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Old 06-04-2010, 09:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Raising hackles??

How do you get puppy to stop raising hackles at other dogs or even just other dog scent?

She goes to puppy classes, any and every dog event we hear about, we go to a German shepherd dog meetup group, any time we are out walking her in the neighborhood and see the boxer down the road (we know the owners and that dog is friendly) we stop and let them play and we also go to the dog park during the day when there are only a handful of other dogs so she is around them as much as we could possibly be without having another one in the house.

But every time we get to class or get out of the car at the meetup and dogpark her hackles immediately go up and it looks like she'd be aggressive so I can see the other doggy owners looking worried. Now she is NOT aggressive with them at all, completely happy to go play and totally submissive but she still raises her hackles.

So what do I do to get her to stop doing this? Will she outgrow it? She's 19 weeks now and we've been socializing since 10 weeks.

She's an absolute sweetie and just loves everyone but for some reason she raises her hackles but I don't see why as she runs right up and plays with everyone.

Last edited by daniellem; 06-04-2010 at 09:14 AM. Reason: can't spell
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hackles up can indicate excitement rather than aggression. It depends on the rest of her body posture, how are her ears and her tail?

I would probably do the same thing in either case. Moments of high excitement can also be stressful in the body because you get that same rush of adrenaline you would get in a fearful situtation. I would work on getting her focused on you and working around the other dogs as a distraction. And not necessarily letting her play with the other dog until the situation is pretty mellow. Working towards a more calm disposition towards situations with other dogs.
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have had dogs that hackled during play. It means emotions are high sometimes, rather than aggression. I took a male to play with the female in his prospective home the other day, he was thrilled and hackled some from the excitement of the play.

I had a female that often hackled when meeting new dogs. She was not aggressive to themm but easily excited. Calmness in approach can help but since it wasn't an aggressive display, I didn't worry about it so much. You can do some obedience around the other dog or dogs and let the excitement wear off. When we were training around other dogs it never happened. Usually just in an exciting first meeting with others.

Had a silly PetsMart trainer freak out one day in Petsmart when she was meeting a dog. She ran up and grabbed the other dog and reprimanded us for letting dogs meet with "hackles". Oh boy.
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Sigurd hackles all the time when he gets excited, it's like a normal thing for him. I wouldn't say all raised hackles is a sign of aggressive behaviour.

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Old 06-04-2010, 10:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Nellie and Ace both put up hackles when they play or get excited.
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
I have had dogs that hackled during play. It means emotions are high sometimes, rather than aggression. I took a male to play with the female in his prospective home the other day, he was thrilled and hackled some from the excitement of the play.

I had a female that often hackled when meeting new dogs. She was not aggressive to themm but easily excited. Calmness in approach can help but since it wasn't an aggressive display, I didn't worry about it so much. You can do some obedience around the other dog or dogs and let the excitement wear off. When we were training around other dogs it never happened. Usually just in an exciting first meeting with others.

Had a silly PetsMart trainer freak out one day in Petsmart when she was meeting a dog. She ran up and grabbed the other dog and reprimanded us for letting dogs meet with "hackles". Oh boy.
This is more what I'm concerned about, others perception of her doing it. I know she's a calm, happy, loveable puppy but those other dog owners don't and get nervous.

In class while we're working hackles never come up so it must be like you both said and an excitement thing.

We do train around other dogs but still when first meeting hackles up, is this something we can train away? I guess I'm not sure how to teach it?

We don't go into class or dog parks without sit and eye contact so she is still listening but her hackles will still be up I try and wait until they go down to enter but as soon as we're in they go right back up and I don't touch her as our breeder said the touch will tell her she's doing a good thing?
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Lakoda was playing with Kiya this morning and her hackles were up, first time I've really seen her like that. Definately no agression, she was bouncing around playing.
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Fear also. My new puppy barks and hackles with he hears things "go bump" in the dark outside.
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I myself have learned not to be concerned about others too much. If you get too "thing" about some behavior that is the most likely way to have it become more than than the innocuous entity that it is now, IMO.
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My GSD's also do it merely from excitement. My dogs in full blown play in the yard will have their hackles up.
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