Nothing makes us quite as happy as seeing the wagging tail of a puppy. It is the sign of ultimate bliss. Little puppies can only show us their emotions through their body language. That happy, energetic wagging tail is just one sign that your new puppy is a happy little fella. Once you understand some of the common puppy body language clues, then you will confidently know what your pup is feeling. Here are the Top 11 Ways to Know If Your New Puppy is Happy.
11. A Relaxed Stance
You can tell that your new puppy is happy and feels secure by his stance. If he is relaxed and calm, then he feels at ease and content. He is happy and has no worries. A puppy that seems stiff or tense, however, could be a pup that doesn’t feel safe—he is on his guard to a potential threat.
10. A Hearty Appetite
A happy puppy has a good, hearty appetite. When you observe your pup eagerly eating his puppy food, then you can feel confident that he is happy. A sad, depressed, or unhappy puppy will lose his appetite, be disinterested in his food, or just pick at his kibbles.
9. He’s a Good Dog
Often, puppies that are sad or stressed act out on these feelings by being destructive. They will tear up pillows or stuffed animals, get into the trash, and chew on furniture because they are bored, sad, and under-stimulated. They are acting out to get attention, unfortunately, it is usually just ends in the form of punishment. On the other hand, a happy, well-adjusted puppy—one that gets lots of exercise and attention—usually won’t act in a destructive manner, even when left home alone for a few hours.
8. Puppy Smiles
Puppies show happiness all over their faces. A happy pup has a relaxed face with bright eyes and unfurrowed brows. His ears may be perked up, but not back…a sign of worry. He may even look like he is smiling at you, as he holds his mouth slightly open with the edges curled up. Your happy pup may show a few teeth, but he doesn’t bare his teeth in an aggressive way like an unhappy dog. He may even hang his tongue out in a happy, comical manner that will melt your heart.
7. The Human Touch
One indication that your new puppy is happy is when he moves in closer to you when you pet him. He will act like he can’t get enough of your touches and will lean in to stay in contact with you. In fact, a happy pup may approach you often, leaning against you just because he is simply happy to be near you.
6. The Downward Dog
A happy and playful puppy will imitate yoga’s downward dog pose with his chest, forearms, and chin on the ground and his rump high in the air. This is a standard puppy body language stance that indicates the happy puppy wants to play with you.
5. A Happy Little Bark
The bark of a dog tells us a lot about the animal’s mood. Some barks are clearly warning or aggressive barks, and others are barks of pure joy and happiness. A happy, playful puppy’s bark is usually higher-pitched than his aggressive bark and is often accompanied by a smile or downward dog stance, as well as bright eyes and perky ears.
4. He’s Ready for Action
A happy puppy is always ready for action, be it a walk, a trip to the dog park, or a quick game of fetch. In fact, play time and exercise time are the same for puppies. If your puppy is disinterested in going for a walk or doesn’t want to play, then this is a sign that he is unhappy, depressed, or sick. He could also be experiencing pain or feeling ill. A visit to the veterinarian might be in order.
3. He’s Excited to See You
One of the best parts of owning a dog is seeing the excitement and delight in his eyes when you come home. A happy puppy will greet you with enthusiasm every time you arrive home, whether you’ve been at work all day or just ran to the store for a quick minute. Puppies show their happiness and love for you in their excited greetings. You are his person, after all, and he is eager to spend his time with you.
2. Belly Up
A sure sign of a happy puppy is one that rolls over onto his back and presents his belly to you. In puppy body language, a dog that rolls around belly up with his tongue hanging out is displaying happiness and playfulness. A pup taking a submissive stance will also roll on his back and stick his feet in the air, but he will not be as relaxed and will keep his mouth closed. The happy, belly-up stance tells you that the puppy completely trusts you.
1. Happiness is in the Tail of the Dog
There is no denying that the biggest way to read a puppy’s mood is to watch his tail. A happy little pup just can’t keep his tail still! He will wag it non-stop, sometimes so vigorously that his whole backside wiggles. Watch out for that tail! It can be powerful enough to clear off a table or knock over a small child. Your pup can even hurt himself from over-exuberant tail wagging. It is nearly impossible for a puppy to keep his happiness unseen. His tail wag is the best way to know that your new puppy is happy.
As a new puppy owner, you may find yourself wondering if your pup loves you as much as you love him. You can read a puppy’s emotions through his body language. The tongue out, rump up, ears perked, tail wags, and high-pitched yips are all indicators that you are doing a great job as a puppy parent and are raising a happy, care-free pup.