Dog Body Language ~ discomfort & fear



Dogs can’t talk. Actually, we can, but not with words. When we need to communicate our feelings, we may be vocal but mostly we use body language. There are a variety of types of signals dogs display which range from very subtle to extremely noticeable.

Today I want to explain a bit what fear or an uncomfortable good dog may do to express what they are feeling. Examples of fear signals are panting, lowered body, ears folded back, head lowered (or dropped), lip curl (or snarling)& a tucked tail.

Early warning signals are displayed when a dog has been pushed beyond the limits of what’s comfortable for them.  A dog might display threatening behavior in order to protect themselves from a perceived threat. These signals include eyes wide with dilated pupils, overall stiff body language, mouth closed tight (and breathing slowed), freezing, flag tail (tail held high, twitchy and stiff). All these signs are cause for you to respond quickly so the immediate situation doesn’t escalate into a fight or a bite.

If you see stress or fear signals in your good dog, attempt to determine the stressor that’s causing your dog to feel uncomfortable. If possible, put some distance between your dog and the perceived threat. Sometimes distance alone will help the dog become more comfortable. Don’t make the dog endure an uncomfortable environment thinking they will get used to it, doing so can increase stress & won’t build confidence.


“Listen” to your dog, learn our language & you both will be much happier.

CEO Olivia


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