Updated: Feb 2, 2020
Dogs express most of their communication through body language. While most humans can communicate their thoughts and feelings through words, our dogs are generally reliant just on body language to let you know if they are happy or sad.
Paying attention to your dog’s body language (including their posture, eyes, ears, face and tail position) is a great way to understand how they’re feeling. You’ll also start to learn what they like (and what they don't).
Signs of a happy hound
Luckily, signs of a content, or even happy dog are easy to spot! In fact, I bet you already know some of the signs.
1. A high and waggy tail. This is probably the most universal sign your dog is a happy pooch.
2. Floppy ears. Ears are relaxed, not tense. Beware of ears flattened against their head. Pricked upright ears are a sign of alertness – they tell you if your dog is happy... but also sad, or just focused. So those pointy, pricked up ears are sometimes a confusing indicator, but generally accompanied by all the other signs listed, your furry friend is pleased.
3. Their body’s relaxed. Not tense or stiff, this is a good indication they are feeling good. Loose shoulders, soft eyes without a fixed gaze, and a funny dose of the "wiggles" or rolling/flopping about, are all clues that your dog’s feeling super chill and are trusting you.
4. They’re playful. A happy dog is more likely to want to play and leap around. Play “bows” and barks or whines while nosing by a favorite toy for attention are a great sign your dog is in the playing mood.
5.They lean in to you. A relaxed dog who enjoys your company is more likely to also enjoy your attention. They may come to you for attention and it’s a good sign if they lean into your hand when you stroke them. Dogs who lie on their backs and ask for belly rubs are showing you they trust you!! Dogs may also lean in or even try to sit on your lap.
The good news, once a dog "claims" you as their human, you're set for life as long as you keep your furry pal happy!