Dog Training

Social Anxiety Signs In Dogs

March 7, 2024

What is social anxiety in a dog and what to do about it.

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Puppy Training Principles Podcast

Episode 69: Social Anxiety Signs

Social anxiety signs in a dog | Cornerstone Dog Training

How can you tell if your dog has social anxiety? What are the signs of social anxiety in a dog? And most importantly, what should owners do about it?

Just like people, no two dogs are the same. They often have different social preferences. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

My In-Laws: Personality Opposites

Take my amazing in-laws as an example. They have two very different personalities and social preferences.

Glen, my father-in-law, reserves himself and speaks few words. In a crowd, Glen’s social battery depletes quickly, and he’s ready to go home or find a quiet corner to himself.

Contrastingly, Lilly, my mother-in-law, thrives on a good party and a room full of people. She is always calling strangers “friends I haven’t met yet.” (Definitely an appropriate namesake for our daughter Lilly who is much the same way.)

People have different personalities and social preferences, just like people.  Cornerstone Dog Training.

Glen being silly at Lilly’s 80th birthday party. We had been taking pictures of Glen and Lilly with all their kids. Glen social battery was spent and he took a moment to show us how he felt. And Lilly’s face? Bring on the party!

Is one personality “right” and one “wrong”? I don’t think so! Each personality serves a purpose in the grand scheme of things. Each personality is needed. Our personalities balance with each other and provide some spice to life.

To ensure you don’t get the wrong idea of Glen (he’s amazing), let me share another picture. He’s talking to my dad here. He’s in his happy place, just talking one on one.

My father-in-law talking to my dad.  Thriving in one on one conversation. 
 Cornerstone Dog Training.

Dog Personalities

Dogs are much the same way. They each have different personalities (or are they DOG-alities?). They each have different social preferences and that’s okay!

3:40 Some dogs are not social butterflies. Sometimes we have a false idea of what dogs should be.

5:08 Sometimes we characterize the emotion of dogs. We truly don’t know what the emotions are of dogs. It could be happy or sad but we don’t really know.

When a Dog Truly has Social Anxiety

BUT, if your dog can not be around other dogs or people without it being debilitating in some way, I would classify that as social anxiety and something we would want to work on in training.

7:40 We can come to know our dog, learn their individual signs, and help them excel in life as the dog they are!

Even if your dog is not a social butterfly, they need to at least be able to tolerate being around other people and dogs and be taught to manage it well. This can be done through training. There’s hope!

Next, we’ll go over the physical signs you can watch for to determine when your dog is anxious.

8:51 What can we learn from the body language of the dog? In the podcast we I talk about the chemical response happening in your dog’s body, and how we can use that knowledge to our benefit

11:00 The stress curve that dogs go through… Barking, lunging, shaking, drooling, whining, lip licking, yawning, and sigh. If you can watch these signs you will know where your dog is, taking all of your human emotion out of the equation. That is where training comes in! We help the dogs learn what to do with all that adrenaline.

Balancing What is Good for My Dog and What is Good for Me

16:30 What is good for my dog and what is good for me.

20:59 Check out our programs online and find one that fits you and your dog the best!

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