Preceded by some human language!
Sorry to be a little obtuse with my sub-heading.
But I wanted to inform all you wonderful readers that for the next 6 days I am going to be rather distracted by a book event. I have prepared posts through to the 12th, my first clear day ‘back at my desk’ but if in the meantime you wonder why I am being unresponsive that’s the reason.
I saw the following not too long ago and asked if I might have permission to republish it here. Lea said “Of course”. Thus I am delighted to republish what appeared on Paws Give Me Purpose blog earlier this year.
Most dog owners wish their pup could speak to them and tell them exactly what they want, how they’re doing and how they’re feeling. I honestly believe dogs can talk, but only to those who know how to listen. Their body language and behaviors are the language they use to speak to you. Do you ever wonder if your dog loves their life? If they’re happy?
Here are some ways to know your pup is relaxed and happy:
- Your dog gets excited! Excited to see you, to play, to eat, to go for walks. If for some reason your dog doesn’t get excited for these things your pup may be telling you they are not be feeling well.
- Your dog sleeps well. A happy relaxed dog sleeps well. A stressed dog, or if your dog is not feeling well, will be restless and change spots often trying to get comfortable during the night.
- A healthy dog is a happy dog 🙂 Obviously if your pup isn’t feeling well the signs of happiness won’t show.
- Pay attention to your dog’s eyes, when your pup is happy his eyes are bright and are their “regular” shape. If your dog is uncomfortable or in pain his eyes will tell you, he may squint.
- When your dog is happy and relaxed their mouth will be closed or slightly opened with a relaxed tongue hanging out. A panting dog could be hot or stressed, so pay attention to this body language.
- A destructive dog is a bored dog 🙁 If your dog is content they will play with their toys and bones rather than eat your shoes or anything else.
- If your dog’s body language is relaxed he/she is happy. Relaxed posture, not tense or stiff. When a dog places it’s head in your lap it’s a relaxed happiness being with his/her person.
- When your dog is relaxed he/she will carry their tail in its natural position. When they are happy they will wag it from side to side. They may even wiggle their entire body with joy! A tail that is held low or between the legs signals a lack of confidence, nervousness, or fear. (A dog’s tail can tell you a great deal about their moods. A wagging tail does not always mean they are happy, don’t assume that’s always the case. Pay attention to the rest of the dog’s body and actions. Believe me, just the tail itself can be a full post on its own).
- Happy dogs are active. They love to play with you, with their toys, chew on their bones, explore, and solicit attention from you. They may play bow or initiate physical contact with you by rolling over for a belly rub, this also shows trust. A happy dog wants to hang out with his/her people!
- A happy dog likes to eat. Some dogs, like one of mine, can be picky eaters when it comes to meals, but in general when they are happy, he/she will enjoy eating. What dog can resist a cookie.
- Some dogs rarely bark, but those that do have a higher-pitched bark when they’re happy than they usually do. Sometimes it’s even a high pitched howl in this house.
While you obviously know your dog best, these are the ways I see my dogs express their relaxed and happy mood. Having a rescue dog in my home that was labeled “aggressive” has taught me a great deal about my pups body language and what they are trying to tell me. There really is a great deal we can learn from our furry friends body language and we can understand what they are saying by simply watching closely.
The world would be a much, much sorrier place without our gorgeous dogs.