The Upside of Dogs: Madame and Schmidt the French mastiffs
Madame and Schmidt the French mastiffs (Photo: Serena Hodson)

There are many ways to find out if your dog loves you, but one of the cutest indicators, by far, is a dog's willingness to roll over on its back and expose its precious belly.

In her new series "The Upside of Dogs," New Zealander photographer Serena Hodson zeroes in on the comical, joyous faces that result from that maneuver.

The Brisbane-based animal lover is no stranger to whimsical pet portraiture, and her latest project is sure to put a smile on your face. To up the cute quotient, many of the dogs featured, like French mastiffs Madame and Schmidt (above), are blessed with adorable smushy faces that seem to melt right into the bed.

The Upside of Dogs: Simon the bulldog
Simon the bulldog (Photo: Serena Hodson)

Hodson writes on Facebook that what inspired her to pursue "The Upside of Dogs" was one of her bulldogs, Simon (above), who served as the first model.

"I have been photographing Simon on his back since he was a puppy," Hodson says. "I wanted to find out if other dogs enjoyed the pose as much as my bulldogs."

Judging by all these photos, her dogs are definitely on to something!

The Upside of Dogs: Sunni and Bone the pointers
Sunni and Bone the pointers (Photo: Serena Hodson)

Pointers like Sunni and Bone may not have the excess folds of skins like French mastiffs or bulldogs, but they still look pretty darn cute lounging on their backs with their paws pointed skyward!

The Upside of Dogs: Kaos the great dane
Kaos the great dane (Photo: Serena Hodson)

Kaos the Great Dane simply exudes charisma. Who can resist a face like that?

The Upside of Dogs: Izzy and Levi the Staffordshire bull terriers
Izzy and Levi the Staffordshire bull terriers (Photo: Serena Hodson)

Staffordshire bull terriers Izzy and Levi have nailed the upside-down "puppy dog eyes" look.

The Upside of Dogs: Mac the bullmastiff
Mac the bullmastiff (Photo: Serena Hodson)

The bullmastiff, like Mac here, is another breed that has an adorably droopy face!

The Upside of Dogs: Bond the pointer
Bond the pointer (Photo: Serena Hodson)

Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.