Snorting as dominance?! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-30-2014, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Question Snorting as dominance?!

We have a male 8 month old white gsd and he is absolutely wonderful! However, recently he has begun a strange habit of "snorting" or "snuffling" when he goes outside while raising his hackles. He's never done this before and I just want to be sure whether this is something I should worry about or not. We know that they can be an aggressive breed but we also want to nip any behavior that is too aggressive in the bud. Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-30-2014, 08:01 PM
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Sounds like he is scenting something and becoming excited. Raised hackles do not always mean aggression. It can mean excitement, even playful - depends on the context of the situation.

How is his training coming along? Have you hit your 2nd or 3rd class yet? If this is scenting he is doing, you may want to look into nosework or tracking - put his nose to work and help him burn some energy.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-01-2014, 08:48 AM
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Definitely scenting something - mine will do this too, after the neighbor's cat's been roaming in our yard. Be careful he doesn't have the opportunity to corner any animals that might be out there. I can't let my dog out in my back yard at night unless I turn on some lights and make a bunch of noise first, because of all the raccoons that prowl around here.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-01-2014, 11:23 AM
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My dog does this and it usually includes a little deep bark too, I agree it could be excitement of catching a whiff of something that is interesting outside.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-01-2014, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by WhiteGSMommy View Post
, recently he has begun a strange habit of "snorting" or "snuffling" when he goes outside while raising his hackles.
Next time that happens, don't correct or say anything. Allow him to progress in the behavior. See if he attempts to follow the scent. He could just be showing bravado and not attempt to locate the source of the scent.

If he is showing rudeness when he goes out - like plowing through you, ignoring commands, posturing towards any other animals, then it is more behaviorial.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-01-2014, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! This has helped relieve some minor anxiety, it really is a learning experience with larger dogs
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