Body Language Question

Posted by dtismv
Apr 18, 2012
I have a question about the much talked about dog body language and stress signals. One sign of stress I recently read about is "moon eye" or a dog showing the whites of her eyes. Ruby pretty much is always showing the whites of her eyes unless she is dead relaxed AND looking straight ahead at something. Even yesterday I watched as she approached one of the kids who was lying on the floor. Ruby laid down next to her and on her own rolled onto her back to have a tummy rub. Her ears were soft and relaxed, her mouth open and relaxed, but yet there were the whites of her eyes. Is she just THAT anxious or is this stress sign to be taken with a grain of salt?
Posted by KOPCaroline
May 1, 2012
Hey again Dtis,

All body signals should be interpreted with the rest of the body - not just individually. And as you thought, all of the signs of stress or agitation may not mean anything in an individual dog.

Small dogs, especially those with shortened faces, often show the whites of their eyes during most activities. If you're watching Rubi and her whites are showing, but she's obviously relaxed, it may just be how she's built, or how she is normally and nothing to worry about. If her whites are showing and her ears and down or shes hunched up - then it may be something to worry about; just try to look at the "big picture" to interpret body language

Hope this helps!