How Do I Know My Pug is Happy & Loves Me? (21 Reasons)

how to tell if my pug is happy

Pug owners are very aware of how their dog’s faces can sometimes betray them. As a brachycephalic breed, they can be quite expressionless. This means it’s not always obvious whether they are happy or sad. You might also struggle to figure out if your pug loves you.

Firstly, I am sure your pug loves you a lot, so please don’t worry. Secondly, I wanted to put together a list of signs to look out for so you can tell if your pug is happy or not. Firstly, a quick explainer though on pug love and happiness…

How do I know if my pug is happy? There are lots of ways you can tell a pug is happy and loves you including wiggly bottoms, a relaxed body, being playful, a good appetite and no destructive behavior. These and more are how you know your pug loves you and is happy.

Handy Hint: If you any concerns that your pug might be depressed and sad, scroll down to the bottom of the happy signs for information on what to look out for.

How can I tell if my pug is happy and loves me?

If you’ve been out for a while and come through the door to an excitable pug jumping up at you, that’s a sign your pug loves you. But aside from the obvious, what else should you be looking out for?

Here’s my top list of signs on how to know your pug loves you.

1. Your pug has what appears to be a smile

Pugs will often relax their mouth, lips, and tongues to give you what looks like a happy grin. It’s not the big toothy smile some dogs give, but instead a smile where their lips curl up, their eyes soften, and their tongue pops out.

How do I know if my pug is happy? It’s that smile of course! Image copyright Dippydaloo on Flickr.

Handy Hint: If you see your pug smiling, it’s a sign they are happy and probably love you! To see a gallery of smiling pugs, click here.

2. Your pug does bottom wiggles and little tail wags

Pugs aren’t huge tail waggers but will do little tails wags when they are in the mood. What you will probably notice even more is how they love to wiggle their bum when happy.

If you come home through your door to be greeted by a shuffling, butt-wiggling pooch, you can be sure your pug loves you and is happy as Larry.

3. Your pug gives you the big puppy dog eyes

Pugs have some of the most expressive eyes of any dog, and not just because of the unique appearance. Like all dogs, they can give you the classic puppy dog eyes, which is a sign of a happy pug.

But why do dogs do this?

There’s actually some science behind it; apparently dogs have developed the ability to make your heart melt with a simple gaze as part of their domestic evolution. It’s a response behavior as dogs know it triggers a positive response in humans.

Happy dogs will relax their eyes, angry and scared dogs will narrow their eyes. So, if you see those soft pug eyes, you know yours is happy and loves you.

5. Your pug shows no aggression

Unhappy pugs will be aggressive and will show their teeth. Whilst they might be small, they can still snarl, put their ears back slightly, and act defensively.

lifes good
This guy has zero aggression – another sign to tell your pug is happy and affectionate! Image copyright Sassfrasturnip on Reddit.

6. Your pug has a relaxed body

Loving and happy pugs will be relaxed, and you will visibly see this in their body. A pug that loves you will show happiness with a relaxed body including those bum wiggles I mentioned earlier.

If you have ever seen one of those pug happy dances where their whole body starts wiggling, you will know what I mean. On the other hand, a rigid body is a sign of stress.

7. Your pug has plenty of reasons to play

Playful pugs are happy pugs. If you have a pug who doesn’t want to play, then get him checked out by a vet.

It’s also one of the best signs to look for to see if your pugs loves you. They will come up to you and try to initiate a game of play; that could be fetch, ball, tug of war, tickles, you name it.

For recommendations on what your pug should play with, take a look at these pug toy suggestions on Amazon.

8. Your pug does not exhibit destructive behavior

Unhappy pugs can be destructive. When stressed and sad they will chew, bite and destroy anything in sight. This should not be confused with your puppy’s teething stage though when it’s completely natural or them to want to chew things.

One of the more common reasons for destructive behavior is separation anxiety. Pugs are extremely clingy, and thrive on human company – being left home alone can have a huge impact on the way they behave.

If you are out at work, or even away from home for a couple of hours, you might come back to a scene of destruction. This can include barking, digging holes, chewing, tearing, ripping and other bad behavior.

To mitigate this, and to make your pug love you more, make sure you keep your pug active and exercised, play with them, and consider how long you might be leaving them home alone.

We bought a Furbo dog camera for when we go out. You can buy a Furbo on Amazon; they are great for dog separation anxiety… and will make your pug happy.

10. Your pug has a healthy appetite

You can tell your pug is happy if he’s eating well.

Dogs who lose their appetite, act lethargic, and are reluctant to play and more often than not, sick. Your pug puppy should be eating 3 small meals a day, whereas an adult should eat twice daily.

11. Your pug sticks their tongue out

Whilst there is a condition called hanging tongue which can result from neurological and structural defects (for example, an underbite), a little tongue poking out can signal happiness.

You might notice it when your pug is asleep. The tongue poking out means that are completely relaxed and in a happy state.

The next time you’re pug tongues stick out, it could be a sign that are totally relaxed, content and happy with life.

12. Your pug has a healthy coat

A healthy coat means a happy dog… well, in most cases. But in all seriousness, a heathy looking coat is usually a sign that most is alright with your pug. When you’re pugs in great shape, he or she will definitely love you for it.

On the flip side, a stressed-out pug can lose their hair. Signs to look out for include flaky skin, obvious signs of hair loss, and excessive scratching. If you do see this, it’s unlikely that you pug is happy.

13. Your pug wants to be close to you

When a pug leans into you, it’s a sign that they love you and are happy with everything you are doing as their owner. You please them so they want to get up close and personal!

14. Your pug follows you like a shadow

When you have earned the trust of your pug, you will soon notice that they follow everywhere, from room to room, and even if you shift on the couch.

As I mentioned earlier, pugs can suffer with separation anxiety, so keeping close and following you around makes them feel secure. Pugs love to follow their owners; it’s one way for a pug to show it loves you.

New pugs soon become very attached to their owners and will fall in love with you quickly providing you give them security they need.

15. Your pug will give you pug kisses

How do I know if my pug loves me? Could it be any clearer than with a big sloppy a kiss?

Pugs show affection to their owners by getting their nose and mouth up close to yours and administering their version of a kiss. It’s not a lip thing, instead getting their face right into yours and doing some rapid-fire sniffing or a lick.

But, play safe with this one. You don’t really want to encourage your pug to lick your mouth, despite how much it shows they love you and are happy for you to be their master.

16. Your pug will bring you their toys

If your pug keeps bringing toys to you, it’s a dog way of showing you love and affection. If it’s your pug’s favorite toy, you can’t get a higher recommendation than this!

Why? It’s their way of wanting to play with you, but also showing that you are the leader of the pack. By offering you their well-loved toys, it means they trust you to be responsible for their favorite possessions.

If your pug gives you a toy, it means your pug is happy and loves you.  After all, if they share that toy, it means they want you to like and enjoy it just as much as they do.

Sharing is caring, and it’s one way of telling your pug is happy for you to be in their life.

17. Your pug will yawn back at you

You must have seen a friend or family member yawning back at you when you do one. This is a biological response triggered by empathy, leading to contagious yawns.

However, a recent study I found on explains that dogs also do this. But interestingly, they only tend to yawn back at their owners, and not strangers – because it’s all based on empathy.

If you do see your little dog yawning when you do, you know your pug loves you.

18. Your pug will raise their eyebrows

This isn’t an easy sign to see but can still be a very subtle way for your pug to show that they love you. I’ve personally not seen this in my own dogs, but did read about a study in Japan that founds when owners walk into a room, their dog will raise their eyebrows

The research found that dogs don’t do this with strangers though, only their close humans. That means if you walk into your lounge and your pug looks at your and raises an eyebrow, he’s bound to be happy and love you unconditionally.

19. Your pug will want to jump up on you

I know we’re meant to train our dogs not to jump up, but it’s still one way in which your pug shows how affectionate they are to you.

snow smiles
How do I know my pug loves me? Because he will love jumping up at you! Image copyright DaPuglet on Flickr.

Whilst jumping up can be an adorable trait with a pug puppy, as they get older it’s can be problem behavior you should not really encourage.

20. Your pug will roll over

If your pug rolls over in front of you and asks for a belly rubbing, it’s a sure sign they trust and love you – not to mention being in the throes of happiness!

When a dog rolls onto his back and exposes his belly, it means they trust you as they make themselves vulnerable. This is classic submissive behavior that only secure and happy pugs will display.

21: Your pug will let out a little sigh

Whilst pugs are not renowned as big barkers, they can still make little noises that let you tell they love you or they are in a happy mood.

For example, there’s one sound that shows your pug is happy to be around you. It’s a little sigh of content. Some have compared it to a low moan, and it tends to happen when your pug is settling down to relax.

If your pug does this in your company it means they feel safe and happy around you, with no worries over threats.

Signs of a depressed pug

I’ve already touched on a number of factors in my guide to pug happiness, but what should you look out for if your pug isn’t happy, but instead has depression?

poorly pug
This pug looks depressed rather than happy. You can find out why this might be with the pointers below.

Here are some signals that could point towards pug depression:

  • Growling and aggressive behavior.
  • Narrowed eyes.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Increasing panting.
  • Howling and whining.
  • Indoor urination and/or defecation.
  • Fearful behavior such as cowering and hiding.
  • Destructive behavior including chewing.
  • Overall disobedience.
  • Lack of interest in playing and their toys.
  • Disturbed or irregular sleep patterns.
  • Too much sleep compared to usual.
  • Excessive licking of themselves.
  • No longer responding to love and affection.


Some people will get a dog without really thinking about the commitment involved. Raising a healthy and happy pug can be very hard work.

But how do you know if your pug is happy?

Well, I’ve detailed what I believe to be the main signs, but the bottom line is this; are they happy to see you, content, and healthy. If they are, your pug probably loves you and will do as long as you keep your side of the bargain up.

Marc Aaron

I write about the things we've learned about owning dogs, the adventures we have, and any advice and tips we've picked up along the way.

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