Realizing what a learning curve it was for me to become really good at reading behavior, I thought it would be beneficial to write consecutive tips on how to read your dog. Throughout the next few e-mails you will learn what your dog looks like when aroused verses being relaxed.
Today I am going to focus on fearful behavior. Begin to notice the signs below:
- The body stiff rather fluid. The muscles are tense.
- The weight is shifted backwards. So the dog may be thinking of backing away.
- The mouth is closed verses being open and relaxed. The mouth could also be open and the lips are pulled backward showing many teeth.
- The ears are drawn back on the head.
- He / She may be hesitant to eat or he / she takes the treat with a very tense mouth.
- The tail is downward from the neutral position. It may be tucked between the back legs.
- The movement is still (frozen) or jerky. There is not fluid movement.
- The respiratory rate is fast. You see intense panting.
The more of the above signs you see in your dog the more your dog is feeling fear. If you are seeing only a few signs then the fear is present and it is of a lesser degree.
If your dog is feeling fear in situations my advise is to contact Four Legged Scholars so we can switch the response to happiness 🙂
Also remember any dog that feels fear if pushed could bite.
Johanna Teresi, Professional Trainer and owner of Four Legged Scholars LLC