One Paw Raised
This is very cute but the dog is not happy and does not want to be petted or bothered. She is worried.
Half Moon EyeThe dog just wants to be left alone. Watch for this one when kids are mauling the dog. This is a common expression in dogs that being hugged. If you see the half moon eye when the kids approach the dog or are interacting with the dog, it's time to intervene and give them all something else to do.
Displacement BehaviorsDisplacement behaviors are normal behaviors displayed out of context. They indicate conflict and anxiety. The dog wants to do something, but he is suppressing the urge to do it. He displaces the suppressed behavior with something else such as a lick or a yawn. For example, you are getting ready to go out and the dog hopes to go too. He is not sure what will happen next. He wants to jump on you or run out the door, but instead he yawns. The uncertainty of the situation causes conflict for the dog and the displacement behaviors are a manifestation of that conflict. The dog may want to bite a child who takes his bone, but instead he bites furiously at his own foot.
Some examples of displacement behaviors include:
Avoidance BehaviorsSometimes dogs are more overt when they feel anxious and want to remove themselves from a situation. Please don't force a dog to stay in situation in which he feels anxious, especially if children are the source of his anxiety. Here are some examples:
Other Body Language Signs of Anxiety
All dogs should have a safe place, such as a
crate or mat that they can go to when they want to be left alone. All family
members and guests should be taught not to bother the dog when he is in his safe
place. We have recently heard of a mat product which gives the dog a shock if he tries to leave it, thus teaching him to stay on the mat. This is not what we would consider a safe place for the dog. This is a dangerous product and you should not have one of these.
Watch this video and see if you can spot the warning sign (hint - it happens at about 2 sec into the video). You will likely need to watch it twice. Warning - graphic video. May not be suitable for children. Again this shows us how fast a dog can move. Even with the handler right there he couldn't stop it. The slow motion shows just how slow the human reaction is. Neither the handler nor the reporter saw the warning sign.