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Old 07-09-2014, 11:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dog Reacting to the Unexpected

Today I was just telling a story of my late dog, Astro, and how one time I believe that he was acting pretty defensive. Whether it was just fearfulness or he was just being naturally defensive I am not sure, but at the time it was comical and when I remember it I smile anyway.

The story is is that we had a routine where my dog and I would walk to the stables on our farm. He was off leash. There's this ditch where the run off water flows to the dam and on top of the ditch one day the tractor bucket was left there. It never used to be there before. When Astro saw it he froze, the fur on his back rose a little, and he uttered a short deep, gruff bark, then he charged toward the bucket to investigate. I just kept walking, keeping a close eye on him, and yes, I did giggle a bit. As soon as he reached it and sniffed it he relaxed and pranced back to me, all satisfied with himself. He was a couple of months short from being two years old.

So was he being fearful and nervy, or was he just reacting naturally to something that was different to his environment/routine?

I recovered some photos of him but it's not great quality, sorry!
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like a pretty average reaction - the fact that he noticed, went to investigate without hesitation, and relaxed once he figured out the tractor bucket was nothing to worry about shows a pretty well balanced, clear-headed, dog.

Nervy/fearful would be freezing in place and refusing to move forward. Or running up to the bucket all hackles and teeth, barking his head fool off, growling at the bucket, lunging at it but never really getting too close, keeping up the defensive barking even though the bucket is completely inanimate (and by now, he should have figured out what the big object was, and relaxed).

So a good reaction for seeing something new in a completely unexpected setting.

A really strong nerved reaction would have been becoming alert, and casually trotting up to the bucket to check it out, or carrying on as normal, but occasionally looking at the bucket until he was close enough to recognize the object and then ignoring it.

But his reaction was not a bad one, probably pretty average.

PS: hope your dog liked swimming, otherwise might have been a challenge to clean him up from that last pic!
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Old 07-09-2014, 01:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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When i put up my christmas tree tyson stormed in the living room and gave it a few good barks, then he backed off and acted nervous about it until he got over himself.


He is "nervy" tho about certain things,
I think castelmaid is right.
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah, I didn't think he was being too nervy. But good to hear that it was a normal reaction. It's just funny how some people think a dog's action is brave and then another group think it's being all timid and scared. It's interesting.

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PS: hope your dog liked swimming, otherwise might have been a challenge to clean him up from that last pic!
It's because he loved swimming that he ended up like that! I had to wash him out twice to get out the stains. But yeah, he never did like the water when he was young but the more I took him out the more he took to the water. But when he was over a year old it was very rare when he did not hop in the dam or the water troth or lied down in a puddle.
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I will agree here, and just add that I'd prefer the dog do less of a charge and more of just a cautious approach, but that is just personal preference. He sounds like a sturdy dog to say the least. And the pic of a clean Astro peering over his shoulder is a perfect capture. I'm a sable lover through and through, but that is an absolutely beautiful GSD.
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Suspicion. Seger did thinks like this as a puppy to new things. Bags of garbage, big trucks, stump in the woods, etc.
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApselBear View Post
He sounds like a sturdy dog to say the least. And the pic of a clean Astro peering over his shoulder is a perfect capture. I'm a sable lover through and through, but that is an absolutely beautiful GSD.
Thank you. He was a very beautiful dog. I love the sables too, so I am thrilled that I may be getting one soon! I just love how their coat changes with age. White is beautiful too, but it never changes, unless of course, if they goes rolling in the mud!
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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dog was aware and recognized something out of place in his environment , abnormal in his familiar routine . His reaction may , (probably not) have been the same , if he had been walking along a lane-way not "his" environment and seen the bucket which would have been part of the background.
He made noise to see what reaction this "thing" would have, charge at him or retreat . When nothing happened he went to have a closer look . Wasn't worried or phased by it.

This is the sort of experience a dog would be tested with in the Swedish mentality tests.

Sounds like a good dog.
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Old 07-12-2014, 09:34 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
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dog was aware and recognized something out of place in his environment , abnormal in his familiar routine . His reaction may , (probably not) have been the same , if he had been walking along a lane-way not "his" environment and seen the bucket which would have been part of the background.
He made noise to see what reaction this "thing" would have, charge at him or retreat . When nothing happened he went to have a closer look . Wasn't worried or phased by it.

This is the sort of experience a dog would be tested with in the Swedish mentality tests.

Sounds like a good dog.
Thanks for the insight, Carmspack. I think he was a pretty balanced dog, compared to some of the ones that I have grown up with. Most of the sheep dogs seemed to be pretty balanced, but most of the little house dogs were just a bit crazy, they barked wildly at everything and were so people/toy/food possessive and disliked strangers. Maybe it's a little dog thing?

I am interested on how these Swedish mentality tests work.
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Old 07-12-2014, 10:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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