How Do I Know If My Dog Is Happy? 9 Signs of a Happy Dog

Soft, Relaxed Gaze

A happy dog will have a soft gaze with eyes opened wide. They may blink frequently, which can be a sign of contentment. This soft gaze can also stimulate the release of oxytocin, or the love hormone, in both the dog and their owner.

Happy Facial Expression

A relaxed, open mouth with a lolling tongue is a sign of a happy dog. Their mouth may appear like they are smiling, with the corners of their mouth turned up. A happy dog may also show their teeth, but in a relaxed manner that doesn't indicate aggression.

Tail and Body Wagging

Checking the position and movement of a dog's tail can provide insight into their emotional state. A gentle, loose tail wag that is slow and wide from side to side usually indicates happiness. However, it's crucial to consider other emotional cues, such as posture

Loose, Bouncy Stride

A happy dog will have a relaxed, loose, and bouncy stride during a walk. They will display normal behavior, such as sniffing at plants and flowers, and engaging with friendly dogs and people. Poor leash manners, such as tugging or walking far ahead

Play Bow Stance

A dog in a happy and playful mood may assume a play bow stance. This involves scooching their chest down to the floor with their bottom in the air. It's a signal that they are ready to play and want to engage with you.

Happy Dancing

Some dogs may perform a happy dance, also known as a happy wiggle. It involves a loose and bouncy gait, along with hopping excitedly from side to side. Dogs may move their whole bodies, indicating their overall happiness and desire to share that happiness with you.


When a dog experiences bursts of enthusiasm and starts racing around with excessive energy, it's called the zoomies. This behavior can indicate pure happiness, especially when displayed in conjunction with other signs of happiness.

Physical Contact

Happy dogs seek physical contact with their owners. They may snuggle up on the couch or nudge your hand for a pat on the head. However, every dog is different, and not all happy dogs will want to cuddle or be close to their owners.

Normal Appetite

A happy dog will have a good appetite and eagerly eat during mealtime. Like humans, dogs feel better and are less grouchy when their belly is full. However, every dog has its own eating habits and appetite, so it's important to consider individual differences.