For Dog Bite Prevention Week, I am sharing two videos on canine stress because understanding a dog's body language is critical to trust building and being safe around dogs. How many stress signs do you see in this video? (Watch with the volume off once to see what you pick up on.)
We can sometimes miss stress in dogs who are not overtly pacing, crying and panting but let's take a closer look at my friend Hazel. She is the newest of my pet sitting pups, although she was at my house when she was a shelter dog over two years ago. Since she is sensitive, we are easing her in to prepare her for overnight stays.
Despite her rushing up to me in wiggle butt fashion when she first arrived, and eagerly checking out all the smells in our woods, I knew that once her human drove away it could be a different story.
The signs of stress she showed in her half day at my house (the top SIX of which can be seen above) included:
- lick lipping
- drooling (and lots of it!)
- reddened eyes
- avoiding eye contact
- shedding and dandruff (lots of that, too)
- hypervigilance (Hazel did not lay down for two hours and popped up whenever she heard a new sound)
- not wanting to take treats or drink water
- standing really close to me on walks if she saw people coming
The above symptoms sound like a lot, and they are, but as you can see, they can be subtle. A lot of people might look at this video and not pick up on the drool, yawn, slight whine, and red eyes but once you know what to look for, you can spot this stuff. And some signs like shedding can be missed completely and simply interpreted as "wow, this dog sheds a lot."
And if adults may miss these signs, how good do you think kids are at picking them up?
Short answer: Not very.
PLEASE watch this video which the producers encourage you to share with EVERYONE you know to help protect kids and keep dogs safe too.
Go to stopthe77.com for more information.
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