Dogs are unable to interact with us verbally. However, there are non verbal ways through which they may express their feelings, especially when they are stressed.
It is critical for owners to be able to discern how their pets are feeling, particularly if they are stressed or uneasy. This will help the owners in order to keep their dogs and others around them safe.
According to Belfast Live, a short handbook called the Kendal Shepherd ‘Ladder of Aggression’ has been released to explain the subtle indicators of increasing emotions in dogs. This ladder of aggression comprises 11 steps, each of which adds to the intensity of the dog’s emotions. Therefore the dog owners should learn to spot the signs that their dog is not happy.
Ladder of Aggression
The first step on the ladder of aggression is ‘yawning, blinking and nose licking’. This indicated that the dog is tired, and are trying to calm themselves down on their own.
Next steps that one needs to identify are, ‘Looking away’, ‘Turning body away, Pawing’ and ‘Walking away’. When you feel that your dog is doing all these things then it is a clear indication of him being stressed with the situation around.
Moreover, if the dog is not comfortable in making eye contact, this shows his awkwardness and uneasiness. After this, the thing that should concern the owners should be, ‘Creeping and ears back’. This surely is one of the most expressive ways of showing that the dog is worried and wants space.
As the ladder of aggression steps up, the ways of expressing stress are more clear. If you see your dog, ‘Stiffening up, or ‘Growling’, then you should definitely consider it a warning. Moreover it indicates their fight or freeze response kicking in. The growl becomes a clear sign of their distress. Therefore the owners need to give them space and try to calm the dog before the last and final step of the ladder.
The last step of the ladder of aggression is the one that should be avoided before it is too late. That step is ‘Bite’. This step shows that the threat dog was feeling has not been removed. Therefore the dog resorts to biting in self defense.
The above mentioned steps need to be identified as earliest as possible to avoid any harm to the dog or others around him.