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Is My Dog Happy? 13 Telltale Signs Your Dog is Happy!

Have you ever been puzzled by your dog's conduct or body language? Ever pondered, “How do I know if my dog is happy?”? At some point in their lives, every caring dog owner has longed to be like Dr. Doolittle and comprehend the language of dogs! 

However, we must strive to understand our furry friend’s tail wag, bark, and head tilt and make an educated guess about what your pet is attempting to communicate.

Regardless of the clear language barrier, there are some definitive signs your dog is happy. Here are 13 signs that without a doubt indicate your pooch is genuinely joyful!

Smiling red haired dog laying down on the beach


  1. We’ve all heard people say dogs can’t smile. However, dog owners know the truth! When your dog is relaxed, his mouth can make him appear to be smiling. Whether he’s grinning intentionally or not, a grinning pup is usually a happy one.
  2. The position of our dog’s ears can give us a wealth of information. For example, when they are pulled and pinned straight back, that usually means they are nervous! However, if one or both ears are floppy and relaxed, this indicates a contented, chilled-out pup.
  3. Our dogs have the most beautiful and expressive eyes! You can tell a lot about how your dog is feeling based on their eyes. Bright eyes full of warmth and fun mean that your dog is happy, relaxed, and most importantly, healthy.
  4. Is my dog happy when well-groomed? While not every dog loves getting groomed, the benefits can be undeniable! Curly-coated dogs need daily brushing and should be clipped regularly to prevent mats, which can be painful and cause skin infections. So, a dog that’s groomed well with proper equipment will be a happy pup!
  5. Every dog has a different way of carrying their tail. A depressed or frightened dog will usually ram his tail between his legs, but a happy dog will typically raise his tail and carry it aloft. An enthusiastically wagging tail is a definite indicator of a happy dog!
  6. As the old saying goes, “A tired dog is a well-behaved dog”. What better way to tire out your dog and make sure everyone is happy than exercise and play? Happy dogs love playtime and walks! Dogs adore games and walks, no matter how old your pup is. Although you can expect a senior dog to slow down a bit, your pooch will still be keen to go to the dog park!
  7. A hearty and consistent appetite is a sure sign your dog is content and happy! So, when your happy hound wolfs down their dinner, you know that he’s feeling good! Plus, as long as the diet you’re providing is nutritionally ideal, you can rest assured they will continue to feel good!
  8. When your dog is happy to see you or someone you know calls around, he might hop from side to side, probably barking or whining. Jumping like that is a sign of excitement and joy. Plus, it’s a heartwarming reminder of your dog’s love!
  9. Regardless of their age, dogs sleep a large portion of the day. If your pooch is sleeping soundly, that’s an excellent sign they are happy and chilled out. However, be sure to keep an eye on your dog’s energy levels! If sleep turns to lethargy and lack of appetite, you may need to bring your dog in for a vet visit!
  10. If your dog has a shiny, healthy coat and doesn’t shed more than the average amount, that’s a sure sign that they are content and happy. Stressed dogs tend to shed excessively, their coats lack gloss and shine, and they often develop dry, scurfy skin.
  11. Does your dog like to wriggle on his back with his belly up and his tongue lolling? If so, that’s a sure sign that all’s good in your pup’s world. However, if the dog goes belly up, pins his ears back, and his brow creases, that usually means he’s submissive and possibly frightened.
  12. When a dog adopts a “bowing” pose with his rear stuck up in the air and his chest lowered to the ground, that’s dog-speak for “come and play with me.” And an invitation to play is a definite indication of a happy dog. This is one occasion when you can speak canine. Try adopting the “play bow” pose yourself opposite your dog. I bet your pooch does the same, and then it’s game on!
  13. A well-behaved dog is usually a happy one. How so? Well, destructive behavior and excessive barking can be signs of separation anxiety or some other stress-related condition.


Even though your dog can’t talk, their behavior and body language can reveal everything about their mood and health. 

Understanding what your dog is communicating is a vital part of being a responsible dog owner and maintaining a happy, healthy pet. So, as long as your dog is exhibiting the 13 signs of a happy dog mentioned above, you can be sure you're both doing wonderfully!

Taking the time to understand how to tell if a dog is happy not only strengthens your bond with your furry friend, but also contributes to their overall well-being. Remember, a happy dog makes for a happy owner too!

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