Hi everyone,

I am going to teach you how to speak dog!

Signals of stress

Hi everyone, this series of posts are particularly important because many humans don’t know how to read what their doggie is trying to tell them even though we communicate with our humans every day. Although we can’t tell you how we feel by talking we can tell you by using body language!

Learning how to recognise signs of stress in your doggie will allow you to identify what scares us or makes us uncomfortable. Below are a list of behaviours we perform if we are feeling stressed. These can vary from dog to dog and on the amount of stress we feel at the time. We may show one or more at a time also

-PANTING
This is usually one of the first behaviours we will use to show we are stressed. However it doesn’t always mean we are stressed. If we have been running around or it’s a hot day panting is completely normal as it is also how we cool down. However if we start panting out of the blue it can mean something in our environment is stressing us out

-LIP LICKING
This is another behaviour we use to show stress. Again look at the environment. If we have just been fed it’s normal to lick our lips but if we persistently lick them in a situation we are trying to tell you we aren’t happy.

-SHAKE OFF
Shake offs are another behaviour to show we are stressed. Your dog will look as if they are trying to shake off water from their coats. This commonly happens during play with other dogs if one dog is starting to play a bit too rough but we can do a shake off anytime we feel stressed

-SHOWING WHITES OF THE EYES OR “WHALE EYE”
This behaviour is trying to tell you we are stressed and scared. It might happen when a dog we aren’t sure of approaches or when the vet is trying to examine us depending on what we find scary!

-VOCALISATION
We may bark and bark or whine if we are not happy. Barking can mean lots of things but it’s usually us trying to get your attention for one reason or another. We may also bark for fun if we are playing with you or another dog so look at each situation separately.
We can whine for lots of reasons too. We may want that tasty sausage on your plate for example or we may be upset you are leaving the house

-AVOIDANCE
Us doggies will usually try to get away from what’s stressing us out if we can so watch out for this and make sure we aren’t forced to stay in a situation that makes us unhappy if it can be avoided.

If doggies feel trapped and afraid this can make us feel like we have no option but to bite because we have tried to tell humans how we feel but they haven’t noticed.

Please keep an eye on your doggie in new situations and environments and watch for the above behaviours

Here is a link to a video in which the owners are totally oblivious to their doggie trying to tell them he was unhappy. This will give you a visual picture of how the above behaviours look. This family were very lucky this doggie did not bite the child….

Love and licks,

Benjy.x

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