Dogs cannot talk in the real sense of the word, but they do bark and the tone of their bark could determine what they are trying to “say”. They also whine and the sound of the whine would determine whether it is happiness or sadness that they are trying to express.
It is ideal to know every intimate detail about your dogs in order for you to keep them happy and you might also worry less as a result. It is also crucial that you monitor their health and overall condition, to ensure that they are safe and healthy which plays a large role in their happiness.
The tone, pitch and sound of a dog’s bark is very important, as that is his way of communicating with you and others in the household, of which they generally feel a part of. It is also how they communicate with others - including those they consider outsiders.
Even if your dogs are not within sight, their bark should immediately alert you as to which state of mind they are in at the time, whether they are happy, afraid or even bored. It can also inform you as to who is near them, and whether or not that person is a threat making your dogs anxious at that very moment. A dog's bark tells the whole story.
If you are raising dogs, it is imperative that you learn and observe their every mood, whether it is happy, sad or worried, as dogs do tend to change moods quite often and would express themselves when happy or scared, when they are sad or anxious and even when they are sick.
Knowing these mood changes would be in your best interest and would help you to take better care of your best friends and companions. Your dogs will then look up to you, seeking that extra love and care that only you could offer, which would go a long way in building a close and strong bond between you.
Drawing from our own experience as well as the studies conducted by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, we compiled some guidelines which could help you understand your dogs’ behavior better, and ultimately lead to better communication with them.
This clear two-way communication is precisely what determines your dog’s happiness, health and obedience. It is also the key for an enjoyable relationship which will fulfill that desire we all have to share love and experiences with our beloved pets.
Like everyone’s eyes, your dog’s eyes can tell you many things. In order to receive the messages your dog is trying to relay, you must pay attention and carefully observe.
If your dog is continuously panting with an open mouth, that could be cause for concern, assuming that vigorous exercise is not a factor. A heavy gasp means your dog is either feeling hot and uncomfortable or simply unhappy. If your dog is content, then chances are you will notice the mouth will only be slightly open or closed.
Your dog’s ears can also be something to look out for, indicating a current state or mood. It changes from breed to breed, but if your dog's ears are in a natural position, it would mean that you have no sign to worry about your dog being tense or worried.
When the tail is being held in a normal position or wagged from side to side, this would show you that your dog is feeling comfortable and happy.
If the tail is being held stiff in an unusual way, it could be a sign of discomfort, fear or intimidation.
When your dog’s body is relaxed, it is safe to presume that your dog is overall relaxed and happy, though not excited.
If you play fetch and your dog runs smoothly towards the toy with good strides, it is a good sign and your dog will most likely be happy to continue this activity, which will only lead to an even better mood.
Chewing on your shoes, the sofa or any other possessions around your dog that are not toys could be a sign of boredom. If your dog is experiencing boredom, it might lead to destructive behavior.
Having toys near by and playing with them would show you that your dog is in a happy and playful mood and would not be destructive.
Your dog needs to eat a certain quantity of food in order to be healthy and grow normally. Refusing to eat or not finishing the entire portion could be an indication that something is wrong. In case it is a sign of a medical condition, it is recommended that this be checked with a veterinarian.
Apart from what we have mentioned above there are many other daily habits that would dictate whether your dog is happy or not. For example, the way your dog reacts to seeing a loved one walk into your home. Dogs who greet someone they know and love happily are healthy and happy dogs. If the reaction is to sulk or disregard the person, it could be a sign of moodiness or depression, which should be monitored.
Another sign of happiness is if your dog leads an active lifestyle, bringing you toys so you can play together.
While all the tips above can be helpful, when your bond is strong you can most likely already sense whether or not your dog is happy. Similar to the bond you have with people you know and love, neither one need to talk in order for you to sense how they feel.