We all want our dogs to be the happiest they can be. We exercise them, give them cuddles, buy squeaky toys and don’t grumble when we find a treat buried under our duvet cover.
But how do we know that what we are doing is having any effect?
There are a number of signs that will tell you if your dog is relaxed, happy and contented, some easier to spot than others.
Casual Eye Contact
A dog that is happy to make eye contact with humans is a bold and confident dog. When it’s done in a casual manner, you know your dog is chilled out enough to feel that she doesn’t need to keep an eye on you.
Dogs that are feeling fearful or uncomfortable will sometimes avert their gaze, perhaps in a misguided effort to hide. After all, if she can’t see you, you can’t see her, right?
The Dog With The Waggiest Tail
This is a pretty obvious one. Who hasn’t seen a dog wag her tail like a helicopter propeller when she is particularly happy or excited about something?
Humans smile with their mouths and dogs smile with their tails.
The breadth of a tail wag shows the emotional level of the dog whilst the speed shows the level of excitement. Another thing to look out for is the direction of the tail wag; more to the right side and the dog is likely to be positive and happy. More to the left and your dog may be feeling negative towards someone or something.
A Healthy Appetite
A dog that isn’t eating is a dog to be concerned about. Dogs can actually suffer from depression, of which a lack of appetite is a symptom.
Not eating can also indicate certain illnesses too, meaning you may have a discontented dog on your hands. A visit to the vet is always best.
Of course, you may just have a fussy eater. Work with your dog to identify what they like and dislike in order to ensure they continue to be a happy and contented pooch.
The Bouncy Wiggles
Exuberance and enthusiasm is an easy to spot sign that your dog is content at home with you.
The bottom wiggling, shoulder shaking, bouncing and jumping doggy welcome you get when you return home after an outing without the dog? That right there is your “Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy I’m HAPPY” klaxon.
Stillness is Golden
In contrast to the bouncy wiggles, a quiet and still dog can also indicate a contented dog.
A pup that sits on the sofa next to you, dozing whilst you catch up on your box sets, is one that is relaxed enough to let her guard down and chill contentedly with you.
A Touching Affair
A pup who nudges you with her nose, holds her paw up for a shake or rolls over in an instant from a belly rub is also likely to be a contented dog.
These behaviours indicate a little bit of attention seeking, a desire to be with you and trust that you won’t hurt her at her most vulnerable, with her tummy in the air. Give her belly a good scratch or tickle and her contentedness quotient will go off the chart!
How many of these signs of a contented dog does your pup display?
Ultimately, much of a dog’s contentedness is down to you, so make sure you give your dog lots of physical and mental exercise, look after their physiological needs through food, warmth, security and shelter and most of all, shower them with love.
Featured Image credits: Allen Skyy via Flickr
Please SHARE If you found this article interesting…