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Old 02-13-2014, 06:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Does this dog look nervous?

I am new to learning dog behavior and signals. This poster posted this on youtube to show his dogs are okay around children. His dogs are trained in protection. However when my dog would lick his lips around children that are running around my trainer said he was anxious or nervous. Am I right to think this dog is giving off nervous energy? Why wouldnt a professional see this? Or am I wrong and there are other body signals showing this dog is okay and fine with whats going on Id like to know so I can assess my dogs anxiety better.

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Old 02-13-2014, 06:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It looks to me like a dog being "proofed" on the down stay, and he's in conflict, but he's doing his darnedest to obey the command under heavy distraction.
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Freestep View Post
It looks to me like a dog being "proofed" on the down stay, and he's in conflict, but he's doing his darnedest to obey the command under heavy distraction.
Good to know. So not all lip licking means anxiety. It can also mean he wants to get up and play but working on controlling his stay command.
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thats not necessarily a reaction to children. It could be response to the methods used to train the dog to maintain the down under distraction. We have a sport dog here that was knocked around by ecollar a year ago before he was brought back while training basic positions and he still licks lips a lot out of nervousness. Especially when put into working mode for those positions.

Anyway you are right the dog is under stress.
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes, the dog is stressed and is throwing off calming signals like crazy - can't say if the stress is from being just a generally anxious dog, or if it is because he has been trained with heavy compulsion in the down/stay, or because the kids are allowed to jump on the dog and maul the dog, and the dog has been punished for reacting to the kids - could be a number of reasons.

From this video, I can't tell what the dog's base temperament is like, or what the poster means when he says the dog is protection trained. The dog looks very young still - like maybe a year old? What I see is a young dog asked to do something that makes him stressed (hold the down) - either because of the training he received associated the command with stress, or the unpredictable nature of the kids is causing him stress (I think both factors are at play here).

This is not a video that I would be posting on you tube and bragging about how solid my dog is.
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Based on the responses given...I have a question....what are you shooting for in this situation as far as the dog's bodyspeak? I do not disagree with the observations made as I sense the dog is really "trying"....nothing wrong with that....could be new to this particular game amongst many things.


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Old 02-13-2014, 06:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Based on the responses given...I have a question....what are you shooting for in this situation as far as the dog's bodyspeak? I do not disagree with the observations made as I sense the dog is really "trying"....nothing wrong with that....could be new to this particular game amongst many things.


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My dog was showing the same signs in a park we train at mostly licking lips (just not as much as this dog) with Kids running around playing etc behind him. He has been around children and does really well with them. Trainer said to pay more attention to his signs that hes nervous. I am researching signals of anxious dogs. yet when I came across this video the comments on you tube said they dont see any signs of nervousness. From what im learning it is, so Im asking if there are other signs that this dog is giving off that means the lip licking is not anxiety or I am seeing it right that it is.
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I definitely see anxiety. Not only is he licking his lips, but turning his head away in avoidance.

I also wish the owner knew how much dogs hate being patted on top of the head. Kids should not be doing that.

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Old 02-13-2014, 07:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You are seeing it right. The dog is licking his lips, and the dog is looking away, and avoiding. In 52 seconds, I can't be sure the dog is stressed because the kids are rough-housing, or because it has to maintain its down stay (definitely looks compelled to stay in a DOWN position). But the stress is definitely there.
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Msmaria View Post
My dog was showing the same signs in a park we train at mostly licking lips (just not as much as this dog) with Kids running around playing etc behind him. He has been around children and does really well with them. Trainer said to pay more attention to his signs that hes nervous. I am researching signals of anxious dogs. yet when I came across this video the comments on you tube said they dont see any signs of nervousness. From what im learning it is, so Im asking if there are other signs that this dog is giving off that means the lip licking is not anxiety or I am seeing it right that it is.
Oh.... I am not a learned individual in that department....but trying to become more in tune with what you ask of, as well. I didn't even know licking lips was a sign of nervousness or anxiety of some sorts.....so thanks for mentioning it in your original post with video. Wish I could give you a better analysis....but I do see the dog's eye contact basically one of two directions....one looking at the running fun loving children ...and the dog's look to me says..."they do call me a Shepherd....but I will repress this innate attribute I am known for" equals struggle or "conflict"....and then the other direction the dog looks to many times and at these times the dog makes other body changes ( subtly )...the dog's eyes say to me...in this direction is the master/command giver/human...and dog knows he is to obey and perform as trained...and eventually she/he will release me...but I sure hate waiting.....equals struggle. So, I see "struggle" being the overriding theme.

I have no idea how they came to get the dog to behave as such....I would hope it was in method which works successfully and perhaps the dog is very new at this and this is one of his first proofing attempts.

This all in my own opinion ....which is rather limited....but always looking to learn.

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