How to Identify a Scared Dog

What does a scared dog look like?

Dogs communicate with humans and each other through a combination of body language and audible noises. A scared dog can behave very differently than a scared deer. Dogs are a predator and therefore they behave differently than a prey animal behaves when it’s scared.

Sometimes a scared dog will run away just as a prey animal might. But when unable to get away or somehow restrained from leaving, there are a few signs the dog will give that show it’s scared. First, the dog may put his tail between his back legs. This is an attempt to make himself as small as possible.

He also may squat his back legs down a bit. This also makes him seem smaller. The dog will usually lower his head and his gaze. A frightened dog is not likely to look you in the eye. Eye contact is a very aggressive form of body language. The dog may also turn away from you.

Even if he isn’t looking at you, the dogs eyes will be wide open with fear. Although you may not be able to tell, the dogs heart rate will have increased as well as his respiration.

If you are paying close attention to the body language of the dog, it should be clear when he is afraid.

What is the best thing to do when you are around a scared dog?

When you have figured out that a dog is scared, what is the best thing to do? First of all DO NOT get any closer to the dog. If the dog is in a corner or unable to flee, he may perceive this as an aggressive act. This can prompt a dog to strike out with fear aggression, aggressive behavior brought on by fear.

He could bite you very quickly and very deeply. The best thing to do is to back away from the dog. You can speak quietly and gently to him, using a calm voice. If this is just a dog you see somewhere or a dog at the park, it’s best to just back way and leave the dog alone to go on his merry way.

If you need to catch this dog for some reason, you’re best course of action is to back away and speak calmly. Notice if the body language of the dog relaxes. Use and approach and retreat method to attempt to gain the dog’s trust.

Hopefully over the course of time, the dog will start to trust you and you can catch him.