As dog lovers, we hate to see our furry best friends scared or stressed out. While we can’t avoid every situation that may upset our dog, we can learn to identify the signs when those situations arise and be prepared to help. While every dog is different, there are some telltale signs and situations below that might help identify what’s causing your dog’s anxiousness.
Have you ever walked into the house during a thunderstorm and found your best friend hiding behind the couch? Since dogs can’t tell us what’s wrong, we need to learn to identify the signs and try to help calm them. Several signs of stress include nervous chewing, escaping, hiding, tail chasing and/or tail tucking, excessive pacing, nervous licking, biting, circling, trembling – even reduced activity can be a sign your dog is anxious and doesn’t know what to do next.
Many dog symptoms of anxiousness may seem benign to us, but really, they are part of a collective set of behaviors that are caused by your dog’s discomfort in certain situations.
There are several situations that can put your dog in an anxious state and cause those behaviors to bubble up. Common triggers include thunder, car rides, separation, visits to the vet, fireworks, or encounters with strange humans or other dogs. Sometimes a much-anticipated trip to the dog park can turn ugly if your dog has an unexpected negative encounter, and then your future trips to the dog park are always in question. It really depends on your individual dog’s temperament, breed and life history for which trigger events will set them off, but as humans, sometimes we feel helpless.