Stress in dogs is not an option!

It is often said, or rather coined, that our four-legged friends should not be stressed, that it is bad for the dog and not according to the “latest scientific findings”. Dog owners are trained to pay attention to so-called “calming signals”. These consist of snout licking, yawning, stretching or scratching, etc. These signals should be avoided at all costs because our dog will then be stressed and that’s not what you want.

We want to be our furry friend’s best friend, he is our best friend, or so we think. And you don’t put such a good buddy under stress. Now I’m wondering, when you watch dogs interacting with each other, should you ignore the signals they give each other? Dogs behave in a way that is anything but stress-avoidant. On the contrary, there is constant stress in a pack! They compensate for this through movement. It is demanded that you should feel like a dog, think like a dog, but if you don’t behave like a dog, then you are an animal abuser.

Dog life & stress

If you think about a dog’s life like that, I’m talking about a 365-day-a-year wellness vacation with us: they get the best food, sleep in an orthopedic bed, and get the finest massages 24/7, … I’m exaggerating to make my point clear.

But our pet dog has an absolutely heavenly life with us. So if he gets stressed from time to time, that’s just the way it is. Believe me, the dog will not die or suffer any other damage. When I go into town with a young dog, it naturally gets stressed from time to time, yes, and what next? He will get over it, even more, he will grow with it and become stronger. The four-legged friend learns that everything is not so bad. It is our duty to the dog to show him the things he doesn’t like.


Let’s take a kindergarten child who has to get up in the morning even though he wants to stay in bed, he has to brush his teeth even if he doesn’t feel like it, then it’s off to kindergarten. It cries because it would rather stay with its parents. Nobody says anything, at most, yes, it’ll work out or don’t be like that.

Key message from Florian Günther

In essence, what I want to say is: even if the dog is stressed from time to time, that’s not a bad thing. All with common sense, of course. But don’t let the dog live in an unrealistic world. If he yawns, he may also be tired, and if he licks his muzzle, he may have eaten something. And even if he appeases, then he does so, he will survive, and without harm. So have fun with your dog and don’t worry about every fart!