Signs of Stress in Dogs

by Jess Rollins

By Jess Rollins
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Watching Out for Signs of Stress:

If you can develop a knack for "reading" your dog's body language to figure out if he is stressed in a given situation, you will be able to remedy the situation before any bad things happen.

Some signs of stress include:

Calm dog

Gigo calm

Stressed dog

Gigo stressed

  • Hiding or trying to leave the area.
  • Panting more than usual.
  • Refusing to take treats he usually likes.
  • Leaving wet paw prints.
  • Lifting a lip.
  • Growling.
  • Urinating when someone approaches.
  • Frequent lip licking (when he hasn't just finished eating).
  • Yawning (when not about to take a nap).
  • Pacing or hyperactivity.
  • Howling, whining or high-pitched barking.
  • Tail lower than usual or between his legs.
  • Ears flattened against his head.
  • Rolling onto his back and showing his belly (occasionally this is a sign of wanting a "belly rub", but it can also mean that he is at least a little uncomfortable).
  • Hackles (row of hair along the back) standing up.

When you notice that your dog is stressed, talk to him in a calming, matter-of-fact tone and then try to alleviate the stress of the situation. Later you can teach him to be calm in situations that cause him stress by associating the situation with his favorite things and using baby-steps.

Happy Training!


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