Wondering “why is my dog coughing so much?” Or concerned about that new respiratory illness…
How can a happier dog help you be happier? Here’s what our dogs truly crave from us, and the extraordinary ripple effect it has on our happiness!
Humans and their furry pals can have amazing connections when we lay the right groundwork. By developing an understanding for what our dog feels, and what he or she likes, we can enjoy more happy moments together.
And research tells us that caring for a canine pal helps boost humans’ mental, emotional and physical well-being.
Let’s dig into the secrets of keeping our dogs happy, what they really want from us, and how they bring loads of joy into our lives!
Discovering Canine Happiness: Signs to Watch For
Understanding your dog’s emotions is an art that begins with working out the subtle signs they give you. While signs of joy may vary by breed, you should be aware of a few universal cues to a content canine companion. Seeing these signs will usually let you know that your furry friend is happy, content, and excited:
- Body Language: A wagging tail, relaxed posture, and ears perked up indicate a happy dog.
- Playfulness: Engaging in play, such as fetching or frolicking, signifies a joyous attitude.
- Appetite and Sleep Patterns: A healthy appetite, asking for treats, and regular sleep patterns reflect contentment.
Conversely, signs of anxiety, depression, or defensiveness may include:
- Changes in eating habits: being off their food, in particular.
- “Acting out”: excessive barking, whining, or destructive behaviors that are out of character.
- Withdrawal: lack of interest in play, food, or connecting with you.
These signals can differ between breeds, which is why paying attention to your own furry friend’s behaviors is so helpful for spotting possible signs of stress, illness, or other trouble.
The Keys to Our Hearts: What Dogs (and People) Love
So how do we nurture these warm ‘n fuzzy connections? There are a few reliable ways to boost those pup-people bonds:
- Eye Contact: It feels great to be seen, and one simple way to do that is by locking eyes with your pup. Eye contact is a signal of a healthy, happy connection (for humans and canines alike), and helps foster a strong emotional bond and trust.
- Shared Activities: Spending quality time engaging actively in their favorite activities, whether it’s a game of fetch or a leisurely stroll, deepens the connection. Don’t just passively throw the ball, get into the game and play!
- A Secure Environment: Dogs thrive in a safe and secure space, providing them with a sense of comfort and well-being.
Bear in mind the baked-in needs of your specific breed, too. High-energy or working dogs such as German Shepherds or Bloodhounds may crave mental stimulation and challenging tasks, while lower-energy breeds such as Great Danes or Pugs might find joy in cuddling and relaxed play.
Understanding your dog breed’s nuances helps you tailor activities to his or her unique preferences. And that will make both of you extra happy!
How Your Dog’s Happiness Elevates Your Own Happiness
Seeing our furry pals go all out with joy really sticks with us — it’s hard not to smile when you’re greeted by a whirl of tail-wagging love.
Letting yourself get into the simple, good stuff in life — just like your dogs does — brings you closer. Soak up the pure happiness and love he or she throws your way, and watch your own joy shoot through the roof!
Even when training, we recommend “think happy!” Don’t just focus on drilling commands; consider how you can foster an environment where joy is mutual.
Just like people, dogs learn more quickly — and are happier to do so — when you take a “happy dog” training approach!
Beyond traditional obedience drills, this means being generous with praise and rewards, keeping training intervals short and/or recognizing when his or her attention is waning, and building in time for companion activities that you do simply for their love of them.
(At College for Pets, we offer a range of Group Dog Training Classes designed not only to teach essential commands but also to infuse a sense of happiness and fun into the learning process.)
A great side effect: when you and your furry pal are happily engaged in learning and play, you’ll find yourself naturally drawn into the fun, and your bond with your dog will become unbreakable.
Understanding what makes dogs happy, making more of those moments, and enjoying that shared joy lifts both dog and human spirits. So, to really achieve the “Happier Dogs, Happier Humans” lifestyle, just let go, and connect to their natural joy in being with you!