How To Tell If Your Dog Is Stressed

You don't speak dog, so it can be hard to understand when your dog is stressed. There are a few signs you can look out for to know when your pup is uncomfortable.

What Does A Stressed-Out Dog Look Like?

You may think it's cute when your dog rolls onto his back to expose his stomach. And maybe you thought that was his way of showing off, or apologizing for bad behavior... but no. This maneuver is actually one of many subtle ways your dog tries to tell you that he is stressed. Other signs include turning his head away from you, excessive blinking or lip licking, and showing "half moon" eyes, which is when the whites of his eyes are visible.

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Why It's Relevant

Well, understanding what your dog is trying to tell you is always a good thing. Especially when you may be misinterpreting his stress as excitement or love. And that really could be the case. For example, in a recent (but small) study, almost 82% of dogs showed at least one sign of stress when they were hugged by their owners. So even though you may be showing your love to Rex by hugging him or petting him a certain way, he may not be into it, and (until now!) you would never know.

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Editors' Picks: What You Need To Know About Your Furry Friend

11 Subtle Signs Your Dog Is Stressed

Look for those "half-moon" eyes.

5 Interesting Things Dogs Can Sense

Ever feel like your dog just knows?

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Cancer cells produce waste products that give off a noticeable odor for dogs. 01:21

  2. Dogs seem to be able to sense when someone's blood-sugar levels are low or about to drop dangerously. 03:11

  3. When afraid, humans sweat, produce adrenaline, and emit pheromones, all of which dogs are able to detect. 05:35

Are Some Dog Breeds More Aggressive?

Many debate this question.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Research suggests that a dog's breed is only a minor indicator of its aggression level. 00:31

  2. One study found that dogs with owners under 25 were twice as likely to be aggressive than those with owners over 40. 01:33

  3. Non-neutered male dogs aren't necessarily more aggressive than neutered male dogs. 02:08

Written by Curiosity Staff May 3, 2016

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