When we think about it, we are communicating with our pups in a way that does not require speech, just facial expressions, and movements. When dogs are happy, we are accustomed to seeing them jump up and down and wag their tails back and forth. What happens though when they are upset? How do they react to unpleasant situations?
The Signs Your Dog is Upset
If you notice that your dog is pacing, this could be a sign that they are feeling anxious or upset about something to the point where they are restless and unable to sit still. Another sign to watch out for is if they begin chewing on items that they normally would just leave alone. If they start becoming destructive, this is a definitive sign that they are unhappy with something.
On top of those signs, another one to look out for is if they start growling or becoming highly aggressive. This is something you definitely hope to avoid, but if they start becoming increasingly aggravated, just be aware that something is highly upsetting them and it needs to be figured out immediately.
Lastly, if you see your pup is acting lethargic and staring off into space, you may need to try to stimulate their senses with something as simple as their favorite toy. While doing this, keep your eyes on their face. Watch their eyes and see if they show any signs of interest in the item you are holding. If they continue to stare off into space and seem uninterested, they are more than likely feeling down in the dumps.
- Excessive Grooming
- Acting Strange
- Destructive Behavior
- Staying in One Spot All Day
History of Dogs Expressing Emotions
When thinking of dogs, we really only hear about how happy they are, or how excited they are. We never really consider them as unhappy beings. What is up with that? Dogs are much more complex than we truly know, so when did dogs start expressing their emotions?
Since they were domesticated so many years ago, we have to assume that these canines have been expressing their emotions ever since then. They didn't just one day begin to express what they were feeling. It was probably the other way around.
More than likely, it was us humans who began realizing that these animals had something to say. Over the years, stories have popped up about dogs saving their owners life by recognizing they were stressed and the dog was able to run for help. Examples like these show that dogs understand emotions and are able to express their own in the way of helping others.
They are smart creatures who have always been around and they will express their emotions in the way they best know how, whether it be through wagging their tail when happy or growling when they are upset.
The Science Behind Pups Being Upset
Numerous studies have provided us with enough evidence to show that dogs are able to experience a range of emotions, including being sad, upset or depressed. What makes dogs unique is that not all animals are able to express so many emotions. Dogs are not only able to express an incredible amount of emotions, but they are also able to respond to the emotions of others around them.
Training Your Dog To Properly React to Being Upset
While some dogs may show you they are unhappy by chewing your slipper, other canines may show their distress by becoming aggressive and growling or even possibly attacking someone who may have aggravated them.
When we think about it like this, these are dogs with different personalities and as such, they will require different training to help them express their emotions a little better than they currently do. A general thing to do to help train your pup on how to react to being upset is to praise them when they are reacting in non-destructive ways.
When a dog eats your shoe, you don't want to create more stress, but you can let them know that you don't appreciate what they did by simply telling them "no" if you catch them in the act. They will usually understand that what they did was wrong and they will be able to try something different to show how they feel.
When they are telling you they are upset by pacing or licking themselves excessively, go to them and pet them, take them on a walk, or try to get them excited to go outside. They will begin to understand that when they are unhappy, you will do your best to help them out.
How to Safely React to Fido Being Upset
If your pup is showing aggression, be careful while trying to approach them. Let them know you are only trying to help. Using treats to get closer to them is a good way to do this.
If you do notice your dog is unusually upset, try to figure out if they are not feeling well or if they are just unstimulated in some way. If needed, take them to the vet if things do not improve