"Not so - calming signal" from Kira. - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 10-12-2012, 11:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default "Not so - calming signal" from Kira.

I hate to raise topics like this, but I feel the need to learn more about this.

As many of you know, Kira is not good with other dogs. She has a timid personality, and apparently other dogs pick up on this, and become aggressive.
For that reason, I've made it my business to keep her away from loose dogs.

As you can see in my many videos, we're always alone with her, and she's fine.

Yesterday, I was walking ON LEASH on a local street. People were walking in both directions, and Kira was walking beautifully. She paid no attention to anyone, just walked by my side.

As we passed another Golden retriever (also on leash), the Golden just burst out into a rage at Kira. Kira paid no attention, and we just kept walking.
The owner stopped about 20 feet behind me, and looked at me to apologize. She said that her dog NEVER does this. I just chuckled under my breath.

Besides the incidents we know about, this has happened on more than just a few occasions.

Has anyone ever experienced having a dog, that simply invites aggression from other dogs?

There has to be some sort of "canine signal" going on here.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have seen it with Border Collies as they tend to stare at other dogs and the contrast of the blue eyes accentuates it. When I had a reactive dog I mentioned to other people when their dog was staring at mine as it is likely to get their dog attacked.

It was a trigger for my dog and my responsibility to manage but people should know when their dogs shoot off signals to other dogs. I usually sit my dogs when a rude dog approaches (even when a charging dog came at us) and put myself between my dog and the approaching dog. Sitting is a calming signal.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Of course, I have no videos to document the signal, but is there a chance that Kira is giving a certain look to these dogs? Her eyes are a dark color, and unlikely to attract attention like a BC.

She has to be inviting this, somehow, some way. I don't think it's pure coincidence.

She's very alert to her surroundings, and always looking around. Always perky. Could her perkiness, be setting off other dogs?

It's crazy.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Is there anyway you could get your wife to film you while you walk with Kira? Maybe someone could give you some input from seeing it. Sometimes you, as the handler doesn't notice the subtle signals because you're busy walking. Not saying you aren't paying attention but I know it always helps me to have another set of eyes on the situation...
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Good suggestion on video. What is her body carraige? Ears up tail up or both laid back? Of course it could be there are so many reactive dogs that it is ANY dog that sets them off.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jocoyn View Post
Good suggestion on video. What is her body carraige? Ears up tail up or both laid back? Of course it could be there are so many reactive dogs that it is ANY dog that sets them off.
If I have to guess (off my memory), I'd say that her ears are up. Always up.
Her tail is relaxed. The sight of anything stimulating, her tail curls upward. This usually happens with smaller dogs, or anything that could be "prey". I've picked up on this.
Larger dogs, get a different response. She's been attacked by large dogs, and her body language is more reserved. I see a difference. Not as confident, cocky. But more neutral, if anything.

If you recall, she would tend to go into "flight mode" at the first sign of a larger, perceived threat.
On leash, I don't get this. She's neutral. I could walk into Petco, and she would not pay much attention to another dog.
If the other dog looks at her, the OTHER dog would be reactive.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jocoyn View Post
I have seen it with Border Collies as they tend to stare at other dogs and the contrast of the blue eyes accentuates it.
I"m so glad you said this. I swear Jax reacts more to blue eyed dogs but thought I was nuts!
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have actually heard that THIS may be the reason some dogs who have not been socialized to dark skinned people might react agressively (eyes and teeth / contrast)
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jocoyn View Post
I have actually heard that THIS may be the reason some dogs who have not been socialized to dark skinned people might react agressively (eyes and teeth / contrast)
Interesting. I had a dog like that a long time ago. Anytime any of our darker skinned friends would come over we would have to lock him up. His hackles would go up and he would start growling.
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I wonder if it has anything to do with scent.

Maybe they smell something from her that sets them off?
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