You may think your dog is living a carefree life, but don’t be fooled! Dogs experience stress just like their owners do, although they express it differently.
There are some telltale signs that your dog is experiencing stress, discomfort or intolerance when being hugged or during other interactions.
- His mouth is closed and ridged. When dogs are happy, they have a relaxed jaw and breath with their mouth open.
- Breathing rhythm is quick and short, referred to as “stress panting.” Stress panting can sometimes look as though your dog is smiling and happy. When in fact, it is an acute sign of stress.
- Your dog is looking away from a person or dog trying to interact with them. When dogs do not like a certain interaction, they will disengage. A simple look away is a sign that your dog, while tolerating the interaction, does not like it.
- You can see the whites of your dog’s eyes. This is a sign that not only is your dog unhappy but may want to do something about his unhappy situation. If you see this, immediately remove your dog from the situation.
- Licking you is a sign of submission. If your dog feels he is being dominated, he may lick you.
- He licks his lips. This is a sign of stress and irritation.
- He yawns. When a dog yawns, he’s either stressed or indicating to you that he’s disinterested.