I think my dog LULU is hyperactive or has some kind of disorder. It doesn’t matter how long of a walk we go on, when she comes home she goes absolutely bonkers. She runs around like we haven’t just walked/run for 2 miles, sometimes longer. She jumps on us grabbing our clothes, taking off into the yard doing the zoomies, digging, barking, basically going ballistic. What’s up with that?
Dogs exhibit stressful behaviors because we haven’t understood their body language. The signs were there, we just missed them.
I’ve written several blogs on signs of stress in dogs which you can find on my blog pages, here: www.dogdecoder.com. Learning the signs of stress in dogs is step one. However, many people aren’t reading these signs so when the dog hasn’t been understood they will accelerate the signs with behaviors that are most often disturbing to us and definitely to the dog. However, dogs need to release their stressful energy and do so in many ways.
Signs of Stress: Look away, panting, drooling, paw lift, whale eye, facial tension, stiff body, and more. See my blog page (above)
Behaviors that dogs do when they’ve hit their threshold and to release stress are these:
- Get excited and jump on you when they normally wouldn’t
- Start barking excessively becoming reactive to people, dogs or anything that may not normally bother them
- Ask to go out, then want to come back in then ask to go out yet again. In and out over and over
- Paw you when they normally don’t
- Stare at you
- Bully another animal in the house, at the dog park
- Bully a child
- Get destructive
- Walk away
- Excessive licking, themselves or you
- Run away
- Excessive scratching
- Become needy
These signs may be subtle or very obvious. The subtle ones are harder to notice, yet if they go unnoticed for a long time, your dog will become more demonstrative until you finally notice. This is when a dog trainer or behaviorist is usually called in. It’s unfortunate because now there is a lot more undoing to do and why it’s so important to learn the early signs of stress.
If you aren’t aware of the signs of stress please become familiar with them on my blog page and with the Dog Decoder app about dog body language. It’s available in iTunes and Google play and illustrated by the famed Lili Chin of Doggie Drawings.
If you notice that your dog is stressed or your dog is already exhibiting any of these behaviors, please seek help. A stressed dog is more susceptible to illness just like we humans are. Your dog is screaming for help. Whether she’s being reactive on leash, barking excessively, panting at the vets office or groomer, there is something you can do to help relieve the stress. Your dog will thank you for it.