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4 Ways to Know if Your Dog is Happy

 by jaime on 21 Jul 2014 |
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Throughout your dog's life you are going to be struggling to determine its mood. Whether your dog is happy, sad, or mad, it cannot simply walk up to you and tell you as much in clear English. However, that doesn't mean it is impossible to determine if your dog is happy. Your dog will use other signals to let you know if it's feeling cheerful. So what are those signs?
1. Body Language
Your dog may not be able to speak a language, but it can use its entire body to send you signals about its mood. From its head to its tail, your dog will use body language to let you know if it is happy, mad, or sad. Typically, a happy dog is easy to spot because it will appear as if its entire body is wiggling with anticipation. This is most likely the look you get each day when you get home from work.
Additionally, the general stance of your dog will reveal a lot about its mood. A dog that stands confidently on all four feet, with its body relaxed and head up, is a happy dog.
2. Behavior
When your dog is happy, it will be willing and eager to play with you. As you approach your dog for some play time, the easiest way to determine its happiness is in the stance it takes. If your dog sticks its hind quarters up in the air and lowers its head toward the floor, it is happy and eager to play.
In some cases, your dog may even use its voice in conjunction with this behavior to drive the point home. Short, high-pitched barks, howls, and squeals are another sign that your dog is ready to goof around.
3. How About a Scratch?
Every dog owner has either experienced firsthand or seen another dog that goes into a blissful state when receiving a belly rub. If your dog has no issues rolling over on its back to display its belly for a rub, then you have a very happy (and trusting) dog on your hands. Generally speaking, any time your dog initiates physical contact with you it is trying to tell you that it is happy and wants to be around you.
Reward all of these behaviors with some physical contact. When your dog rolls over on its back hoping for a rub, take a few minutes out of your day to give it a scratch. In the process, you ensure your dog remains happy and the sense of trust between owner and dog continues to grow.
4. Quiet Demeanor
Last but not least, a quiet dog is often a happy dog. If your dog is quietly and contently lounging around next to you, it is a safe bet that you have a happy dog. The fact that it is so relaxed is a sign that your dog is happy to be in your presence and feels safe when you are around. The more time you devote to the activities and behaviors that create these physical responses in your dog, the more likely you are to have a happy and mentally healthy dog.



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