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dog body-language - and why it matters so much...

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by leashedForLife, Feb 22, 2010.


  1. Annmarievictoria

    Annmarievictoria PetForums Newbie

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    I found this article and photos very helpful in picking up even subtle signals. Thankyou.
     
  2. leashedForLife

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  3. leashedForLife

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    Orcas chasing diver & dog (Matheson Bay) - YouTube

    Notice the dog's body-parl & behavior:
    he's clearly feeling threatened in the water while being chased,
    but he also stands to bark & wag [wag = arousal, not necessarily 'happy'] -

    once out of the water, he's undecided about confronting the beast,
    or going back into the water... which could be disastrous. Orca DO kill & eat seals which can be 5-times
    the size of a 60# Lab, easily - one orca can readily kill & eat an 8 to 10-ft long seal or sea-lion.
    A pod of orca will sometimes take on a whale, ripping at lips & finally shredding the poor thing's tongue,
    then abandoning her / him to a slow, miserable fate.

    RESIDENT orca eat fish; TRANSIENTS eat mammals, & a dog is a nice snack.
    i don't think this dog comprehends the danger, & i think the owner is a clueless twit, frankly -
    who throws a stick for their dog with a 2-ton predator in the water?! Boobie.
     
  4. leashedForLife

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    M:M aggro is a common complaint from pet-owners or dog-handlers; from the breed ring to the local
    dog-walker, we see everything from mild posturing [up on toes, a bit too- intense staring] to outright
    assaults - lunging, snapping, growls, rigid posture with stiffly flagged tails, hackles, & fights.


    typical onset is around 6-MO, but highly-aggro breeds or types such as JRTs, Ovtcharka pups
    in the litter-nest, & others may start earlier - my buddy in Penna. who bred JRTs dearly loved
    her dogs, but she separated them by sex no later than 5-WO to the day, & shuttled Mom-dog
    back & forth between bitch-pups & dog-pups all day; otherwise, M-pups would harass their sisters
    so relentlessly, pups of both sexes would have scars on faces & ears from fighting before 8-WO.
    Left to their brothers' nonstop bullying, the bitch-pups would either become maniacally defensive
    & hate all Ms on sight, or grimly sullen, shutting down around any male. Neither was good. :nonod:


    SOCIAL HIERARCHIES | Dog Star Daily
    SPECIAL NOTE:
    actual hierarchies only develop between dogs who live together long-term, & are age-based in Ms.
    IOW, the elder M is higher-ranking, but the younger willingly defers; there's no "fight".
    This isn't about status - it's resources, access, & age. I include it because of the testosterone info
    during puberty [4-MO to 6-MO] & the spike [9-MO] into the decline to adult-M levels [12- to 15-MO].

    Dog Communication | Dog Star Daily


    Fighting | Dog Star Daily


    M-pups go thru FOUR separate stages of masculinization & testosterone levels:
    androgenization in utero, released into the amniotic fluid by the dam, which triggers 2ndary sex
    traits like a penis developing from the original vulval tissue, etc.
    early into mid-puberty: around 4-MO when pup-license expires, to 6-MO.
    the testosterone spike, from 7-MO on, which peaks at 9 to 10-MO at 5 to 7 times the levels
    secreted in the bloodstream of adult-males over 12 to 15-MO...
    & intact-Male adulthood, when testosterone falls from the 10-MO peak to 12 to 15-MO levels,
    where it stays until old-age.

    male-pups go thru a long gauntlet of harassment, bullying, social ostracism, intolerance, etc,
    from all adult-dogs of both sexes & any genders [intact or desexed]; they are punished for things
    they didn't even do, but are ASSUMED to have done just cuz they were there.

    This is not only incredibly stressful for the pups as pubertal kids & hormonally-flooded teens,
    but they are a trigger-point for other dogs to react to... which teaches them as 'victims' to react, too.
    They feel picked-upon [sometimes justifiably, sometimes not], & get touchy.

    the reek of a super-male teen dog is a blatant nose-punch for other older dogs, who will react
    to one degree or another - causing HIM to react, in turn. :huh:
     
  5. leashedForLife

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    Peaceable Paws


    Pat sits-in on an Overall-DVM consult for aggro in a BSD-Mal
    Karen Overall « Pat's Blog

    scroll down the blog for the consultation and Dr Karen's view of growls, etc -

    don't miss the photos of Pat's Pom, giving her H*** for combing the fluffer, :lol:
    bite-inhibition is a wonderful thing, :thumbup: but that
    face! is scary :scared:


    an over-view of Overall's view of 'aggressive' signals?
    dogs who growl, lunge, snark, etc, are looking for feedback, & need information;
    if U think of a growl as info, not a threat - then the dog is waiting for a reply.
     
  6. MerlinsMum

    MerlinsMum PetForums VIP

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    I am very blessed (and equally cursed!) by a very vocal dog as my teacher. He is very clear and adept at broadcasting, which I love - but sometimes it's a little too much... I don't need a running commentary at who is passing by the front room window.

    He will say Yes! when asked certain questions, and he will also tell me No! in certain situations. I listen - of course I do.

    It's become more to the fore now Rue is living here. He is very clear and consistent in communicating to her, as the resident dog (and she possibly not having had much contact with other dogs in her past), that's great.

    My elderly mother and my sister - both having old-school dog training - tell him off for raising a lip or growling at Rue.... I, on the other hand, want to hug him for being so crystal clear and informative.

    It's nothing short of fantastic communication. He can't open his mouth and say the words, "Back off, you're in my face!" It's done by those subtleties instead. Of course Mum and Sister think he shouldn't be doing it at all - but why?

    "Oh he should be nice, that's nasty stuff."
    "Why do you think it's not nice?"
    "Growling is nasty... he is being aggressive."
    "No he's not, he's telling her to keep her distance because she came too close, and he felt uncomfortable."
    "But it's not nice...."
    "How else do you expect him to tell her? He's a dog... he can't make the word sounds, or write her a polite note.....? Send her a text? Take it up with his landlady...?" :laugh:

    I could be picky as it's clear sometimes this arises as a result of him being guardy... and Oh is he guardy! He maybe sitting in front of my mother (a soft touch) in the hope of getting a piece of whatever she's eating (I did tell her not to but she has early dementia), and is definitely guarding his chance of getting something, by curling his lip at Rue.

    But as long as he is this articulate, there is no problem.

    When Mum and Sister comment on his behaviour, I try to get them to see that he said "Bugger Off!" and Rue said, "Ok then, no worries". It would only be a REAL problem if Rue turned round one day, put her hands on her hips, and said: "No! Make me!"

    But that ain't going to happen.... It's no different from me telling my elderly mother that I'd rather she didn't eat that cream cake as she is meant to be watching her cholesterol. She invariably says, 'OK' .... It's only an issue if she decided to turn it into a fight.
     
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  7. RussellTerror

    RussellTerror PetForums Newbie

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    I still don't understand one thing our Chewie (a Yorkie) is doing. Sometimes he's just doing a strange roaring sound like "raaauur?" sounding like question which is enhanced by him moving his to one side. It makes me feel like he's trying to say "What? I don't understand!"
     
  8. leashedForLife

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    NOTE that "dominance aggression" is currently referred to as CONFLICTED or OWNER-Directed
    Aggro; it occurs when someone, typically the owner or a person who lives with the dog, prevents access
    to something, pushes the dog away from ___ , grooms the dog, removes the dog, restrains the dog, etc.
    The dog is CONFLICTED - & air-snaps, bites, growls & stiffens, or otherwise exhibits a distinct warning.

    Overall on "dominance" as a destructive paradigm:
    Part I: (2 pages)
    Dumbed down by dominance, Part 1 - DVM

    Part II: (3 pages)
    Dumbed down by dominance, Part 2: Change your dominant thinking - DVM

    teaching deference:
    Teaching your aggressive dog deferential behavior

    k9 aggro, Part 1:
    Canine Aggression - Part 1

    k9 aggression, Part 2:
    Canine Aggression - Part 2

    * the ASPCA's virtual-behaviorist -
    Aggression in Dogs | ASPCA
    a huge database of articles.

    * an excerpt re ages & stages:
    Dog Owner's Guide: Canine Aggression - brackets indicate my editing.

    this phrase is IMO & IME of over-25-years, pure manure.
    the article as a whole contains some outdated info - dominance-aggro is now generally referred to as
    owner-directed or conflicted-aggro; pack-theory was disproved over 20-years ago; linear hierarchy
    does not develop in dogs, etc.
     
  9. leashedForLife

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    Free ON-LINE resources include Karen Overall, DVM -
    a vet-behaviorist & member of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviorists.
    HHS: Veterinary Medicine Community Client Instructions -- Protocol for Teaching Your Dog to Uncouple Departures and Departure Cues
    Disassociating departure cues, etc


    DS / CC for events that occur near the door:
    HHS: Veterinary Medicine Community Client Instructions -- Protocol for Desensitization and Counterconditioning to Noises and Activities That Occur by the Door
     
  10. RioDa

    RioDa PetForums Junior

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    My rottweiler often turns her head away if I'm talking to her or go near her. In the past she has also walked away from me (literally). Why is this? I've heard the turning head away as a 'submissive behaviour' and 'accepting me as the leader' or something but still I want her to feel comfortable and not just walk away :)? You can see an example of this actually in my avatar photo I think it's called.
     
  11. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    Have you had her since she was a pup, or was she a rescue? I would take the turning away of the head as an appeasement signal but I don't know about the walking away. L4L will know more when she comes back on. Neither of these signs mean she accepts you as her leader, though. You are just the mug who pays for her keep and always will be:D

    Joking aside, dogs do not look for leaders, they look for the person who is giving them the comforts in life.
     
  12. RioDa

    RioDa PetForums Junior

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    Had her since she was a pup. Also if it's an appeasement signal is there anything I can do to reduce the anxiety because she does it often?

    and okay thank you and I don't really look for being a leader anyway, it's just what I've been told, but yeah thank you :D
     
  13. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    Have a look here http://www.petforums.co.uk/dog-chat/328872-i-love-body-language-dictionary.html

    Link leads to an interesting cartoonish chart on different signals. Turning the head away, according to that, means "peace" as I thought while walking away means "respect". I would have thought it was just the opposite myself!

    Some dogs do naturally turn their heads away, give the peace signal, for no real reason. I don't think it means she fears you or anything of that nature but it could be, and remember L4L is the expert not me, being a rottweiler she has had a few people on her walks who have shown fear so it is what she expects. She is telling them she is nothing to be scared of.
     
  14. RioDa

    RioDa PetForums Junior

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    Thank you that helps alot:D
     
  15. leashedForLife

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    Thanks, NewfMum, for covering for me...
    i spent the day sick in bed, it's 8-PM local time, & i didn't get up until 6-pm for anything except bathroom trips;
    Norwalk virus is the suspected culprit, i had noisy gurgling-gut & severe diarrhea. :eek: Blecchhh!...
    feeling much better, now. :thumbsup:

    BTW, i wouldn't rate myself as 'expert', yet - i'm good at reading individual dogs in real life,
    & i truly believe that it's saved me from many a bite, too, but i hope to get even better at it.
    It's very nice, tho, to hear Newfie'sMum say i'm an expert, as i appreciate her long-time knowledge, too.
    Compliments are always nice, but don't U find that compliments from ppl we ourselves look up to are best
    of all?... :blush: :yesnod: I do!


    re the look-away gesture:
    Yes, i'd say it's either, "i'm a bit worried, calm down / step back", OR... "i'm not a threat, U can relax".

    which one depends on the context, & the dog - if she's had her tail stubbed, it's harder to read her body-parl,
    U have to look carefully for signs of contraction / shrinking, lowered head & ears, nose down / boss forward,
    butt tucked under, etc. Such contraction would be a tip-off that she's anxious & appeasing; then i'd think
    she's signaling, "back off, please - U're scaring me".

    If OTOH she's upright & open, but turns her head & gaze away, she's encouraging someone else
    [another dog, a person, ___ ] to come closer, that she's not a threat or aggressive, she wants to
    interact with them.

    Very few postural or body-parl signals can be read alone - most are a word in a larger vocabulary,
    just as a wagging tail is not ALWAYS "happy & sociable" --- it can also be a highly-aroused dog who's
    busily chewing the H*** out of someone at their front-end, whilst wagging their own butt off, at the other. :eek:
    .
    .
     
    newfiesmum likes this.
  16. Poochface

    Poochface PetForums Newbie

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    Hi,
    Can anyone recommend a behaviourist for my friend's Thai ridgeback she lives in Ipswich

    Best wishes
    Pam
     
  17. MerlinsMum

    MerlinsMum PetForums VIP

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    Karen Clynes - Walkies & Talkies - she is based in Wiltshire, however she owns three Thai Ridgebacks herself, all rescues which came to her with issues, so she is probably the only trainer/behaviourist in the UK with specialist TR knowledge. She would be well placed to advise on suitably experienced trainers near Ipswich, if she couldn't help out herself.
     
  18. leashedForLife

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  19. Rahoulb

    Rahoulb PetForums Member

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    Hi

    Does anyone have a copy of the chart in the link? I just get a "content not found" when I try to access it?
     
  20. leashedForLife

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    the LINK above goes to a thread on PF-uk, where they discussed Lili Chin's drawings.

    Here's a direct link:
    Dog Training-related Drawings |
    .
    .
     
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