Anxiety is pretty terribad. Believe it or not, dogs suffer from this disorder just as badly as some humans. Unfortunately, our furry friends can’t communicate this feeling to us as well as others, just as happiness, or anger.
Amanda Cornell, Certified Pet Dog Trainer and founder of Accomplished Canines, provided the following signs to watch out for that may be due to anxiety.
Remember, though, that every dog is different, and some of these characteristics may be normal behaviour for your dog without reason to worry. Keep an eye out for new behaviours, especially in a new environment.
1. Won’t Settle
Just what it says. If your dog is constantly pacing, “on edge”, restless, etc., she is anxious. If it is new behaviour, figure out what triggered it. If it has always been this way, figure out what about her environment is causing her anxiety.
2. Excessive Panting
Or “stress panting”. If it isn’t warm out and she isn’t thirsty, but still panting, it means she is nervous.
Anxious dogs often will find a place to hide where they feel safer. Dogs that always hide are usually more fearful in general than other dogs.
If your dog is housetrained but suddenly begins to have accidents, something may be causing her anxiety. This is also a warning sign of serious health issues in dogs and cats, so be careful not to ignore it.
5. Whale Eye
Or “half-moon eye,” is when dogs show the whites of their eyes. This happens when they are anxious, nervous, or afraid.
Like panting, excessive yawning can be another sign your dog is anxious. Tired dogs, like humans, will yawn, of course, but if it happens a lot when they aren’t tired, it’s a sign they are anxious.
7. Excessive Noise
Everyone knows someone who has a neighbour with THAT dog. The one who barks all day, at night, for no reason whatsoever. What many don’t understand, is that this is a very big sign of anxiety. Dogs that excessively bark/whine for no reason aren’t happy, and every little noise they hear (especially ones you can’t) frightens them. This can fortunately be curbed with training
8. Tongue Flicks
If your dog is doing is licking his lips or flicking his nose with his tongue, and there is no food around, he is probably telling you that he isn’t in the best mood and just wants to be left alone to chill.
9. Full Body Shake
Just like shaking the water off after a bath, dogs will sometimes shake the stress off after an anxious situation.
10. Slow Motion
Opposite of the first point – some dogs freeze up completely when afraid or anxious, or are very difficult to move.
Remember, every dog is different, and you know them best! Always take note of new or unexpected behaviours.