Let's Talk Dog: Understanding Your Dog's Stress Signals

Be A Tree


Dogs do not find trees interesting they are boring to them. Be a Tree and a dog will sniff and then go away.

Stand in Place

Children should stand with their feet hip width apart in order to help keep their balance, with their feet planted like the roots of a tree.

Keep Hands in Front

Their hands should be held together like closed branches, with their eyes focused on their feet.

Count Until The Dog Leaves

Instruct children to count to the highest number they know, and keep doing this until the dog loses interest and goes away or help arrives.



Be a tree in any of these situations:

  • A strange dog comes near you (even if he seems friendly).
  • Any dog is making you feel uncomfortable, worried or scared.
  • A dog is chasing you.
  • Your own or a friend's dog is acting too frisky or excited.

Most dogs do not intend to scare or bite people, but they do like to check out new people. Most dogs will chase a person who runs and will get more excited as the person runs. Shouting or screaming is also exciting to dogs and can frighten some dogs. Being still and quiet is the best way to show a dog that you mean no harm and that you are not going to play with him or threaten him. Do not make eye contact with the dog.


If you get knocked over, lay like a rock
and protect your head and neck.