Is Your Dog Stressed?

Learning how to interpret the behavior of canines is a skill. Like any other art form, it will take dedicated practice to get competent at it. However, if you can learn how to interpret your dog’s behaviors, it will make being a pet parent much easier.

Although dogs are unable to communicate vocally the same way that we are, they are still very communicative.

The vast majority of their communication is nonverbal instead of utilizing things like body language and smell. One of the most common concerns of new pet owners is whether or not their pet is stressed out.

If you have been concerned about whether your dog is stressed out or not, then it would be wise of you to learn how to tell.

Whenever a dog is feeling stressed, they have several types of behavior that are commonly observed.

Once you have learned what these behaviors are, they are fairly easy to spot. Keep an eye out on your dog’s behavior, and when you detect these signs, you will know they are stressed. This will allow you to take action and help calm your dog down.

So if you are a concerned pet parent and would like to learn more, you are in the right place. Let’s go ahead and get started learning how to tell when your dog is stressed or not.

Your dog’s body language will indicate they are uncomfortable

The most obvious way to tell if your dog is feeling stressed is their body. Whatever a dog is feeling stressed, they will do several types of behaviors that you can look for.

If you notice that your dog is avoiding eye contact, this could be a sign of stress. Several other types of behaviors that are commonly observed include: tucking the ears, tucking their tail, and licking a lot.

Some breeds of dogs will also yawn a lot whenever they are feeling stressed. If you are paying attention to your dog and you detect these signs, you will know that you need to help calm them down.

So, if you notice that these signs start to pop up consistently, you may be able to determine what the source of the anxiety is. If you can figure out where the anxiety is coming from, then you could possibly eliminate it entirely. This would help your dog feel much more comfortable and far less stressed.

Your dog may start to walk around your house endlessly pacing back and forth

Pacing back and forth is commonly seen in dogs for two reasons. The most common reason is that they are feeling stressed and cannot settle down. They are literally feeling restless because there is something that they think is wrong. Often this is because they believe that their owners are upset.

Dogs are very tuned to your voice and your nonverbal communication. Even if it is not something that they did wrong, they can tell if you are not feeling your best.

Be careful how you hold yourself in front of your dog because it could stress the amount. The other reason that dogs may start to pace back and forth is because of dementia.

If you have an older dog that may be more likely.

If you hear your dog growling is a sign of stress

Most of the time, whenever people hear a dog growling, they believe that it is a sign of aggression.

Actually, this is not the case in reality. The truth of the matter is that whenever a dog is growling, the majority of the time, it is a defensive move. While they are letting people know that they are going to stand up for themselves, they are unlikely to lash out unless provoked.

If you notice that your dog starts to growl, then you can try to distract them with a toy. Whenever a dog is distracted with a toy, it will help to get their mind off of whatever it is that is causing their stress.

You will see your dog gave you the “guilty dog look”

Most of the time, whenever a dog is feeling good, you will not see the whites of their eyes. Dogs will constrict their eyes so that you can see the whites of their eyes when they are feeling stressed or scared.

A lot of times, people will assume that their dog is feeling guilty because of this. This is because your dog will also most likely try to avoid eye contact with you.

As a person, this looks to us as if the dog is feeling guilty. If you notice that your dog is doing this, then you should know that they are not feeling guilty, but they are feeling stressed instead.

If your dog freezes up randomly they are most likely stressed out

Another common sign of stress in canines is when they suddenly stopped moving entirely. If you notice that your dog is behaving normally and then suddenly it is as if they have seized up entirely, they are stressed.

Believe it or not, for a long time, people believed that this was a sign of submission. Modern canine science tells us otherwise, though. Freezing up is not a sign of submission in dogs. It is actually a sign that your dog is so overwhelmed they cannot process anything anymore.

If you notice your dog engaging in this type of behavior, then you should do your best to help them feel better.

Hearing your dog crying or parking lot is also a sign of stress

This is perhaps the most common behavior that people actually interpret properly. Dogs, and puppies especially, will whine or bark when they are feeling stressed.

As your dog gets older, they will most likely engage in this type of action less and less. However, when you hear that your dog is barking and whining, do not assume that they are just playing around.

There is a really good chance that they are feeling stressed and need your assistance.

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