Owning a dog requires a certain degree of psychic ability. You may find yourself asking: What is she trying to tell me with that bark? Does that tail wag mean she’s happy or scared? Is she following me around the house because she loves me, or is she just hungry?
While we can’t teach you how to speak dog, we can help you understand which behaviors and body language signals could indicate your pup is happy and content, as well as signs that something could be wrong.
Of course all animals are different, and as dogs age their activity levels and sociability may change. But the following signs indicate your dog is most likely happy, and more importantly, healthy.
Happy dogs have relaxed eyes and eyelids. They blink often and their gaze is soft, says Beth Mullen, director of behavior and training at Washington Humane Society. Narrow eyes and a hard gaze can indicate aggression, she says, while wide eyes, particularly if they whites are showing, could mean the dog is frightened.