10 Signs of Anxiety in Dogs: Ways to Spot Anxious Behavior

Anxiety is a dog’s worst enemy. It can take over their life, cause them to have accidents in the house, and make every day a struggle. But with understanding and recognition of symptoms, dog owners can help their canine friends overcome dog anxiety disorder.

In this blog post, we will talk about 10 common signs of anxiety in dogs so that you know what to look out for!

Signs of anxiety in your dog may include:


If you find your pup pacing around or frantically running from room to room, they could be demonstrating dog anxiety signs. Your dog may not be able to settle or relax when they are feeling anxious.

Pacing is a common dog anxiety sign that you might notice in your pup when they’re at home, but it can also be observed when out and about. Pups will often pace around the dog park or back-and-forth on walks if anxious.

If this happens to your dog, try taking them on a different route or distracting them with dog toys to get their mind off of what might be stressing them out.

Barking, Whining or Howling Excessively

Dogs may also bark, whine, or howl when anxious. This will often happen when they’re left home without their owner. This dog anxiety sign may also be a response to separation anxiety.

Try to identify the underlying cause for excessive dog barking – is it loneliness? Fearfulness? Protectiveness? When you know why your dog might be anxious, it will be easier to help them overcome dog anxiety symptoms.

A brilliant solution for dog separation anxiety are Thundershirts, they provide a fast acting way to calm your dog and keep them calm while you’re away.

In many cases, excessive dog barking can also signal a medical issue. Make sure to take your pup for a checkup if their barks are persistent and frequent.

Urinating or Defecating in the House

Anxious dogs often urinate and/or defecate when left home alone, especially if they were housebroken but began having accidents after their owners started leaving them at home for long periods of time.

If dog your dog urinates or defecates when left home alone, dog anxiety is likely to blame.

However, there could be an underlying medical issue that’s causing this dog behavior as well.

If your dog suddenly starts having accidents in the house (especially if they were previously housetrained), make sure you take them to their vet right away for a checkup.


Anxiety can lead to dog aggression, especially if your dog is really afraid of people or other dogs.

This anxious dog behavior may be a reaction to something else that has been causing their anxiety (like separation from their owner).

Dogs with dog separation anxiety often show signs of dog aggression when left alone for too long because they are so anxious and stressed about being separated from their owners.

Make sure that you approach your dog at their own pace. Be patient and communicate with body language rather than making quick movements that may startle them and make their anxiety worse.

Aggressive behavior needs to be approached carefully and you may benefit from the expertise of a good trainer or dog behaviorist to help with it.

Panting – When They’re Not Hot

Panting can be perfectly normal behavior in dogs, especially on a hot day. But, if you notice that your dog is panting when they’re not hot or tired, it could be a sign of anxiety.

Panting often goes along with dog pacing and other signs of dog stress such as trembling and shaking.

Hiding from You or Cowering Away

If your dog is feeling anxious and stressed, they might want to get away from you.

This dog anxiety sign is an instinctual response of a dog who’s afraid and trying to protect themselves by distancing from the source of their fear.

Be patient with your pup if they don’t want to come out of hiding. If they’re feeling scared, their instinct will tell them to keep away from you as much as possible.

Don’t yell at them or try too hard to coax them out of hiding if this happens – it could make their anxiety worse and take longer for your pup to come around.

In many cases, dog anxiety hiding signs will dissipate as their anxiety levels drop.

Our pups are very much like us, sometimes they just need some time out until those anxious feelings pass.

If your dog is anxious, giving them time to decompress in a safe place can do wonders for their stress levels and overall behavior.

Excessive Licking

Excessive licking can also be a dog anxiety sign. If you notice your dog excessively licking themselves, other objects in the house, or even people; it could indicate that they’re dealing with stress and dog anxiety.

Try to identify what is causing them stress (other animals? loud noises?) and give them space when those triggers are around.


If your dog is anxious you may find them drooling from the mouth when there is no reason to be salivating (i.e., eating, drinking).

Dogs may subconsciously release a lot of saliva when anxious because their autonomic nervous system is in overdrive and their heart rate has increased significantly. They may also overflow with excitement if the stimulus causing them stress happens quickly; we call this dog anxiety signs of dog arousal.

Constantly Seeking Attention

If your furry friend is constantly seeking your attention even when there is no reason for distress, dog anxiety may be the reason.

Dogs who are anxious often want to keep their owners close because they feel safest when you’re around.

Don’t ignore your dog when they’re seeking attention, just be sure to give them the time and energy that they need.

A snuggle and some reassurance may be all they need to calm their anxiety.

Trying to Escape

When a dog suffers from anxiety you may find them trying to escape the house or crate.

This sign of anxiety can also manifest in the form of your dog scratching, digging, or chewing at doors and windows.

These are all signs that they’re desperate to get out because their stress level has reached a point where it becomes intolerable for them; but if you take away that dog anxiety escape route, they may turn to destructive dog behavior as a result.

Let your dog out of the house or crate if that is what they really need – but be sure you’re there with them and that they are in a secure garden or yard that they can’t escape from.

Being able to burn off some of that excess anxious energy will help them to calm down.


Dog anxiety signs are often very subtle and easy to miss.

There are many ways in which dog anxiety can manifest, so it’s important you have some tools at your disposal for dealing with dog stress when they’re anxious or stressed.

Anxious dogs need loving owners who will work with them through their issues – not just give up on them.

If dog anxiety is left untreated, it can become a serious and dangerous disorder for your dog.

Don’t let your dog suffer like that – there are plenty of natural calming remedies out there to help!

About the Author Joycey

All my life I've been in love with one big dopey Mastiff family member after another. No other breed has given so much pleasure, so it's a joy for my team and I to research everything there is to know about them in this blog. We hope you enjoy the reading as much as we enjoy the writing :)