The "GSD Stare" what does it mean? - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 12-07-2012, 04:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The meaning depends on very subtle body language cues. It sounds like Anthony's seeing a suspicious, alert dog evaluating whether there is a threat to his owner. OTOH, I had a lovely dog who used to nose her ball at someone's feet, step back a bit, then hunker down and stare intently at the face of the person nearest the ball. It weirded some people out, as it was an intense stare. The ball was Serious Business to her, not play. All it meant was, "Throw my ball." My husband used to say she was practicing using her Jedi mind powers: "You will throw my ball now."
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Growing up in Hawai'i, that was called "the stink eye". Scarlett does it to people and if she detects they are nervous because of it, she will give them that big, loud, meant-to-scare-you, Bark. She gives squirrels a different stare. I have seen her stare down a man and NOT bark at him...just never took her cold, icy stare off of him. It was a penetrating, don't-make-a-sudden-move-or-I-will-take-you-to-task kind of stare. She definitely displays different body language depending on the stare.

She is a very good communicator IF you can read her body language with the stare. Most of the time she is totally happy go lucky.
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Mine doesn't make a peep or move with her stare downs. I feel like she knows she is intimadating???? And she doesn't do it to all people. She definitely picks and chooses, but I'd have to agree with who she has given the stare downs too.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:11 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
I feel like she knows she is intimadating??
Our last GSD would actually stop people he didn't know at the door, bump their arm with his nose, then wait there in front of them until we moved him or put him up.
Never bit, but did like to intimidate people that way.
Like..."go ahead, make my day".

I think it's the natural suspicion this breed is supposed to have?
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:12 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Onyx does the classic border collie herding stare, you can see her doing it in my profile photo. She'll slowly crouch, move forward as she's staring.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:15 PM   #16 (permalink)
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My personal experience with the stare downs can mean different things and the entire body posture has to be included. Shadow was the top dog in our pack and she would give Tori "the look". Her mouth was closed, tall stiff body posture, tail straight up and some times a low growl was made. Eventually this would lead her becoming aggressive and challenge Tori which was not acceptable behavior.

Now we have Kaylee who does a lot of staring for different reasons. The most common stares are alert, curious, friendly, playful, and submissive. Her body language will tell me what mode she is in.

When she was younger there were many times on the walk when she displayed anxious & unsure behavior around different objects. I made an effort to show her whatever she was unsure about is no big deal and as we worked she became alert and curious as we faced it.

It took me a while to read my dogs but the way they communicate is interesting.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:50 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Hmmmm. I didn't realize so many experienced the stare. Interesting

I'm gonna try the yawn / calming signal.

I absolutely love this breed. .





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Old 12-07-2012, 07:01 PM   #18 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=KayleeGSD;2649895]

When she was younger there were many times on the walk when she displayed anxious & unsure behavior around different objects. I made an effort to show her whatever she was unsure about is no big deal and as we worked she became alert and curious as we faced it.

[QUOTE]

I forgot about the "OMG, what is THAT?" stare. Inflatable lawn ornaments and anything that resemebles a ghost gets *that* stare. Scarlett is really anxious around "ghosts" for some reason. We always allow her to approach the "ghost" and see that it it OK...otherwise our walks for the rest of the season are unfun. Once she understands that the "ghost" isn't scary, she is OK. Unfortunately, every year, we have to reintroduce the same "ghosts" to her. It's a dog thing. (Plastic bags blowing in the wind, brick mailboxes covered with plastic sheeting, scarecrows...those all qualify as "ghosts".) :/ Goofy GSD.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:31 PM   #19 (permalink)
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[quote=Scarlettsmom;2649914][QUOTE=KayleeGSD;2649895]

When she was younger there were many times on the walk when she displayed anxious & unsure behavior around different objects. I made an effort to show her whatever she was unsure about is no big deal and as we worked she became alert and curious as we faced it.

Quote:

I forgot about the "OMG, what is THAT?" stare. Inflatable lawn ornaments and anything that resemebles a ghost gets *that* stare. Scarlett is really anxious around "ghosts" for some reason. We always allow her to approach the "ghost" and see that it it OK...otherwise our walks for the rest of the season are unfun. Once she understands that the "ghost" isn't scary, she is OK. Unfortunately, every year, we have to reintroduce the same "ghosts" to her. It's a dog thing. (Plastic bags blowing in the wind, brick mailboxes covered with plastic sheeting, scarecrows...those all qualify as "ghosts".) :/ Goofy GSD.
LOL! I swear the best incident was during leash training/observation in the town of Milton, DE we had to deal with the evil flag stores. They had a bunch of flags hanging outside making noises. The wind was blowing and she jumped back with the OMG look and was unsure with a slight whine and a quick bark. During incidents like this I remain calm and unemotional. I do not want to influence or project anything to her except calm, confident, and this is no big deal come check it out with me.

I had her sit and observe and we slowly made our way closer to the flags. The whole exercise took nearly 30 minutes but I did not want to overwhelm her. She was about 4 ft from the flag and all eyes were on me. I went up to the flag touched it and let it go and I kept doing it until she approached to investigate. Then she was curious sniffed it and understood it was not a threat or anything to be fearful of. We went on through the town and ran into another store with flags hanging out. I did the same exercise but it went much faster. She went up checked it out and was fine with it.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:33 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Check this article out about yawning. It is a interesting read.

What Your Dog's Yawn Really Means | PEDIGREE®
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