Do you wish your dog could talk to you and tell you how he feels? Guess what?
Science has helped us understand the emotions that dogs are feeling. We want you to know how your dog feels.
If your dog is relaxed, you are more likely to be relaxed. If your dog is stressed, you are more likely to be stressed. A dog that is stressed is also one that is more likely to bark, growl, bite, etc.
The best way to tell if your dog is relaxed or stressed is through their body language. Each body part communicates alot.
1.) When you are looking at your dog’s face pay attention to the eyes, ears and mouth. Your dogs eyes should look soft when he is relaxed.
A stressed dog will be squinting his eyes, darting his eyes, or making his eyes look bigger.
Your dog has a neutral place that he likes to hold his ears. If his ears are held more backward or forward than this position, then, he is more likely to be stressed.
A relaxed dog generally has relaxed jaws and a mouth that is open. If the jaws are tense with an open or closed mouth then your dog is probably stressed.
I am currently training a dog in Mantua. Dog training has been taking sometime because this dog is stressed. He tends to hold is ears backward when he is feeling uncomfortable.
2.) Look at the tail. At what height does your dog like to hold his tail? If it is above or below this height your dog maybe stressed.
A popular myth is that a wagging tail means that a dog is happy. This is not true.
You want to look at the height of the tail and the speed of the wag. A relaxed dog will have a slower wag and a tail that is neutral in height for that particular dog. Each breed holds their tail naturally at a different height.
A high tail that is wagging fast is called a flagged tail. Generally a dog doing this is super stressed and is probably acting in a aggressive manner.
I have been training Gunner, a heeler, in Mantua. Dog training has been geared to making this dog feel more calmed because he is so stressed.
He is a mixed breed dog and holds his tail like a squirrel when he is calm.
When I am working with this dog, his tail is low. As a result, I need to be conscious because he is feeling fear and isn’t comfortable with me quite yet.
When he gets more relaxed the tail will go upward in his neutral height.
3.) Look at the entire body. Is the dog’s body weight forward or back? A relaxed dog will have a balanced body weight.
Also is the dog’s body stiff (aligned) or curvy. A stiff body is a stressed dog. A dog that has more curves in his body is more likely to be relaxed.
Fortunately, Gunner is learning to become more relaxed. He lives in Manuta, dog training is helped him relax more and more.
Even though his tail is low with me, his body weight is becoming more balanced over time and I am seeing many more curves in his body.
He will sit, cock his head etc. His body is no longer aligned with his head as he is becoming more comfortable.
Learning to read your dog takes time. Learn more about reading dog behavior.
Mantua, dog training takes time and if you dedicate the time to your dog, he will become much more happy and calm. As a result, your home will be filled with more peace.
Johanna Teresi, Mantua Dog Trainer, Four Legged Scholars LLC, Mantua, Dog Training