Dogs have their own way of expressing themselves – one that we humans often do not understand. Ever wonder what goes through your dog’s mind when she is staring at you?
In the wild, canines have no problems communicating with one another because of their similar lifestyle. Pack animals like wolves and dogs have their own ways of transmitting information among themselves. It’s essential for their survival.
When they are among humans, things get a little different. Experts believe that the language of domesticated dogs may differ from the ones in the wild. But how do we know that they are happy with their domesticated lives? Check out the opinions of many experts to have a glimpse into the dog’s language.
10 Signs That Your Dog is Happy
#1. The Eyes
Eyes are the windows to the soul. According to Beth Bullen of the Washington Humane Society, happy dogs have very relaxed eyes and eyelids. When the eyes are narrowed and the gaze is hard, it indicates suspicion and aggression. Wide eyes with the whites showing means that the dog is frightened.
#2. The Ears
Although the shapes and size of the ears vary from breed to breed, happy dogs will have their ears relaxed. Dr. Rachael Barrack from the NYC Animal Acupuncture says that if the ears are pinned back, the dog is most certainly afraid or aggressive towards something. If he is interested in something the ears go in a forward pricked position.
#3. The Mouth
It’s safe to say that a smiling dog is a happy dog. According to the director of scientific and regulatory affairs and resident veterinarian at Hartz, Dr. Georgette Wilson DVM, happy dogs keep their mouth open. Some teeth may be visible, but they are not bared or curled in an aggressive manner. Panting with their mouths open should not be confused with smiling. It means that they are stressed or suffering from dehydration.
#4. The Body
Observing your dog’s body language is the quickest way to know if she is happy or not. Dog-Training specialist Tonya Wilhelm says that when a dog is relaxed, he will have a wiggly, soft body. It means she is comfortable and happy. Tensed muscles, while standing or sitting down, means she is uncomfortable.
#5. The Tail
A happy dog will wag his tail will all the excitement and enthusiasm in the world. It will also involve their whole body. The positioning is neutral and there is a soft, relaxed swing in it. If their body stays still and the tail wags stiffly, then they are probably alert and judging a new situation.
Observe your dog; if she is content where she is, then she is happy. Dogs easily get bored and chew. Happy dogs don’t usually act destructively because they have enough mental and physical stimulation. Another common cause of destructive behavior in dogs is “Separation Anxiety”.
#7. Healthy Appetite
A happy dog will have a healthy appetite. There is a difference between having a healthy appetite and a voracious eating habit. Please note that if you see your dog have a sudden drop or rise in their food intake, then there might be something wrong with them and you should contact your veterinarian.
#8. Happy Barks
Not all barks are made to warn. Dogs have happy barks, too. They are usually high pitched and used for a short time. They are also similar to attention seeking barks, so check out all the other signs before assuming the best!
#9. Belly Up
Many dog parents confuse happiness and submission when a dog shows his belly. If he is wriggling and showing his tongue and belly then he is happy. If he is stiff with his mouth closed, then he is submitting himself to you.
When a dog is relaxed and happy, he will sleep peacefully. According to experts, healthy happy dogs get 16 or more hours of sleep daily. If a dog isn’t sleeping well, then he will be tensed and on edge. It’s a sign of distress and must be addressed as soon as possible.
The most obvious question many dog parents ask related to happiness is – “do dogs laugh?”
You might be surprised to hear that this subject matter has been thoroughly researched. In 1949, researcher Konrad Lorenz addressed this in his book, Man Meets Dog. Another researcher, Patricia Simonet in 2000, also believed that the “forced breathy exhalation through the mouth” is their equivalent to dog laughter.
As dog parents, one of the biggest concerns we have is related to the happiness and well-being of our dogs. They are an important part of our family and no matter what; we always want to create the best possible living situation for our furry friends.
Make your dog happy with one of these homemade treat recipes!
About the Author:
This is a guest post, contributed by Danial Zaman. He is a content writer at FeedFond and a proud parent of a German shepherd. Danial loves writing about dogs and other exotic animals. More of his writings about dogs can be found at FeedFond.