Some Indicators Of Shyness Or Fear In My Dog

For convenience, we will refer to your dog as “he” rather than “he or she”.


Some dogs are a little shy and fearful by nature, but many dogs have been allowed to develop this way through ignorance or lack of correct training.  If this has occurred to your dog before he became your companion and friend, and you are not sure when a stressful situation is developing, then here are some signs to look out for.


1       His eyes are good indicators of fear.  Watch for any marked change in his expression.  This is usually an early indicator of fear, so remain observant and learn to recognize the signals he is conveying to you.  The better you learn to recognize the early signs of nervousness, fear and apprehension, the sooner you can help and train him to overcome his problem.


2       Quick yawns.  These usually indicate a developing nervousness rather than tiredness.


3       Shaking, especially if your dog is small.  When a stressful situation develops, fearful dogs often react by shaking rather violently.


4       Ears pinned back.  This is a classic indicator of tension and growing apprehension and is an early indicator that you should quickly and easily observe.  You need to take swift action to change the situation or the environment which produced this reaction.


5       Putting his tail between his legs.  This is another very obvious indicator of fear and submission, or at best of a growing tension within him.  Once again, defuse this situation as quickly as you can.


6       Crouching, lowering his head and arching his back.  These often occur together with the action of putting his tail between his legs.    If these symptoms are accompanied by growling, this is a clear indicator that he is experiencing a highly stressful situation, and is often the sign of a situation in which he may bight or snap his teeth because of fear.  Be aware that in this type of situation your dog is very close to panic and so is probably incapable of hearing you.  You must act immediately to separate him from the threatening situation.  This would be a good time to relax with him and enjoy some fun and games in familiar and friendly surroundings.


We wish you every training success and years of enjoyment for both you and your dog.