2- He’s got a case of the yawns
Contrary to what you might think, big yawns don’t mean your dog is bored with your corny jokes—they’re actually a sign that he is getting stressed, upset, and agitated, says Sara Taylor CPDT-KA, spcaLA director of animal behaviour and training. It’s important to pay attention to this signal and immediately remove your dog from the situation he is not coping well with, she says. By the way, smiling at your pup is one sure way to make him happy, too.
3- He won’t look you in the eye
If a person refused to meet their gaze and turned their back on you, you’d get the message that they were angry loud and clear. It’s the same with dogs, says Erin Askeland, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, dog training and behaviour expert at Camp Bow Wow. “A dog who is happy and comfortable will likely be willing to make eye contact with his owner and seek out their attention whereas a dog who is angry or upset may avoid this type of interaction and move away from their owner, leave the room, or even sleep in a different area,” she says. How to fix this? Offer calm, quiet time together to help you and your dog relax, say reading a book or listening to soft music, she says.
4- His tail is tucked and still
If your pup is in a crouching pose with his tail tucked between his legs, he might be taking your criticism more personally than you’d thought. This posture shows he’s guarded on the defensive. “Dogs, like humans, are emotional creatures,” Olshavsky says. “If you’ve scolded them, or spoke sternly, they can pout like a teenager.” If you see him backed up like this, lower your voice and talk softly and soothingly. “This will re-establish your bond together and will reinforce the trust your dog had in you,” she says.