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Signs Your Dog is Distressed

We are all pretty familiar with the body language a dog exhibits when he is happy and excited to see you, or ready to play and go on a walk. There are also many behaviors that your dog may demonstrate when he is feeling unsure of a situation.Fearful_dog

It may be difficult to determine the difference between when a dog is afraid and when the dog is preparing to be aggressive.  For your own dog, these behaviors may be more obvious to you. For an unknown dog, however, this may not be as easy to figure out.

When a dog is feeling fear and worry:

  • Tail will be down and it may wag a little
  • Ears are back
  • Body is lowered
  • May lick at the air or at a dominant dog
  • May be shaking
  • May have 1 paw raised
  • Some dogs show their teeth

Extreme Fear:

  • Dog will demonstrate a position of total submission, lying on his back
  • Ears are back
  • Head is turned to one side
  • Tail is tucked underneath the body

Dogs who are in fear and may be preparing to be aggressive:

  • Tail is tucked underneath the body
  • Fur is raised on the neck and back
  • Ears are back
  • Body is in a crouched position
  • Baring teeth



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