Lets look at some behavior. Starting with calming signals.
What are calming signals?
Calming signals are behaviors and postures that dogs exhibit to diffuse tense situations. They’re a dogs way of saying “I mean no harm.” There are times when these behaviors are not calming signals. If Fido is outside in the sun and lays down, that doesn’t mean he’s stressed.
Sniffing the ground
Sitting, laying down
Lip licking, tongue flicking
The human in the photo appears happy, but the dog, not quite.
Blinking, averting gaze, turning away, whale eye
Many hound breeds will give what is affectionately called hound dog eyes. These gazes aren’t always calming signals. Looking at the whole dog will usually tell you the dogs intent. Whale eye is usually accompanied by stiffness or other calming signals. If the dog is laying there looking at you showing the whites of his eyes, he’s more than likely just looking at you.
Notice in this photo there are many calming signals.
The dog he’s holding his tense and tongue flicking, ears pinned and whale eye.
The tri color terrier is whale eyed and pinned ears, he’s also raising a paw.
the bi color terrier is sitting and squinting
the grey terrier is completely turned away.
the yellow terrier in the foreground is showing pinned ears
None of these dogs is comfortable with this situation, I dont blame them.
Notice in tis photo that the 3 GWPs are exhibiting obvious calming signals.
There are many other calming signals and I will touch on those tomorrow.