Recognizing Signs of Anxiety

88305792Yesterday, in recognition of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, we launched a week of special tips about recognizing dog behavior from New York Walk & Train‘s Colleen Safford, named “Best of NY” by New York Magazine. Today Colleen discusses signs of anxiety in your dog and explains:

A lot of the subtle cues our dogs use to let us know they are feel a bit anxious with an interaction or environment go unnoticed.

Below is a list of cues that your dog will give. Often these cues are given when we interact with our dogs. If you notice that when you are petting your dog he is doing a lot of licking of his chops or looks at you with half moon eyes  (where you can see a lot of white in the corner), you might question why? Are you petting his head? Are you looming over him? Are you holding him a bit tight?

Dogs use this language to diffuse conflict. See if a scratch on his chest or bum is something he is more comfortable with. When you approach him try to not lean over and hug him.

To recognize anxiety, and thereby help reduce the chance of dog bites, look for:

ist1_4710104-licking-dog8 Signs of Anxiety

  1. Whale eye or half moon eye
  2. Lifted paw
  3. Shake Off – as if wet
  4. Yawn
  5. Tongue flick or licking lips
  6. Scratching at collar
  7. Suddenly sniffs the ground
  8. Head Turn

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About Paris Permenter & John Bigley

Paris Permenter and John Bigley are the award-winning authors of over 30 pet and travel books as well as the founders and publishers of CatTipper and DogTipper.