As dogs’ parents, we want to make sure that we’re doing all the right things to keep our canine friends happy and satisfied. Similarly to humans, dogs also give away their true feelings by displaying different body language forms. We hope that this short article will help you better understand the physical signs your dog is sending you about his mental state, and provide you with a few simple tricks that will assure your dog’s well-being over time.
How Can You Tell If Your Dog Is Happy?
Obedience – if your dog responds to the sound of your voice and listens to you when you call, it indicates that the dog trusts you as its pack leader. It implies that you’ve established a strong bond with your dog and that it trusts you for protection and guidance in dangerous situations.
Eye Contact – just like us humans, dogs enjoy looking at things that they like or find interesting, and try to avoid things they dislike or find boring. If your dog stares at you regularly and tries to make eye contact, give yourself a pat on the back, you’ve done a good job building a strong bond with your dog and made him very happy
Snuggling – since they have such an extraordinary sense of smell, dogs often use scent to show attachment to their owners. That’s why you can often find dogs digging through their owner’s dirty laundry, or laying on their owner’s bed when missing them. While a strong bond with the owner is an important factor in a dog’s happiness, destructive behaviors, like chewing on the owner’s shoes, can also indicate separation anxiety, and point to the fact that a dog is over-attached to its owner.
Seeking – happy dogs seek their owner’s attention often, and regularly check in on them to make sure their still around. If your dog frequently checks that you’re near, even when on an exciting walk in the park, that means your dog enjoys your presence and finds it comforting.
Tail Wagging – as opposed to the common misconception, not all forms of tail-wagging are necessarily associated with happiness. In a similar way to a human smile, that can be presented in different ways, to express feelings other than satisfaction, tails can also be wagged in manners that express fear and insecurity.
What Makes Dogs Happy?
So now that you’ve confirmed that your dog is really the happy pooch it appears to be, you’re probably wondering – how you can assure that your it will remain lively and cheerful and whether you can make your dog even happier than it is now? The short answer is – YES, the longer is that we’ve made a comprehensive list of our expert’s tips and tricks, that are guaranteed to make every pooch a happier pooch. Yey!
Socialize your dog – Dogs are as equally social as us humans. Make sure that your dog encounters new people or pets to ensure that he won’t be frightened or intimidated by future first encounters. You can practice socializing your dog, by having a friend your dog’s familiar with taking care of him once a week. You can also try taking your dog to the same dog park and let him establish relationships with other dogs on his own.
Keep your dog occupied when left alone – like mentioned before, if your dog has destructive tendencies whenever he’s left alone, it might indicate that your dog is too reliant on your presence and that it suffers from separation anxiety. Despite existing in all dogs to some degree, dog’s separation anxiety can, in its more severe cases, have a devastating impact on a dog’s mental state, leading it to develop depression. Leaving your pooch with a task that is both mentally and physically challenging and rewarding, will keep him stimulated and distracted from your departure. Try hiding dog treats around the house or leaving your dog with a Chew Treat Ball, that will keep your pooch occupied and stimulated while strengthening its jaw and teeth. Dogs with separation anxiety tend to have destructive behaviors. Giving them a food puzzle, like Go Animals’ Chew Treat Ball, can help them channel their destructive tendencies towards a more positive and rewarding activity.
Establish yourself as the pack leader – as a naturally tribal creature, dogs need structure and consistency to maintain a stable mental state. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t shower your pooch with love and affection, it simply means that, when duty calls, you should stick to your role of the pack’s leader and be firm and assertive with your dog. Reward your pooch with a treat when it follows your orders. Never let your dog set the pace when you take it out for a walk, and only let it walk on your side or behind you. Never act anxiously around your dog. Remember, a nervous dog is more likely to be an aggressive dog, and aggressive dogs are almost never happy dogs.
Keep your dog stimulated – that goes for both mental and physical stimulations. Dogs were originally bred for a specific reason and can misbehave when their natural instincts are suppressed. Toys like Go Animals’ Zippy Squeaky Toy are specially designed to arouse the dog’s natural hunting instincts. The toy’s squeaking balls encourage dogs to keep hunting and can occupy them for long periods. The Zippy Squeaky Toy comes in a pack of three woodland-creature-shaped toys. This allows you to switch them around occasionally instead of having them all out at the same time. By doing so, your dog is less likely to get bored with his toys. Once your dog hasn’t seen his squeaky raccoon in a while, he’ll go crazy the next time it appears.