Behavioral Cues To Gauge Your Dog's Shyness

All actions should be interpreted in terms of the dog's whole demeanor, body language and the environment. Watch for these signs.


No, your dog isn't necessarily being "overdramatic". In some instances, whining can be a sign of distress or discomfort. If you can't speak dog, your loss. Try dog buttons.


If a stranger comes around your dog and it shies away or hides behind you, they are feeling insecure and shy.

Lip Licking

Most repetitive actions usually demonstrate a form of anxiety. Repeated lip licking can be one of these signs. 

Tail Tucked

Dogs do not use words but they can certainly communicate with their tails. A tail tucked between the legs is a sign that your pup may not be so happy.

Movement Conflict

"Shy puppies display conflict in their forward and backward movements. These pups are curious, but cautious," says behaviorist Kimberly Mandel.

Shying Away

Self explanatory? This can be a sign of mistrust.


"Fearful puppies balk and refuse movement toward something or someone that scares them. They simply stop and plop," says Mandel.


What may come off to you as incontinence could very well be a sign of your pup feeling threatened or afraid.

Ear Position

When a dog's ears are flattened back against their head, this indicates fear or discomfort.


Want to know when your shy dog has transformed into a petrified one? When they are aggressively approached by another animal or human and they cower or completely lay flat on the ground.