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Ears and Tails - Meaning?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Sitmus, Aug 15, 2009.


  1. Sitmus

    Sitmus PetForums Member

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    As we all know, the ears and tail of a dog can tell how their feeling.


    Can you tell me what Sunny is feeling here?

    This was taken from my camera phone whilst I was walking him. Sorry if you find them bad pictures, I had to take them from behind because he walks behind me. :p



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    Thank you. :)
     
  2. shazalhasa

    shazalhasa PetForums VIP

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    It's a bit hard to tell really but the ears make me wonder if he was feeling a bit stressed or fearful. The tail is neither here not there really, although if the tail is usually held up high then again, I'd have said stressed or fearful but only because of the combination with the ears.

    Is it a quiz btw ? lol
     
  3. PoisonGirl

    PoisonGirl Banned

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    Dixie carries her ears and tail exactly like that when she is walking. Her tail like that means she is concentrating. It always goes like that when she is asked to do something she needs to concentrate on, like ''stay'' or ''heel''.
    Her ears she carries like that when she is either being told off, or listening. So on walks, both. She is listening for me to tell her it's ''ok'' to go, and I tell her off for walking ahead.

    x
     
  4. Sitmus

    Sitmus PetForums Member

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    Not a quiz or anything.

    I wouldn't know why he would feed stressed? :S I do talk to him when I walk him though.
     
  5. Kinjilabs

    Kinjilabs PetForums VIP

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    Looks a bit worried to me?
     
  6. MerlinsMum

    MerlinsMum PetForums VIP

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    Yep there's something he's not quite all right about, suggested by the ears and his low-ish head carriage... The eyes said so too. Tail is at neutral position, which to me suggests there's no direct challenge, but he looks very much ill-at-ease for some reason. His head was also moving a bit, like he was nervously watching for something out of the corner of his eye?
     
    #6 MerlinsMum, Aug 15, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  7. gesic

    gesic PetForums VIP

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    probs worried as u r snapping pics of him:confused: thinking OMG jeremy beadle gonna pop out any min, which would worry me to as he is dead:eek:
    Was someone walking behind u at that point as direction of ears would make me think he is listening to someone coming up behind.
     
  8. MerlinsMum

    MerlinsMum PetForums VIP

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    No, look at the ears more closely... they are folded back and down, as if the dog is actually trying to shut out something. His head would have been low and nervously looking from side to side, I think - I've seen this in my own dog when he is really uncomfortable about something. Tail is at half-mast - ready to clamp between the legs if it gets too bad OR go up and stiff and defensive at any moment.

    The photos don't show it, but I suspect he would be showing a lot of eye-white at this point. This is a dog that's nervous about something. He's out of his comfort zone for some reason but not feeling confident to get defensive.
     
    #8 MerlinsMum, Aug 15, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  9. Sitmus

    Sitmus PetForums Member

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    No one was there.

    I don't understand why he'd be fearfull, worried or stressed.

    When I walk him, he always behaves. Always walkes behind me. Always does as he's told, although he does tend to not listen when he wants to sniff something lol.

    He never barks or growls at other dogs, even dogs that are in their garden and go upto the gate barking their head off, Sunny couldn't care less and just continues to walk, which I praise him for.

    I don't see why it could be like this? When I kick a ball about for him, he sometimes rolls onto his back where he wants me to scratch and rub his belly. And dog's only do that when they're happy and calm, or so everyone tells me.

    Could it be something to do with his past though? In the first few weeks of his life he was kicked down the stairs, ran over on his hind legs, had his ears pulled on and probably hit once or twice. All of which was not treated by a vet. But luckily the Blue Cross took him in.

    He was in the blue cross for 18 months! And in the first few weeks/months there he had a lot of vet care, especially around his front paw where it was injured from when he was kicked down the stairs.

    It could be because of that, his past.

    What should I do? :(
    Any suggestions on what I should do?
     
  10. sequeena

    sequeena PetForums VIP

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    Sky's ears are like that sometimes when we're walking. I think it's when she's not concentrating, as soon as she spots something the trademark GSD ears are up :p

    Sometimes the wind knocks her ears down too ;)
     
  11. MerlinsMum

    MerlinsMum PetForums VIP

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    Ah well, I guess if you are a CM disciple, you might say he was being calm submissive?? LOL Really hoping this doesn't ignite anything, but I've noticed CM doesn't ever seem to acknowledge that dogs can be - and are - scared?
    OK I am running for my bunker now.
     
  12. shazalhasa

    shazalhasa PetForums VIP

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    With him having gone through so much, it's easy for new owner (you) to feel sorry for him and baby him. Don't. You will be rewarding his nervous frame of mind. Just treat him as any other dog with no bad past, help him to move forward and away from it all.
     
  13. MerlinsMum

    MerlinsMum PetForums VIP

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    TBH and fair, I didn't know anything about the past of the dog in the pics. :D I judged him fairly on what I saw as I was asked, and am willing to be corrected if I got anything wrong! :D I have seen the same if not similar language from my own dog. I'm happy to be corrected if I've misunderstood... a dog is a dog. One that is uncomfortable for any reason gives the same signals as one that's had a bad past and is also ill at ease. Compared to us they have a limited repertoire of language.:)
     
  14. Sitmus

    Sitmus PetForums Member

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    Don't worry, I don't do that. :p I admit I did that in the first few weeks of having him, but he was my first dog. :p

    And I am not really a follower of Ceaser. :) I just like to watch the shows. :p

    And I don't wish to discredit everything you all have said, but I don't think it is because he is scared. I just think that's the way german shepards cross collies have them, note these 2 GSD X Collies;

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    I don't think he'd have those ears if we was out on a field, I call him back to me, and he runs up to me and licks my face. :p
     
  15. MerlinsMum

    MerlinsMum PetForums VIP

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    Cool. Mine is a BC cross too, but not with GSD.

    However BCs are reactive and sensitive, and may well show more of their feelings in their body language than others... again I am willing to be corrected. But reactive and sensitive dogs do - by definition - react more, therefore they will show it. They aren't stolid stable dogs who trundle through life not giving a damn - they pick things up, they are highly aware, they notice. And like people who notice everything, there's payback, in the form of slight neuroticism. If these kind of dogs were human they'd be artists or writers, putting their feelings into creative output, perhaps more in touch with their emotions than most and wearing their hearts and other emotions quite boldly on their sleeves. I feel that means they can thus be very empathic towards people, more so than others, but they won't do well with an owner who isn't empathic in return.

    Oh your last two pics? Would like some others to input too - but when he is there on the lead, those ears-back are looking slightly unsure/defensive - similar to your original pics.

    Second pic, much different. Big smiley mouth, ears not right back, is he waiting for a command? Whoever he's looking at, he likes them and is expecting something.

    PS: what do you think was going on with merlin in the pic on my avatar? Would be interested to see if anyone can 'read' it.
     
    #15 MerlinsMum, Aug 16, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
  16. Sitmus

    Sitmus PetForums Member

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    Sorry for this long reply lol.


    Well, looking at Merlin I'd say he looks happy, panting from exercise and as if he is just relaxing. :p

    And you can see it in my pictures in my opening post, but Sunny is smileing/panting (spelling :S).

    But what would you recommend I do? :)

    I walk him once a day, sometimes twice, sometimes three times. I always take him out to a field and kick his ball for him, which he loves to bits.

    If I go up the shops to buy something, I take him with me, and leave him outside, don't like that personally but I always keep and eye on him, the shopkeepers are nice like that. :) If I go to post a letter or something, I take him then too. And on the way back, I just let him run about in an enclosed field. :)

    One thing I do know for sure is, he does follow me, not the other way around. Sometimes if he doesn't want to get his ball he'll just follow me. He listens to everything I say when I walk him. Sit, he sits. Stay, he stays. Paw, he gives me his paw.

    He's even caught up on a new trick, sort of, on his walks. I'll put my hand down one side of myself and said, 'this side', and he'll walk that side of me. :)


    So, what do you recommend I do? Because I don't know anything else I can do, apart from feeding him. I'll start feeding him then daily (mum or dad feed him before you ask :p).

    And should I make him beg for his food? I usually tend to put his food in his bowl, where he looks at me waiting for the command to eat it, and I do it as soon as he gives me eye contact.


    Another point, he looks at me for all commands. When I go outside with him, he always sits and waits for me to give the command to let him through.

    Sorry for the lengthy reply btw lol.


    What do you recommend I do?
     
  17. Sitmus

    Sitmus PetForums Member

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    More photos from a different angle;

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  18. Oblada

    Oblada Guest

    Sorry did not read the whole thread - but to me he looks simply relaxed and well behaved....
    My dog keeps his ear like that to most of the time (slightly less back but same idea - the exact position will depend on the shape of the ears etc), on walks etc only when he ears a noise, his attention is taken by something or he is playing, will his ears be forward.
    If it was really tensed against his head then id say he is stressed or fearful but his tail is clearly simply low and relaxed and his ears really dont look tensed.

    To me your dog is exactly how it should be on a walk; relaxed and respectful of you as the owner/leader.

    xx
     
    #18 Oblada, Aug 16, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2009
  19. Oblada

    Oblada Guest

    Oh and the last 3 pics clearly show, to me, that the way your dog puts his ears back is just natural, relaxed position for him ..
    So if I were you I would not worry, he seems quite happy :)
     
  20. Sitmus

    Sitmus PetForums Member

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    Thank you very much. :)
     
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