happy dog

11 Body Language Signs To Tell If Your Dog Is Happy

It’s the goal of every dog parent to make their beloved pooch happy.

According to PetMD, “Dogs have the emotional capacity of a 2- to 2.5-year-old child, so they can experience emotions like joy, fear, and anger.”

Unfortunately our dogs lack the ability to speak, however, that doesn’t mean they can’t communicate these emotions through to us.

The key is through body language.

A myriad of emotions from happiness and sadness to excitement and boredom can all be deduced from a host of bodily tell- tale signs.

So, let’s take a look at 10 top body language signs that can let us know whether or not our favourite furry friend is happy.

11 Body Language Signs To Indicate If Your Dog Is Happy

1/ Their Tail Is Wagging

happy dog wagging tail
Photo by Andres Ayrton

There’s no more classic sign of happiness than a cheerfully wagging tail!

Whether it’s the “W” word, a belly rub or the smell of their favourite treat…

When you see the tail a-wagging, you can bank on your dog in a joyous mood!

2/ Their Ears Are Relaxed

relaxed floppy ears on a happy dog

We’ve seen before how a dogs ears can tell us so much about how they’re feeling.

Alert ears indicate focus or engagement from our dogs.

Floppy ears, however, are a great sign of relaxation. When you see their ears laid back like this, it means they’re chilled out and very content.

Careful though! If their ears are pinned too far back that could be a sign that your pooch is feeling tense or anxious.

3/ Soft Eyes

If you want to tell if your doggy is happy? Look deeply into their adorable little eyes…

They can tell us a lot about how they’re feeling.

In a previous article we look at whale eye, and how when your dog gives you the side eye, it could mean they’re anxious or fearful.

Similarly, a narrow gaze can show us your pooch is suspicious or angry.

On the other hand, soft eyes with regular blinks are a sign our dogs are feeling happy and content with everything around them.

4/ Happy Smiles

happy dogs smiling

A cheerfull, smiley facial expression is a surefire sign of a happy pupper!

Although a dogs smile isn’t the same as our own.

A soft open mouth, relaxed tongue and teeth showing mean that our dog is in happy form.

However, don’t confuse an open, panting mouth for a smile! It could mean your dog is dehydrated.

5/ Wiggly Body

A really happy dog’s body will often wiggle with their tail!

This is particularly evident when you’re giving a belly rub and they’re squirming with that cute, gleeful look in their eyes!

Likewise, if they’re body is tight and their tail upright, this can be a sign that your dog is agitated. They could be fearful, alert or even aggressive.

6/ They’re Giving You A Playful Bow

When your dog has their bottom faced up and chest down low pressing against the ground, it means they’re feeling happy and playful!

This means they’re inviting you to play and have share in the fun with them!

7/ Good Behaviour

When dogs are bored, chaos can ensue.

Ripped-up pillows and other acts of destructive behaviour are indicators that your dog is stressed, bored and unhappy. Thankfully, there are online dog training courses (like this house training course) that can help you to housetrain your dog and curb any destructive behaviour. 

When your dog is feeling happy, they channel their energy in more positive ways like playing with their toys or relaxing peacefully.

8/ Deep Sleeps

a happy dog sleeping

Did you know that a happy, healthy dog should be sleeping up to 16 hours a day?

If you feel your pal isn’t getting their recommended dosage of kip, then it might be a sign that they’re feeling a bit stressed.

9/ Happier Barking

According to PetMD, “Happy dogs generally have higher pitched barks and bark for a shorter period of time than dogs that are agitated.”

10/ Big Appetites

Happy dog about to eat food

A fit, healthy dog who’s happy will always have an interest in their food.

Keep an eye on your dogs eating habits as a good indicator to how they’re feeling.

Usually, when their bowls getting filled you’ll see that cute, delirious, drool-filled anticipation!

11/ They’re Friendly!

friendly dog in owners arms feeling really happy and content

One of the biggest indications of a happy dog is simply how they act!

A friendly, welcoming dog is a happy dog. When they greet you with that wild excited abandonment, that’s a surefire sign they’re in great spirits.

A content pooch also is more likely to seek human contact.

When they avoid direct touch, that means they might not be in the best of forms and need a bit of time to themselves…

Final Bark

We’re our dogs the whole world, so it’s our duty to try and make sure they live lives as happily as possible.

Why not the the first steps towards giving your dog a monthly dose of joy? Sign up for BusterBox and create monthly memories that will fill your pups heart with joy.

Be sure to check out the rest of our doggy library and join the pack on our journey to finding our more about our dogs one paw at a time.