Just like us, your Bull Terrier gets scared, nervous, stressed and anxious. Things in their environment can cause these emotions – anything from strangers and other dogs, to busy streets or loud noises. Knowing when your dog is feeling these things is very important. If you do not address it, those feelings will get worse and your Terrier may end up reacting in a way you do not like, such as fear biting. In order to address his fears, you first have to recognize when he is telling you he is unhappy. The following are five signs your Bull Terrier is stressed.
#1 – Whale Eye
“Whale eye” is when the white in your dog’s eye – around the iris – is visible. Though not common in this breed due to their head and eye shape, the eye may actually bulge out if your Bull Terrier is very stressed.
#2 – Whining & Barking
A stressed Bull Terrier will often whine. Some will pace, and some will stay in one spot. If your dog is whining and you know he doesn’t have to go outside to go potty, he may be stressed. Whining can turn into stress barking if the source of the anxiety has not been removed and his anxiety heightens. It’s important to realize that if your Terrier is reactive (barks at things), he may actually be fearful and not aggressive.
#3 – Ears Back
If your Bull Terrier is really upset about something, they will lay their ears flat against their head. Whether or not their ears have been altered, it will be a noticeable flattening compared to their normal position. It’s a good thing to watch for if you think your Bull Terrier is in a situation that makes her uncomfortable.
#4 – Won’t Eat
Another sign of stress your Bull Terrier may display is an unwillingness to eat. Whether you are training or just offering him his meal, a stressed dog often won’t eat. Or, they may eat but take the food very hard and accidentally bite you. In both cases your Terrier is most likely anxious about something.
#5 – Cowering
One of the most obvious and universally understood signs of stress is cowering. Your Bull Terrier may try to run and hide under or behind things – even if they are on leash. This is a dangerous situation because if your Terrier cannot get away, some will resort to aggression to get the object that is scaring them to go away (fear aggression).