Why Stress Signs Matter

Why do we care about whether or not our or another dog is stressed? There are a bunch of reasons:
  • Too much stress isn't fun, it is well, stressful.
  • Every being deserves a life where stress and anxiety aren't the primary factors.
  • Your dog can't learn if it is stressed.
  • If you can't recognize stress signals, you might not realize that your dog has gotten stressed to the point of shutting down and that "good behaviour" is in fact physical and emotional shutdown.
  • Stress and fear set off the fight or flight reaction and in today's world dogs don't usually have the opportunity for flight so they end up biting, fighting and exhibiting other dangerous behaviour.
While some dog behaviours can be either a sign of stress or attempting to calm the situation down (or both), other behaviours are generally just a result of stress. We'll look be looking at stress specific behaviours in future posts.

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