Don’t you often wish your dog could talk?
I certainly do.
It would make things so much easier if my Yorkie could just tell me when it is happy, or when it needs something.
Not to mention all the funny stories I’m sure it has. And the latest gossip from the dog park!
But our dogs can’t talk, which often leaves us wondering (and worrying) if our pups are happy living with us.
The good news is: most are!
And there are plenty of signs that show us just how happy our little Yorkies are.
Keep reading for a list of sings that will let you know if your Yorkshire terrier is happy.
- 1 How To Know If Your Yorkie Is Happy
- 2 Signs Your Yorkie Is Happy: Conclusion
How To Know If Your Yorkie Is Happy
There are a number of telltale signs that indicate that your Yorkie is happy. See all the signs to look out for directly below this short video summary.
The most common way to know if your Yorkie is happy is if its tail is wagging. A tail wag is your dog’s way of communicating with you.
If your pup seems relaxed while wagging its tail, with the tail slightly raised and in a neutral stance, then it is telling you that it is happy to be around you.
But tail wagging can also indicate that something is not right. You have to read your dog’s body language to tell the difference. For example, if your Yorkie’s body is tense while its tail is raised high and wagging, then it is agitated for some reason.
Another reason your Yorkie could be wagging its tail is to go into submission. However, when they do this, their tail wags directly beneath their legs and they may even be lying on the ground.
Chances are, you’ll be able to tell when your Yorkie is wagging its tail because it is happy, or wagging its tail because something is wrong. As long as you pay attention to the body language, you’ll know right away.
We already touched on this in the previous section. You can tell a lot about the emotional state of Yorkies, just by looking at their tails. When they are comfortable and content, their body is relaxed, including their tail.
Of course, some yorkies have tails that are much longer than others. This is because many still have their tails cut as newborns. There are a few reasons yorkie tails are cut, but many will argue that none of them are good.
Depending on the breed, each dog has a different tail carriage. In general, they tend to raise their tail and wag it when happy.
But if they raise the tail higher, it can indicate aggression, or it can be a sign that your dog is afraid. This will usually be accompanied by a tense body.
Another one of the other most common ways to know if your Yorkie is happy is that it will give you kisses. Dogs love to show you affection in this way and the more they kiss, the happier they are!
They will probably try to kiss any part of you they can, whether that’s your hands, face, arms, or feet.
If constant kissing and licking does become too much for you, then you can always train your Yorkie to stop licking and kissing. But are an affectionate breed of dog, so they’re going to love showing you how happy you make them.
If your Yorkie’s ears are relaxed, that is also a sign that it is happy. A Yorkie’s ears naturally stick up, so they will come down when happy.
It just means that they won’t be tense and when you go to stroke them, you should be able to move and flop them around.
If your Yorkie’s ears are tense or flattened against its head, then it could be that it is agitated or scared and you may want to do your best to comfort your pup.
If your Yorkie is showing signs that it is nice and relaxed, then you can rest assured that it is happy. Its shoulders should be loose, and it should be able to make lots of wriggly movements if it wants to.
A loose body shows that your pup isn’t scared to be around you and it feels like it can be itself. The opposite is also true. Just like when the ears go tense and rigid, if your Yorkshire terrier’s body does the same, it’s most likely because it is scared or agitated.
If this happens then you may want to calm your Yorkie with some affection. Or, if it is stressed by another dog or human, it may be best to remove your dog from that situation.
You’ll know your Yorkie is happy if it wants to play! It might suggest playtime by bringing you its favorite toy. If your Yorkie wants to play, you could play fetch with it, or even head out for a walk.
Sometimes they may just want a few goes with their favorite squeaker toy, or a quick game of tug of war.
They may also show their playfulness by leaping around. Happy dogs may want to jump about or run around in circles.
This is another way your Yorkie has to show that it feels relaxed around you. All happy dogs love to play with their favorite toys and with the owners they love.
Leaning Into You
If your Yorkie leans into you as a way to grab your attention then you know that it is feeling happy. The closer it gets to you, the happier it most likely is to see you.
Yorkshire terriers are affectionate dogs. Not only do they love to lean into you as a way of showing you affection, but they love it equally when you give them a stroke as reciprocation.
You can give your Yorkie a tickle behind the ear or a rub on the belly and chances are it won’t be able to leave you alone.
A Yorkie leaning into you may also be a way for it to initiate a cuddle session. Yorkies love a snuggle, especially when it’s with their favorite owner. And we can’t deny that we also love a cuddle from our favorite pet!
Sleeping Near You
A Yorkie that can fall asleep by your side is a happy Yorkie. A dog will only do this if it feels comfortable enough around you.
It takes a lot of trust for a Yorkie to fall asleep close to you, because being asleep is when they are at their most vulnerable.
It means your Yorkie trusts you, and a trusting Yorkie equals a happy Yorkie. It feels it has nothing to fear around you and knows you will not cause it stress or agitation.
A Healthy Appetite
If your Yorkie is able to eat all of its meals and it still has room for treats, this also shows that it is happy. Just like with humans, if a dog is feeling stressed or anxious, then chances are it won’t want to eat much food.
So if your Yorkie is able to eat its meals all in one go, and it doesn’t pick at its food over the course of several hours, it means that it is happy and healthy.
Of course, a lack of appetite can also be a sign of a health condition. If you start to notice that your dog isn’t eating, it may also be sick. If this symptom doesn’t improve, it would be a good idea to take your pup to the vet, so that you can rule out any serious health conditions.
Yorkies sometimes shake with excitement. There are actually a number of other reasons why a Yorkshire terrier may shake and not all are good.
Some can indicate serious health issues. Read “Why Do Yorkies Shake?” for more. That said, you can usually tell if happiness is the reason your pup is shaking, because it will happen in conjunction with some of the other signs listed here.
A good indication that your Yorkshire terrier is happy is if it has relaxed eyes and eyelids. Your dog will look at you in a soft manner.
Eyes that are narrow with a hard gaze mean aggression, while wide eyes, particularly if the whites are showing, means that your dog is frightened.
A relaxed mouth can also indicate happiness in your Yorkie. A happy Yorkie may sometimes even appear to be smiling.
If the mouth is wide open and even showing a few teeth, but without any growling sound, your pup is happy.
But be mindful of open-mouthed panting. This can sometimes be confused for smiling, but it is not the same and generally indicates an underlying problem.
It could mean that your pup is stressed or overheated. Yorkies get hot easily and can suffer heatstroke quickly, so this is something you need to look out for.
Your Yorkie will probably chew on some things around your home. Ok, everything around your home. That is a natural behavior. They use their mouths to explore, especially when they are new to an environment.
But too much chewing, particularly if your Yorkie is no longer a puppy, can be a sign of stress and boredom.
Happy Yorkies are unlikely to chew or otherwise misbehave around the house, because they are getting enough physical and mental stimulation. This kind of destructive behavior is a sign of boredom and unhappiness.
Separation anxiety is a big reason for misbehavior in Yorkies. If you notice a lot of destructive behavior, there is a good chance this is causing it. If not, it is likely something else that is causing your pup stress or anxiety.
Signs Your Yorkie Is Happy: Conclusion
In general, it is easy to tell if a Yorkie is sad or happy, even if they can’t tell us directly. They don’t usually hide their emotions and will always let us know through body language how they are feeling.
In most cases, happy Yorkies are healthy and full of life, while unhappy Yorkies simply won’t seem to be enjoying life much. With most dogs, it is easy to tell the difference.
If your dog appears to not be happy, do your best to figure out what is causing it to be unhappy and fix it. If you are struggling to determine the reason for your pup’s unhappiness, it might be a good idea to take it to a vet or a dog behavioral specialist.