Who doesn’t love happy dogs? We know when they are happy because their body language and voices tell us so. They have different barks for different reasons, and they use their barks in intelligent ways. One of the best signals is when their bodies wag all over, and they “laugh” special dog barks when they play with us.

Though they have their own ways to communicate, they let us know they are content. They may gaze at us with relaxed eyelids and ears. Their tongues may roll out of their mouths so they look as if they are smiling at us. They may wag their tails with gusto or hold them high to let us know they are excited to be with us. They may play and bark happily, or they may simply roll over and show their bellies as the ultimate sign of happiness. Some will give us a great cuddle when they lean into us and let us hug or pet them.

There’s no doubt that dog language helps humans to understand when our companions are happy. For the record, here’s a list of 10 of the happiest dog breeds, based on the experiences of the American Kennel Club

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers love to work, and they are very intelligent. They are eager to please their owners and will work side by side as search and rescue experts, assistance or guide dogs, and hunting companions. They enjoy having treats and lots of affection. They are devoted to their family members, and their wide-mouthed grins make them look like they are a little goofy. In fact, they will do almost anything to receive love from their owners.

Labrador Retriever

Listed as the most popular dog in America according to AKC records, the Lab always seems to have a smile. The breed is known for its friendliness, outgoing nature, and welcoming expression. Labs enjoy playing with children and their owners. They are gentle and enjoy pleasing their masters. They are in high demand for their hunting talents when employed as narcotic detectors working with law enforcement officials. They also are excellent guide dogs as they are very loyal. They are active, with high spirits to match.


In the United States, the Beagle is one of the most popular dogs. The AKC describes the Beagle has happy-go-lucky, merry, and friendly. They have a long breed history of living in packs-hundreds for years, in fact. For this reason, they are naturals when it comes to enjoying the company. Their friendly nature also makes them excellent as family pets.

They are best known for their hunting skills and are often called to work for the United States Department of Agriculture sniffing out contraband items and foods carried across the borders into the United States. Beagles enjoy barking and are curious. They do respond well to training and need lots of exercise.

Boston Terrier

This highly popular dog has earned the nickname the American Gentleman. It is known for its sweet and gentle nature and its high intelligence. Bostons are happiest when part of a family that adores them. They are exceedingly loyal and devoted companions. These compact little dogs have large, round, dark eyes and a short muzzle with a black button nose. They are famous for being adaptable to many circumstances, and for amusing their owners. They eagerly work to be friendly and will wait for their owners to play with them. Favorite activities include chasing balls and flying discs.

English Toy Spaniel

This breed is known for its merry personality. The English Toy Spaniel has chubby cheeks, soft dark eyes, and long soft ears. These three combined to attract plenty of affectionate cuddles.

The breed is a true spaniel, with an active level of energy. The breed plays with curiosity, cavorting and alert, but able to be dignified and well-manner when not playing. Very good with children and other dogs, English Toys excel when given intelligent activities to share with their families. Their smaller size is perfect for living in small homes or apartments. They tend to be stubborn while training, but are generally easy-going, making wonderful companion dogs for families with children. They are not fond of hot weather, and shouldn’t be left outdoors when the days are hot, but overall, they enjoy taking daily walks as long as they are confined to a leash to keep them contained.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

This breed was named after King Charles II of Britain. It has been depicted for centuries in tapestries and paintings made for aristocratic families. The Cavalier has always been bred to be a companion, and for this reason, the breed has a gentle and sweet nature. While the Cavalier will be trustworthy when playing with children, it enjoys spending its time with the entire family. The Cavalier is happy, affectionate, eager to please and graceful. Most enjoy having a good walk with their family each day. Owners adore their sparkling, inquisitive eyes and the way they love their families regardless of what they are doing.

Flat-Coated Retriever

The Flat-Coat makes a wonderful companion. He is a hunting dog by breeding, and excels with flushing and retrieving upland waterfowl and game. It’s his focus on his work that makes him determined, but he also brings his enthusiasm to family activities. He is cheerful, good-humored, optimistic, and filled with a zest for life. Flat-Coats, in general, are known for having tails which are always wagging, as their readiness for activities rarely stops.


With origins in Cuba and the Caribbean, these sturdy little dogs are playful and enjoy dexterity games. Nothing makes them happier than snuggling in laps. They are some of the most gentle and peaceful dogs. Their intelligence makes them want to learn tricks, and they respond to food rewards readily when they have done something well. They crave companionship and depend upon their owners for affection. In return, their playfulness comes with a happy nature and the ability to be very entertaining.

French Bulldog

This is a playful and affectionate breed, with amusing wrinkled faces and ears like bats. They are incredibly loyal to their families. They are smart and irresistible because they insist on pleasing their owners and being part of activities. They do well with brisk walks and they are very good with children.