NEW: Shop the holiday gift guide here 🎄
close
15M Shelter Meals Donated 154K Toys Donated $315K Funded for Service Dogs 16K Blankets Donated 195K Rescue Miles Funded

10 Signs Your Dog Has Anxiety

By now you are probably aware that your dog has many of the same emotions as you do, including anxiety. But do you know what that anxiety looks like? Amanda Cornell, CPDT-KA and owner of Accomplished Canines in Orange County, California, has years of experience working with anxious dogs. She provided the following signs to help you better understand when your dog is anxious. One thing to remember is that context is important when looking at your dog’s behavior.  All of the signs listed below can be part of your dog’s normal, everyday behavior.  However, if your dog is in a new environment and you see one or several of these behaviors happening repeatedly and in conjunction with each other, then your dog may be telling you that he’s anxious about the situation.  If you think that might be the case, it’s time to seek out a certified dog trainer for help. (Note: we are not talking about separation anxiety, which can look very different, but anxiety in general and this is not an inclusive list)

#1 – Won’t Settle

An anxious dog will pace, lie down, get back up, pace some more, and just never relax. If it’s something your dog has just started to do, think about what has changed that may be causing her anxiety. If she does it every day, then you need to work on reducing her overall anxiety.

Image source: @vmiramontes via Flickr
Image source: @vmiramontes via Flickr

#2 – Excessive Panting

Often called “stress panting,” dogs will pant when they are feeling anxious about something. If it is not excessively warm and your dog is heavily panting, he is most likely worried.

Image source: @StellaDauer via Flickr
Image source: @StellaDauer via Flickr

#3 – Hiding

An anxious dog will often look for a place to hide, where they can feel safer. Dogs that always hide are usually more fearful and anxious about life in general compared to other dogs.

Image source: @BarbaraLN via Flickr
Image source: @BarbaraLN via Flickr

#4 – Accidents

A dog that is fully housetrained, but suddenly starts having accidents in the house may be anxious. This could also be a health issue, however, so you should consult a vet and a dog trainer to rule all possibilities.

4 shutterstock_53582179

#5 –  Whale Eye

Also called “half-moon eye,” Is when the white of your dog’s eye is visible around the iris. Dogs will show the “whites of their eyes” when they are nervous, anxious or afraid.

Image source: @WonderDogRescue via Flickr
Image source: @WonderDogRescue via Flickr

#6 – Yawning

Like panting, yawning can be another sign your dog is anxious. Sure, a tired puppy yawns just like a human, but a dog yawning frequently in an obedience class or while pacing in your home may be anxious.

Image source: @MarcyLeigh via Flickr
Image source: @MarcyLeigh via Flickr

#7 – Excessive Noise

Have a dog that is “always on alert”? Barking at seemingly nothing for no reason? Sure, your dog can hear better than you, but it can also be a sign they are anxious – every little noise is the “boogie man.” Whining can also be a sign of anxiety. Luckily, some positive training can fix both of these.

Image source: @SteveBaker via Flickr
Image source: @SteveBaker via Flickr

#8 – Tongue Flicks

Some dogs will lick their lips or rapidly flick out their tongue over their nose when they are nervous about something.  If your dog is doing this (and there is no food around), then it might be his way of letting you know that he means no harm and he’d like to be left alone.

Image source: @jimsimonson via Flickr
Image source: @jimsimonson via Flickr

#9 – Full Body Shake

This looks similar to the shake that most dogs do after they get a bath.  When dogs do this kind of shake away from water, they are literally trying to “shake” off the stress of the situation.  “Phew, that was close!”

Image source: @SeongbinIM via Flickr
Image source: @SeongbinIM via Flickr

#10 – Slow Motion

While there are some dogs that can’t settle when they are nervous, there are others that go to the opposite extreme; their movement is slow and tense, and sometimes they refuse to move altogether.  Your dog is not being stubborn – he’s telling you that something about the situation makes him feel anxious and unsafe.

Image source: @Caroline via Flickr
Image source: @Caroline via Flickr

Do you want a healthier & happier dog? Join our email list & we'll donate 1 meal to a shelter dog in need!

Written by Kristina Lotz
Story Page