Do you know how to tell if your dog is stressed? A Dog Body Language Chart is the perfect place to start. Loud noises, a new environment, and even fireworks can play havoc with their behavior.
Some other signs to look out for are excessive barking, trembling, raised hackles, lowered ears, shedding fur, and aggression. Today we share ways to help you gain a better understanding of their general behavior.
Lori from ‘The Inside Poop’ has put together a brilliant article explaining some of the stress signs your Dog may be exhibiting.
We are including excerpts throughout our article that we know will come in very handy.
We also have some important information regarding ‘head pressing’. This is something that you need to be aware of. You will find the details further down.
Understanding Dog Behavior
When you understand your dog’s behavior, you gain valuable insights into how they are feeling. This Dog Body Language Chart from RSPCA is extremely helpful.
Your Dog’s tail is a key indicator. If it is up and they are wagging it, they are happy. If it is down and between their legs, they are cowering and scared. They may also be angry.
Dog Faces Explained
It’s very easy to overlook basic signals, or even misinterpret them. Once you have an understanding of how your furbaby behaves, you will both have a better relationship and a happier life.
This Dog Face Chart is also gold when it comes to helpful insights. The eyes are the window to your pooch. They show love and fear equally.
By paying special attention to your Dog’s face and also their bark, you will soon be able to communicate better than ever.
Trembling / Shaking
Lori from Inside Poop says that trembling and shaking is a sign synonymous with the smaller breeds like Yorkies, Chihuahuas, Maltese, etc. Here’s what she says.
“I’m amazed by the fact that many pet parents relate this behavior to being cold. I would completely understand why someone would confuse this stressed sign with that of a temperature issue but when you live in South Florida where the temperate is hot and humid, it’s hard to believe that your dog might be cold.
It’s also unfortunate that pet parents misunderstand this information because then their dogs are walking around wearing sweaters or jackets! If your dog is not wet or cold and is shaking or trembling, it is likely experiencing a stressful situation.” – Lori, Inside Poop
Dogs who try to ignore you and pretend you don’t exist are exhibiting avoidance behaviors.
If a dog refuses to look at you, turns their head away, or tries to back out of a situation, then he/she is definitely trying to avoid you because they’re stressed out and possibly terrified of you!
This is another misinterpreted behavior that pet parents often get wrong. If you have a dog who shows any of these signs it’s likely that they’re stressed.
Yawning when your dog is not sleepy or panting when they haven’t been in extraneous activities are key signals. So is licking their chops when they haven’t eaten and even scratching or licking suddenly. Pay attention as your furbaby may be feeling anxious.
Low Ear Carriage
Many dogs who find themselves in stressful situations will show low ear carriage. Their ears will practically be glued to their skulls!
Along with having low ears, they’ll also show signs of avoidance behaviors. Their tails will be tucked between their legs, they may or may not sit down.
They might also refuse to be sniffed if another dog is around. They may roll over exposing their belly. Whilst you might find this cute, it translates in doggy language to “Please don’t eat me!”
In some cases, there will be dogs who show low ear carriage who may be excited or happy and not stressed out.
Excessive barking is a dead give away for dogs who are extremely stressed or terrified. Lori says that she sees this behavior a lot when it comes to smaller breeds.
“I call my smaller breeds “land sharks” or “piranhas” because when they’re terrified they just go into these barking frenzies and look like they’re going to shred you to pieces. We need to know that they’re scared to death inside.
Usually, when they’re going through these little tirades they’ll also get very brave and lunge and snap at you. They might even bite you” – Lori, Inside Poop
Dog Head Pressing
If you ever see your pet head pressing against a wall, you need to take your them to the Vet immediately!
What Exactly is “Head-Pressing”?
The term “head pressing” is when your pet stands close to a wall or other hard surface (furniture, the corner, etc) and literally presses the top of her head against it. It almost always signifies a form of illness.
Dog Body Language Video Tutorial
Now that you have a basic understanding of your dog’s behavior, you might like to finish off with a quick video tutorial. It is well worth watching as you will pick up plenty of helpful tips and tricks. To watch, click Play above ^