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Old 07-07-2015, 03:41 PM
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Default Uncomfortable Body Language

As most of you know Nibbler is being treated for generalised anxiety among other things. He unfortunately had a backslide this week. I thought I'd take the opportunity to share some of his unhappy body language. Photos are only a second in time and that second could have been the only one that the dog was uncomfortable in so it's important not to judge photos too harshly. It's interesting how they let us know they're uncomfortable though, always giving us feedback and an opportunity to respond.

I took him with Satine and put his thundershirt on before we went out because I knew he was having a hard time but it didn't help. The end result was cutting the walk short, going home and making his world smaller for a week. He's doing much better now but still isn't where he was a few weeks ago. Its all part of the joy of living with an anxious dog. <sigh>

In this photo you can see the whites of his eyes, his muscles are quite tight, his ears are back and to the side (he's listening for the bad thing that he's sure is going to get him) and he's lip licking.

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Old 07-07-2015, 03:54 PM
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Great post. Often the clues are quite subtle, so it is great to have pics that clearly illustrate doggy tension. Many people would only see the erect tail and assume the dog was happy.
I hope Nibbler is feeling better soon.
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Old 07-07-2015, 04:09 PM
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Thanks. Yes, I think it helps if you can read how they're feeling and God love him, there's nothing subtle about Nibbler. I didn't mention that his tail is high and tight because it's a bit out of focus. It's just an awful photo and one I wouldn't normally share but it's a good one to learn from. He's doing better now, I knocked something off the kitchen bench and it grazed him and freaked him out and that's what sent him backwards. The Vet put him back on his Trazodone (which he had weaned off ) for a week and that combined with making his world smaller seems to have really helped. It breaks my heart for him to be so loved and yet so terrified.
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Old 07-07-2015, 04:47 PM
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It's really interesting too that very similar body language can be play. Doug puts his ears together (look like bunny ears), eyes get all big, and his tail goes up and wags tightly, and he bounces in circles. Hilarious.

Just goes to show that you really have to study it to know.
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