9 signs of fear in dogs

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dog with fear

Dogs are brave, protective and loyal, but just like humans, they also feel emotions, some good like happiness and others not so good, like fear.

Knowing how to identify the signs of fear in dogs is essential to prevent them from suffering and to prevent attacks, since a frightened dog is an unpredictable dog. I will explain how to know when a dog is scared.

Index of contents

  • 1 Symptoms of fear in dogs
    • 1.1 Seek refuge or hide
    • 1.2 Tighten the muscles
    • 1.3 Barking and gasping
    • 1.4 Body gestures
    • 1.5 OCD
    • 1.6 Diarrhea and / or vomiting
  • 2 What are dogs afraid of?
  • 3 How to act before a dog with fear?

Symptoms of fear in dogs

Detecting fear in a dog is very simple if you know the symptoms, frightened dogs show some very obvious and easy to recognize signs. If you appreciate one or more of these signs, it is because your dog is having a bad time, he is very scared.

Remember that fear is the physical state that precedes panic and if a dog goes into panic, it can attack its own owner without reason, it can be unpredictable.

So when you see any of these signs on your dog, act immediately to try to ease his fear and not to panic.

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hidden dog

Dog hidden under the table

Seek refuge or hide

One of the most obvious signs of fear in dogs is seeing them seek refuge to hide, usually under a bed, behind a sofa or even under us between our legs.

It is your way of escaping the scary situation and trying feel protected, waiting for the reason that scares them to go away to leave again. Running away and running away is another sign of fear in stressful situations.

Tighten the muscles

If you see that your dog becomes very tense, acquiring a hard and rigid appearance, it is because he is surely afraid. His muscles tense causing even tremors, which can be mistaken for cold.

Muscle tension in dogs is a clear warning, fear or stress symptom in a situation that causes fear.

Barking and gasping

Another sign that tells us that a dog is scared is excessive panting for no reason. If a dog is hot or has run or played it is normal to pant, but if it is normal and suddenly gasps in a stressful situation, it’s out of fear.

Barking is also a sign of fear, warning that they are scared and do not want their fear to come near, whether it be a person or an animal.

Body gestures

Dogs do not use words but they can speak through gestures, which are very easy to identify if we know the canine sign language.

Hiding the tail between the hind legs is a clear sign of fear, of fear of something. Also shrinking is another symptom that you are suffering from fear.

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OCD is the obsessive compulsive disorder that makes a dog perform repetitive movements such as constantly walking from one place to another, licking without stopping the nose, digging without stopping, etc …

Any illogical repetitive movement it can be a sign of stress or fear in our dog, so we must observe it and locate the origin of fear.

Diarrhea and / or vomiting

Incredible as it may seem, fear can also seriously and seriously affect a dog’s health. Fear can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and even all kinds of problems digestive and nervous.

A dog that is afraid on a daily basis will see its health deteriorate constantly, until the problem is solved.

scared puppy

What are dogs afraid of?

It should be noted that not all dogs are afraid of the same things, as is the case with us humans. Each dog has or will have its own fears.

Fears generally arise in the face of the unknown, like something strange on the road where they always take the walk or before a person in disguise, for example. Fear arises before the unknown, usually.

Also things that make a lot of noise create fear in dogs, a tractor, fireworks (rockets, firecrackers), loud music or even a large group of people.

Some implement dogs are afraid of other dogs, or animals. It is difficult to tell you what your dog is afraid of, because each dog is totally different.

How to act before a dog with fear?

If the dog is not ours, it is best to walk away without looking into his eyes or talking to him. We will walk away slowly and safely. It is important to watch for our safety as a scared dog can attack.

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If the dog is ours, then we must prevent fear from growing within it. Because if we don’t put a solution, can panic and become totally unpredictable.

To eliminate fear in a dog, we must follow these tips:

  • Get away from the source of fear If fear is caused by a noise or a person, for example, we will walk away calmly.
  • Do not pet or pamper our dog When a dog is nervous or scared, we should never hug, pet, or pamper him because we will increase fear. It may sound strange but it is so, they are not like humans.
  • Distract your mind with a game or food We must prevent the dog from focusing on what it is afraid of and for this, we can distract it with a little food in our hand or with some game.
  • Do not scold or force him to overcome his fear , never force your dog to approach the source of his fears thinking that he will overcome it. It is the biggest mistake you can make.