Canine Body Language – The Windblown Look

Many dogs look like eveything is being blown back when they are uncomfortable. It almost looks like a fan is blowing their features back. Head is back, ears are back, eyes are worried looking. These dogs are clearly concerned. Look at this dog.  In the large picture, he is calm and relaxed…….happy.  The smaller insert shows how this dog looks when he is worried and stressed.  His face looks blown back, mouth closed-no smile, ears back, eyes not soft and happy.1000543_371196026315869_701535400_n

When you see signs like this, look at what is happening around the dog and try to increase the comfort level, or take the dog out of the situation.  Trying to push the dog toward something that is frightening him/her and telling yourself that the dog just has to get used to it, can increase the fear.   This dog is clearly worried because s/he has been left alone tied up.  Look at the face, everything looks blown back. This is an uncomfortable dog that should not be approached


This puppy was playing with the adult dogs.  Then, things got a little too exuberant for him and he stopped dead in his tracks, uncomfortable with play for a few minutes.  We stopped the play for a few minutes and he joined in again later, after building some confidence. It’s clear that, at this moment, he was not comfortable with the play.999247_371196382982500_1180886486_n

A fearful dog can get to the point where the fear is so great s/he feels that s/he must protect her/himself by starting with a growl and then possibly escalating to a bite.  Notice your dog’s distress in certain situations and alleviate that stress as quickly as you can.  Then, you can decide how to help your dog feel less stressful in that situation and work on the problem.  Call a certified trainer for help if you need it.