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 especially fireworks can all play havoc with their behavior.
Excessive barking, trembling, raised hackles, lowered ears, shedding fur and aggression are all signs you need to know how to decode. Today we show you what they mean.
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 towards the end of our post.
Understanding Dog Behavior
When you understand your dogs behavior, you gain valuable insights into how they are feeling. This Dog Body Language Chart from RSPCA is extremely helpful.
Your Dogs 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 and 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 and show love and fear equally. By paying special attention to your Dogs 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 she usually always sees with the smaller breeds i.e 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 a hot and humid 90 degrees all year around 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 then your dog is likely experiencing a stressful situation.”
Dogs who try to ignore you and pretend as if 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 one of those misinterpreted behaviors similar to the trembling and shaking that pet parents get so wrong sometimes. If you have a dog who shows any of these signs in a situation where it is unwarranted then they’re showing them because they’re stressed.
Yawning when a dog isn’t sleepy or tired, panting when a dog hasn’t been in extraneous activities, licking their chops when they haven’t eaten or out of the presence of food and even scratching or licking all of a sudden are sure signs that your dog is stressed out.
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 and refuse to be sniffed if there’s another dog around. They may roll overexposing their belly which translates to “PLEASE DON’T EAT ME!!!”
Now in some cases, there will be dogs who show low ear carriage but they may, in fact, be excited or happy and not at all 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 shred you to pieces but we all know that they’re scared to death inside.
You know who you are, you little chihuahuas! Usually, when they’re going through these little tirades they’ll also get very brave and lunge and snap at you and if you move back a fraction of an inch they’ll pounce and more than likely bite you! (Lori, The Inside Poop)
Dog Head Pressing
If you ever see your pet head pressing against a wall, you need to take your pet to the Vet immediately!
What Exactly is “Head-Pressing”?
The term “head pressing” is actually pretty descriptive—the affected 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 significant illness.
Dog Body Language Video Tutorial
We have included a video tutorial that shows you how to interpret your Dogs Body Language. It is well worth watching as you will pick up plenty of tips and tricks. To view, click Play above ^