Avoidance Behaviors: There are often clear signs that your dog is upset and wants no part of the people or situation that he is currently in. If your dog is displaying any of these behaviors, allow him to retreat to a safe place. If you are around someone else’s dog and he’s displaying these behaviors, you and/or your children must do the retreating. A dog who displays avoidance behaviors may feel cornered or threatened and may end up biting.
- Tail straight or down
- Tail between his legs (may or may not be wagging)
- Hiding behind people or furniture/objects
- Turning his head away
- Barking and moving away
- Getting up and retreating
- A Low tail with just the tip of the tail wagging
- Rolling over on his back (more of a stiff movement rather than loose and wiggly)
- Heavy panting
- Ears back
- Ears turned sideways (for dogs with erect ears ie. German shepherd)
- Urinating or defecation (may be confused as spiteful behavior or a housebreaking issue)
The signs that we have discussed today are all signs that the dog in question is feeling uneasy. While an anxious dog is not always an aggressive dog, any dog that feels cornered or threatened may attempt to bite to protect himself from perceived danger. Always allow your dog a safe place to retreat to and educate all family members and visitors to stay away from your dog if he chooses to retreat.