Nervous System Responses




Nervous system responses are where the dog’s nervous system is automatically reacting to things in the environment.

This includes the subtle body language that we looked at in another video like the tongue flicks, head turns and yawns that can communicate concern. It also includes involuntary muscle movements, breathing or respiration rate and blink rate.

Muscle spasms when the body is touched can indicate physical tension which may be contributing to discomfort. If you see these, note them and see if there is a pattern in how they appear.

Your dog’s breathing or respiration rate goes up when they are concerned, so note what their resting respiration is like and note if it changes. Remember though that it is also normal for respiration rate to increase in hot conditions and after exercise.

Watch your dog’s eyes. Blinking slowly can be a sign of relaxation but rapid blinking or staring can both be signs of concern. If you see these, take a step back and give your dog space from what is concerning them.

The more you observe your dog, the more you will learn what is normal for them and be able to spot candles being lit.

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