Black dog in a car looking happy
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What are the top 5 signs that your dog is happy?

By Nick Whittle Author

Updated on the

It is one of the most commonly asked questions of a dog owner: what are the signs that my dog is happy? Read on to discover five ways by which a dog will let you know she is happy

Dogs don’t talk human language, but they do talk. To be an expert-level dog owner, it requires you to learn some of the key phrases a dog uses. Learn some of her language and your bond will grow stronger.

1. A good appetite

A noticeable increase or decrease in a dog’s appetite suggests a problem. This problem may be connected with an illness (lots of diseases and conditions can cause changes in appetite) but it is just as likely to be due to unhappiness.

2. A relaxed mouth

Dogs use their mouths to investigate their homes. A dog that has a slightly open mouth is happy. Behaviourists suggest that a dog that chews excessively on furniture, door frames and items of clothing is either bored or agitated and uses the sensation of chewing to alleviate some of its boredom.

3. An exposed belly

A dog that is wriggling on its back and showing you its belly is a happy dog, but only if in addition to this behaviour its mouth is open. A dog that rolls onto its back but is stiff is showing a submissive behaviour. If your dog is on her back with her mouth open and relaxed, and she is moving from side to side with ease, she is happy and content.

4. A relaxed posture

A relaxed posture when walking or standing still is a sign of happiness. Your dog may also wag her tail to such an extent that her body sways from side to side; all signs that your dog is happy. If your dog is tense and stiff, holds her tail low and wags it more slowly she is either scared or unhappy, in which case you must take measures to improve her environment.

5. A relaxed pair of ears (and eyes)

If your dog’s ears are pinned forward she is interested in something ahead of her, which may or may not be something she likes. A happy dog has floppy and relaxed ears; in addition her eyes are relaxed and she blinks a lot. If your dog’s ears are stiff or pinned forward and her eyes are wide and unblinking she feels threatened.

Keep in mind that the converse of each of these fives signs of a happy dog is five signs of an unhappy dog. Unhappy dogs might be poorly, tired, hungry or scared. The more you learn about the Language of a dog, the more you can react to those sorts of problems. If you don’t do anything about them, the ‘problem’ won’t go away.

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