What Makes a Dog Happy?
Dogs start happy. They start happy because they aren’t thinking about anything else but being their best dog. What makes a dog happy can make us happy. What makes your dog happier is you being your best self. Relationships are like that.
Dogs are man’s best friend in lore. At the side of their human, they protect, adventure, hunt, trot, smell, reveal, celebrate, sleep, eat, wander, and wonder. In stories, a dog and their best friend focus on a journey.
What makes a dog happy?
You focused with them on a task.
- Walking isn’t a chore for your dog, it’s an adventure. The smells! So many smells, telling them so many things. A dog has 300 million olfactory receptors in that nose. They have a brain that is devoted to analyzing those smells. A direct line from intake to data crunching. They are also Neophiliacs. Obsessively attracted to new and interesting odors. You call it going poop. They call it a nose adventure. Allow more time for your walks. Slow down. Let them put that big brain and those 300 million receptors to work. Your dog will be happier.
- Fetch isn’t about bringing the toy back. Fetch is a project. A goal requiring you and your best friend to focus on the same object and aim. Angus' favorite focus is a spiky squeaky ball. He's a dedicated professional. Share more undivided attention. Your dog will be happier.
- Naps! Dogs like sleep. On average, a dog needs 11 hours of sleep a day. What they can’t get at night with you hogging their blankets, they makeup during the day on their favorite bed, couch, chair, pillow, location you are near at all times. Your dog sleeps better, knowing where you are at all times. Allow your dog to pick their nap locations according to your locations throughout the day. We have two dogs and six dog beds for a reason (granted; they use the couch). Your dog will be happier.
- Conversation. Dogs like our voice. Dogs like hearing their name in our voice. Dogs pay close attention to our voice and the nuances our voice can express. Talk to your dog when you’re together. Ask questions. Bring up points of interest. There’s “Good boy!” And then there’s “Wow Angus! You didn’t eat my pillow. What a good boy! You could have destroyed this, and you didn’t. You need to get paid. Sit. Good Boy! Here’s your treat!” Your dog will be happier.
- Attention. When you’re with your dog, be with your dog, not your phone. Your dog will be happier.
What makes a dog happy, and makes all our companion animals happy, is our focused attention and respect. Respect for their ability to join in, cooperate, and understand. Companions are marvelous medicine for a bad day. A dog’s happy place is at our side, helping us to be happier. Do yourself a favor, and let your dog be happy.