Body Language in a Nervous or Stressed Dog

Did you know that dogs also communicate? Body posture and movement signal the dogs intentions and what motivates them. They can also notice changes in muscle tension and breathing patterns in their human (whoa!).

Being aware of their body language can be important, especially when they are signaling signs of stress or nervousness. This can lead to aggressive behaviors.

Ears & Tail: Ears that spread sideways or shift backwards from their usual position can be an indication of nervousness or stress. Their tail can stiffen or become extremely lower than their usual position.

Facial Expression: Dogs can show signs of stress or nervousness through their facial expressions as well! Some indicators of this include, wrinkles in their facial muscles around their muzzle and forehead areas, eyes becoming narrow and lots of panting.

You may also notice an increase in mouth licking!

As a general rule, it’s always best to give dogs space and let them come to you. Allow them to sniff you and get used to your scent. Never put your face near a dog you don’t know!

Pro Tip: When first meeting a new pup, extend your hand out palm down for them to have a sniff. This is a submissive position and is way less threatening to them. Dogs generally don’t like to feel as if you’re going to grab them.

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