5 Signs Your Pit Bull Is Stressed

Pit Bulls – including the many bully breeds that are often referred to as pitties, such as Staffordshire Terriers and American Pit Bull Terriers – are intelligent, sweet and amazing family dogs. If you have one, you know this is true. Since many pitties are rescues, owners often find themselves dealing with dogs that do not handle new situations, people (or even something as simple as a new noise) very well. The first step to helping your Pit Bull conquer his fears is recognizing when he is feeling this way. The following are signs your pitty is feeling stressed or anxious.












Image Source: Maplegirlie via Flickr

#1 – Whining

A stressed Pit Bull often whines a lot. If your dog is whining and you know he doesn’t have to go outside to go potty, he may be stressed. He may also bark.

#2 – Panting

Excessive panting is a clear sign that your pit bull is stressed. Often this is a wide mouth pant and continues incessantly. Many times, people misread this as a “smile” so look for other signs of stress. (For example, the dog in the picture below also has whale eyes). If your dog hasn’t been exercising and it’s not hot out but he is doing this behavior, he is probably stressed.

#3 – Lip licking

Lip licking is a common sign of stress. Your pit bull may lip lick and yawn when he is stressed. It’s usually a slower lip lick than when they are tasting something good. It can also look like a “flick” where the tongue comes out and goes back in without actually licking their lips.

#4 – Furrowed Brow

Although this is something that you cannot see on a lot of dogs, it’s easy to see on the pit bull’s face due to their short coat and broad foreheads. Dogs (like us!) will wrinkle their foreheads when they are concerned.

#5 – Whale Eye

This is something a lot of dogs will do and pit bulls are no exception. “Whale eye” is when your dog’s eye bulge and the white around the iris is visible. This is a definite sign that your pitty is stressed or anxious.