Signs of Stress in Dogs

Hi everyone my name’s Oli I am a dog
Trainer and Behaviourist and today I want to have a look at signs of stress in
dogs with you. We were filming a project recently and while I was looking
at the cuts I started to notice little signs of stress in the dogs there on
that day. They were in an environment where really they shouldn’t have felt
stress but just like us humans throughout the day we will demonstrate
the signs of stress. Humans have become really good at understanding each
other and you will do mini risk assessments throughout the day especially
when taking public transport or traveling around, who to sit next
to or not and dogs will do the same so I just wanted to use those cuts to look
at them with you and to point out what I can see. I think that would be very
useful for you I think it’s great to be able to understand your dogs better and
also other dogs around. So what are the signs we are actually looking for here: So we’re going to start with a lovely Mabel who’s just made it to her friend
Flint’s house. A house she goes to very often and let’s have a look at what she
does. So this is our beautiful Basset Hound Mabel arriving in this gorgeous
garden on this summer morning everything’s fine but no. Eeek! There is a
camera in a garden she’s going to find this situation a little bit stressful. So
what we’re gonna see, low bark, only just noticeable because of the slow motion of
the video. A low waggy tail floor sniffing, whale eye, which is when you can
see the whites of the eye on the corner. She runs away towards a friendlier face and then demonstrates this shake. A head turn is also a sign of stress and
here flint demonstrate a few when Mabel again and again tries to get his
attention. He has another one. A very polite way of just saying actually
this is too much. Poor Mabel doesn’t quite get the message. Here is Flint again, panting moving away there, slightly unsure this is followed by a big yawn, (silent yawn).
Here, Flint is in a very normal unstressful situation, surrounded by his
humans all chatting however for your dog this could be a difficult situation so
so observe your dog a little bit more and now a little bit of floor sniffing. If
you don’t know what else to do, you may as well sniff the floor. Here’s the lovely max my
friend who during filming surprisingly started to show a hint of
separation anxiety here. So he was pacing, panting, ears back, lip licking, you even
notice a whale eye at sometimes where you can see that white part of the eye.
All of that until I finally came back Phew! you’re back Here is the lovely Mabel again, still
slightly unsure about the situation and through nose licking, lip licking, yawning,
she’s about to show us that she’s still feeling uncertain. She freezes again and then just like all
of us goes for a little bit of TLC with someone she likes. Here’s the beautiful
Finn showing us in a less polite way than Flint did earlier on how she’s
not interested in Mabel. Notice that paw lift just there from Finn followed
by …boom, poor Mabel back into place not interested. Poor Mabel’s having a
rough time this morning Finn is still panting and pacing and
she’s obviously not happy with the situation she’s gonna try to get a bit
of reassurance from a human by jumping at them. Not always a sign of naughtiness
sometimes it might just mean your dog is a little bit anxious for the situation. Here is Mabel yawning again now typically with dogs you will have three
different types of yawn the first one around sleeping time simply your dog is
tired or waking up that’s fine there will be another yawn where you can
hear a little high-pitched noise towards the end and that’s usually anticipation
something exciting is about to happen so perhaps you’re going on a walk or
perhaps you’re making his dinner. Any other sign of yawn coming out of the
blue, that’s a sign of stress. Dogs have a very good way of telling us what they
think and in this case max does not want his butt to be touched
look at that. Here is my boy Bernard, like many other dogs Bernard is not too keen
on roller-bladers and here’s a shot of him reacting to one. There’s this paw lift
there that is very obvious. In this case, is a little bit of
arousal? Is it a bit of anxiousness? It could be a bit of both, but still a
beautiful example of a paw lift. Now of course you should also always
have a look at the context and the environment it is not because your dog
is sniffing the floor that he’s stressed he might just be smelling something
interesting. It’s not because your dog is panting that he’s stressed he might just be
hot. So it’s really important that you always check the context and check
the situation. However, if you feel your dog is stressed it is vital that you
become your dog’s safe place and either take him away from the situation or
taking whatever is stressing your dog away from your dog. It’s important that you collaborate together, so he knows that when he’s with you is always
going to be okay. Refer to a blog that I wrote recently it’s on my website and
we’ll put the link at the end of this video So thank you very much for
watching I hope you find it valuable and if you want to get in touch with me just
check my details at the end of this video

8 thoughts on “Signs of Stress in Dogs

  1. Lovely video, Oli. I love that you've slowed it down and circled/arrowed the relevant postures/body language tells. Super useful for my clients! Thank you for posting!

  2. Lovely, thank you! I didn't know dogs also did an anticipation yawn 🙂 my dog always yawns before we go for a walk and I never knew what it meant, because I always thought yawning was stress 🙂

  3. These signs are definitely subtle. Those environments didn't look to be all that stressful… I think it's good to monitor your dogs stress level but also impossible to make them feel 100% comfortable 100% of the time. That's just life… I can't say that as a human that I'm always in a stress free environment and when I am I can't just immediately go to a place that will make me feel better… I'm not sure where humanity would be if life was like that.

  4. Best video I've seen on dog body language up until this point. So well filmed, edited, and explained. Excellent job!

  5. Thank you for the great, informative video. My Basset would always yawn when I was preparing his dinner, now I know why….He would also lift his paw when a squirrel dared to enter his area, I thought it was his way of pointing, but now I know he was aroused/curious. Thanks again and I look forward to your channel.

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