.

3) Tail-wagging dancing

In general, a slightly dancing gait, relaxed tail posture and normal ear position are indicators that your dog feels inner contentment. Sometimes our canine companions express their joy by dancing around their beloved family, usually wagging their tail at the same time.

Walkies in the park
labrador by the sea

4) High-spirited behaviour

High-spirited behaviour like jumping around, running in circles, short spells of barking and the like show you that your four-legged friend is having real fun.

5) Your dog invites you to play

If your dear dog is in a good mood, it will show you this by inviting you to play. For instance, it does this by leaping in the air with its front legs placed parallel. Definitely get into the spirit and fool around together, because this makes it more fun for both sides.

However, make sure that the final invitation to play comes from you as the leader of the pack.

golden retriever jumping
Attentive shiba inu

6) It focuses on you and the task at hand

If you give your dog species-appropriate activity so that it is always well stimulated, its focus on its human family and the tasks it has to complete will demonstrate its joy in playing together – and in the moment itself. This is pure situation-dependent happiness.

7) Your dog loves cuddles

Dogs are obviously happy too when they get cuddles from their family.

labrador giving kisses
An affectionate English Bulldog hugging its owner

8) Your dog wants to be close to you

It's obvious that looking to be close to you is a sign that your dog is happy with you. It demonstrates this by coming to you regularly or simply lying calmly alongside you. If it does this when resting or sleeping, it's a sure sign that it feels at ease with you.

9) Offering the paw

This gesture can also have an element of being demanding. A dog offering its paw means that it is begging or possibly trying to keep the peace, though it can express in general that it's happy to be with you.

dog giving paw
happy dog in house cuddles

10) Its reaction when you come home

Last but not least, its behaviour when you open the door shows that it is happy to finally see you again. Dogs can have this sense of “at last” even if you were only out for 20 minutes. Sometimes it's so happy that it's as if you hadn't seen each other for decades. It's not surprising, because this is obviously a reason for you as the owner making your dog happy and doing a lot of things or everything right.

We hope that you and your canine companion are really happy together. Always be aware that your dog's wellbeing has a positive impact on you too, because there is hardly any form of happiness more infectious than what a well-loved dog shows.

Discover our selection of dog food and dog accessories for your dog to always be happy!

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