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

Common Dog Stress Signals


If your dog is displaying the signals below he is letting you know that he is tolerating the situation and not enjoying it. These signals can be alone or combined with others. Remember to always see what is going on around your dog and take action to improve the situation. By paying attention to our dog's signals, we can help them feel more secure.

Lip Licking

A dog that is anxious will quickly stick out its tongue and lick its lip.

Turning Away

When a dog is turns away from you or a situation they are trying to avoid the situation and direct eye contact. Please do not force the dog into an uncomfortable situation.

Half Moon Eye

The white arc of the eye that shows when a dog is stressed and trying to hold it in. Relaxed and calm dogs typically do not show the whites of their eyes. The Dobie is not enjoying this kiss or having the girl so close to him in his space.

Yawning

A dog that gives out a yawn when they are not tired is showing they are uncomfortable. Perhaps he is crowded by a group of kids or adults and is looking for you to help him out by giving you this sign.

Mouth Closed

This dog is really trying to avoid the child and giving a clear sign that he does not want to be bothered. Where is the adult please help me out here?

Shaking Off

Full body shake off as if the dog were wet is compared to a re-boot or reset button and often happens after a stressful situation.