By Carol Price, Canine Behaviorist

Signs that your dog is under greater mental pressure can appear more gradually, be more subtle, or alternatively happen more suddenly. But they include the following:

  • The dog becoming more noticeably agitated/excitable
  • The dog becoming more reactive or aggressive in his behavior towards others
  • The dog itching or scratching more
  • More excessive barking/whining
  • Reduced ability to settle and rest
  • Increase in more obsessive/neurotic ritualistic behaviors, revolving around eyeing or chasing or fixating on specific objects
  • Increase in thirst/drinking
  • Noticeable change in the dog’s more usual daily habits and routines, behavior wise
  • Change in the dog’s usual toilet habits
  • The dog becoming more mentally withdrawn and losing interest in things he previously enjoyed, like playing with toys

Note: As some of these signs may also indicate a more underlying medical condition in your dog, do visit your veterinarian to check them out if you have any doubt.

Carol Price is a leading canine behaviorist and writer in the UK, with a particular interest in the genetic, psychological and emotional motivations of dogs. She is also a widely recognized specialist on the behavior and training of Border Collies and the author of three books on the breed, including her newest international best-seller, “Collie Psychology: Inside the collie mind,” available in the U.S. through dogwise.com and bordercollies.com. More recently, Carol has been invited to become an official Ambassador for The Border Collie Trust GB, the largest Border Collie welfare/rescue organization in the UK, and has diversified into designing highly successful Border Collie art prints and cards.