Body Language Variation..what does it mean??

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!


Blame the deed,- NOT the Breed
Barked: Tue Apr 23, '13 7:57pm PST 
Hey everybody I have recently moved into a new neighborhood a few months back right before winter. Since the weather is warming up we have been going for more walks/jogs in the neighborhood. Marley and I are very surprised by the amount of people walking around here including many dogs that live here. In our old neighborhood their were seldom anybody walking their dogs except for the few familiar faces. Anyhow I am somewhat perplexed by Marley's behavior. She has been socialized with other dogs since she was a puppy. What's interesting is her language to other dogs on the leash.

Example 1: Border Collie..I was tying my shoes and Marley was sitting next to me. As the collie neared us. Marley was watching and alert but sitting. As soon as the collie walked by. Marley had a very happy expression but lunging and making these whiny throaty bark. Only 3 seconds later She looked at me with a happy expression and calm down without me saying anything.

Example 2: Puggle.. We were walking towards a house with a tethered dog. She was walking quick, stiffed and alert but had an open mouth gesture. happy expression. As soon as we passed she did the shake off and walked calmly and at my pace.

Example 3: Golden lab: She did stand rigid and stared. As the lab passed. Marley dropped to the ground and then lunged, growling. But she kept dropping to the ground until the lab and owner passed us. Only at the base of her tail and part of her neck the hackles were up.

I wanted to know what some of you think? I do believe she has some leash reactivity, so I am currently teaching her how to be calm. She has met some new dogs recently off leash she is fine with. Does anybody's dog goes through this mixture of emotions/ body language?

My name is- Gaelic for- "Gentle"
Barked: Tue Apr 23, '13 9:03pm PST 
Oh yes...my dog does this too and when you figure it all out I want to know the answer!laugh out loud Sometimes my dog is just fine and smells the other dog, especially if the dog is the same size as her. When it comes to bigger dogs mostly she stands on her hind legs and barks insanely. I don't think it is a mean bark but it is embarrassing. Once she was smelling and sniffing another small dog and the dog growled at her and she ran behind me. I never know how she is going to react when we are on walks. If I see a dog a distance away sometimes I just turn around to avoid a scene...but it is sad to me that she reacts like this. She has been around other dogs, big and small at a doggy daycare since we got her as a small puppy. They say she does fine although I have to admit I haven't witnessed her there as the pen they have the dogs in is at the back of the facility and they bring her out when I go to pick her up. I do trust the lady though that runs it. I would love to get her to be accepting of all the other dogs we meet on walks. I have read where they talk about their threshold and how you need to find out where that is and slowly increase the distance. Well heck....the minute she sees a bigger dog she is going crazy...whether when we go around a corner or if she spots one a block away. I hope you find some answers because it sure would help me too!
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Tue Apr 23, '13 9:21pm PST 
Charlie does this and is quite friendly with other dogs. He lunges, barks, sometimes growls, and even howls at times. His fur will stand up on his back, and he'll LOOK aggressive to people who don't know canine body language. However, with Charlie, it is ALL excitement. "OMG, I wanna meet that dog! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE! LET ME GOOO SEEEE." kind of thing. Frustration at not being able to just GO, and excitement that there's another dog that he has the potential to make buddies with. Really not too big of a deal. It's definitely something to work on to achieve a more calm response because it can scare people who don't know the dog, and it can be aggravating to walk a dog that reacts like that at times, but if Marley is known to be very friendly with other dogs, I wouldn't be tooooo worried about it. Leash reactivity isn't all that uncommon. Many dogs do better without them.


Mischief is my- middle name
Barked: Wed Apr 24, '13 6:23pm PST 
Ace is another that pulls and lunges to try to meet other dogs when she's on leash, but it's all friendly. I'm pretty confident she was well socialized during the three months she spent with a rescue, between 4-7 months old. Once we've run across the same pup a few times, she's much calmer seeing them down the road or across the street on-leash. It's the people that cross the street and she never gets to sniff the other dog that she continues to act up when she sees them.

Blame the deed,- NOT the Breed
Barked: Thu Apr 25, '13 7:03pm PST 
She's not 100% perfect with other dogs. I usually just scope out the unleashed dogs at our local park before I allow her off. If one dog happens to be too frisky and overbearing we either leave or avoid the dog. She was socialized as a puppy but its not like she met a 100 dogs in a month time frame. I have alot of friends with dogs and she's fine with them. She's is just weird when it comes communicating with other dogs.

Im sure we can all agree that the lunging and the noise our dogs makes is quite embarrassing

The Muddy- Princess
Barked: Fri Apr 26, '13 6:29am PST 
One thing I noticed is that she seemed to be O.K. with smaller dogs and fearful of a larger dog, a not unheard of situation. I recommend training and more training. Teach her to watch you when you are passing other dogs, it will eliminate her reactions and looks sooooo impressive!