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  • Signs Your Dog May Be Stressed Instead of Disobedient

    Thursday, July 12th, 2018, 10:09 pm

    Is your dog really being disobedient, or are they actually stressed out? It can sometimes be difficult to tell. If your dog is feeling stressed out and you treat it like disobedience, you won’t correct your dog’s bad behavior. Instead, you’ll only add to their stress. Here are some of the common signs of stress in dogs and how they can be mistaken for disobedience.

    They Get Away from What’s Stressing Them Out

    This is something those who show dogs often see: their dog, which has always performed perfectly in practice, suddenly walks away from the jumps, agility course, or other task at a dog show. They start sniffing around the side of the arena or try to walk away. No matter how many times the owner tries, the dog simply shows no interest in doing what’s being asked.

    Many owners and handlers believe the dog is being disobedient, but that’s often not the case here. When your dog suddenly decides to have no interest in something they’ve done many times before, it’s often because there’s something a little different this time. Whatever that difference is, even if it’s something very small, it’s made your dog anxious and stressed out. Their reaction is to ignore whatever is causing them stress and do something completely different.

    They Don’t Want Treats

    Your dog always wants a treat, right? If they don’t, you might assume they’re being difficult. When stressed, though, dogs will often avoid eating. Just like humans, dogs can get an upset stomach when nervous or stressed out. They won’t show any interest in eating when that’s the case.

    Other Signs of Stress

    Dogs show stress in several other ways that can often be difficult to pick up on. They may not whine, sit down, or otherwise seem distressed or unhappy. Instead, they often do subtle things such as lick their lips, scratch more than usual, or even yawn. They might also look away from you or what you want them to focus on.

    How to Tell if it’s Stress

    It’s not always easy to tell if it’s stress or disobedience. One thing to look for is consistency. Is your dog always trying to do something else when you’re working with them on a trick or walking through a specific area? If so, it’s more likely that something about the situation is stressing them out.

    Want more information about how dogs react to stress? Contact one of The Connected Canine’s experts today.

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