15 Signs Your Dog is Protecting You

Dogs have been recognized as man’s best friend for centuries.

Besides offering us their company, dogs are also playing an important role in our society. We have police dogs, therapy dogs, service dogs, rescue dogs, and the list can go on and on.

Nevertheless, most of us appreciate dogs for the simple fact that they are our lovable companions and buddies, and because they offer us their protection (every breed in their own unique way).

As long as you offer your dog affection, he will love you back tenfold. So it is no wonder that a dog would feel the need to protect his owner.

It is reassuring when your four-legged pal protects you from threats. This simply means that you have an excellent relationship with your canine. 

Dogs will go the extra mile to ensure their master will never be hurt. This includes protecting not only them but other loved ones in the home. They have been known to protect livestock, family farms, and other properties for ages.

Different dogs will show different signs when protecting you from various dangers. Some of these may not seem like threats to a human, such as being alone, but a canine perceives things differently than we do.

Dogs have a keen sense of smell and can be very fast to attack a predator or potential threat. Their hearing is also much better than humans.

While technology has been developing to help protect our homes and us, nothing is better than canine protection. There are so many advantages to picking a dog over technology.

The dog will be able to keep you company, smell things that will alert them to dangers, and are cheaper than modern technology. Plus there is nothing better than having a best friend watch over you and your loved ones at all times.

One of the best ways to watch for signs your dog is protecting you is to watch their body language. Body language can say a lot about a canine. It is a way for your pooch to communicate with you when danger is near.

Signs Your Dog is Protecting You

Some of the common body signs that your pup may use to show you he is protecting you are:

1. Being very alert

Dog In Alert Position
Dog in an alert position

Your dog will be very alert when danger is approaching. He will not take his eyes off the direction where he senses the danger is coming from.

So the next time your puppy won't stop staring in a certain direction, you'll know that he felt something that bothers him.

2. Hair standing up on the edge of their back

Angry Dog With Raised Fur On Its Back
Angry dog with raised fur on its back

This is similar to how cats react to danger.

If you look at your pup’s back, you will often see his fur standing up. This is a clear sign that he senses something dangerous is about to happen.

Oftentimes pets and animals, in general, use this tactic to try to look bigger and more intimidating to their opponent.

3. Crouched down

Crouched Dog Ready To Attack
Crouched dog ready to attack

A dog may crouch down before he prepares his attack, but oftentimes they also do that during play. Therefore, you should get worried only when the crouched position is accompanied by barking, growling, or other signs of aggression.

This is also a way for some dogs to “hide” so they can scare off a predator that does not belong.

4. Growling

Angry Dog Growling
Angry dog growling

All dogs growl from time to time. Growling is a way for them to communicate not only to you that danger is near, but a way of saying to the predator to move away as this is their territory.

Unless they are playing, growling is probably the most obvious sign of aggression.

5. The body stiffens

Alert Dog With Stiff Body
Alert dog with a stiff body

A canine's body will stiffen as they wait for the danger to approach. The animal will tense all his body muscles, take a defensive position, and try to look bigger.

The ears and tail might also raise and become stiff. This may, however, vary from one breed to another.

6. Teeth exposed

Angry Chihuahua Exposing Its Teeth
Angry Chihuahua exposing its teeth

Oftentimes, dogs that sense danger will barre their teeth. This is referred to as “an offensive pucker”. The mouth can form a “C” shape and the nose will be wrinkled up.

7. Constant barking

Angry Dog Barking
Angry dog barking

Barking is probably the most common warning that a pup will use to alert his owner when he feels a potential danger nearby. Dogs that are threatened will often bark constantly until the threat passes.

8. Whining

Dog Whining
Dog whining

While many dogs will bark continuously when they feel danger, some dogs will whine, or use a combination of these two. Therefore, if your dog suddenly starts whining, he isn't necessarily in distress, but he might have sensed something intimidating around.

9. Running around

Dog Running Around
Dog running around

Some pups will run around when they sense a dangerous situation that they need to protect their human from. This usually happens when the danger is behind the fence of your yard, or if there's an obstacle in the way.

My dog does this all the time while barking loudly. This is probably also a way to intimidate the potential invader. Stay away, this is my yard!

10. Wagging tails

Dog Wagging Tail
Dog wagging tail

Sure, there are times when a wagging tail means that a dog is happy to see you.

Other times, a wagging tail may be a sign of anxiety or restlessness.

If the tail is moving fiercely or is fixed upwards and your dog is displaying some of the other body signals listed here, they are most likely trying to defend you or his territory.

11. Air snapping

Dog Air Snapping
Dog air snapping

Air snapping could mean that a dog is getting ready to bite. Or has decided they are not going to bite, but the danger is there. This is a warning sign to you that he is feeling threatened.

12. Tight mouth

Dog With Tight Jaws
Dog with tight jaws

If you notice your canine has a tight mouth, this is a signal that your dog is carrying tension.

When that happens and if it's provoked, most dogs won't hesitate to bite.

13. Wide fixed eyes

Dog Whale Eye
Dog whale eye

When a dog opens its eyes wide and has lots of white showing, it is a sign that danger may be lurking close.

The eyes will look rounder than normal. Many will refer to this as “whale eye” or "half-moon eye". Oftentimes when they have whale eyes, their ears are pulled back.

14. Glassy eyes

Dog With Glassy Eyes
Dog with glassy eyes

Eyes that look glassy (dilated pupils) on a dog could mean that a dog is feeling threatened.

15. Biting

Dog Biting
Dog biting human

To protect their master, many dogs won't hesitate to bite the person or the animal who they perceive as a threat. Quite often, canines are successful in this attempt.

You may have a dog that seems to be the most loving creature ever, but when put in a situation where they feel you are in danger, they will bite. Even if they have never done so before.

It is important that you learn to read your pet’s body language. By looking at their eyes, mouth, tail, and entire body in general, you can read what your pet is thinking or feeling. This will allow you to interact appropriately with your dog, or to get out of danger’s way.

There may be times when your dog uses more than one of the body languages listed above. By learning your dog’s body language, you will be able to understand better what they are protecting you from and what they are trying to tell you.

Final Word

Dogs have protected their owners since ancient times. They even helped serve in many wars to protect the soldiers and alert them of danger. It is a natural instinct for canines to protect those they love.

Owners should feel proud that their beloved pet is loyal to them and their families. The signs above are just some of the ways that your dog is protecting you.

What are some ways that your dog has protected you? Leave a comment below.