German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,804 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Last few days, other dogs have been lunging at Kira, as we walk on by. Kira's usually on my left, and the other dog could either be walking with it's owner, or we may be passing the enclosed dog run.

Yesterday, I was walking the usual walk, and someone passes with a Rottie. All seemed well, when all of a sudden the Rottie went nuts towards Kira. Kira did nothing, but keep looking ahead, and made like nothing happened.
About a half hour later, I see the person and the Rottie again, and we get the same reaction. we both stop about 20 feet apart, and the woman tells me that on both occasions, Kira flickered a little lip as we passed. Apparently, this is enough to bring out the aggression in other dogs, and was wondering if this has been her problem from early on? I've always wondered why she seems to have a bullseye on her back. She might very well be the instigator.

Anyway, I tell my wife what happened, and she tells me that she was walking with her friend and her GSD a few days ago, and that owner caught Kira "flicking her lip", while on a casual walk. At that point, they were already walking for quite some time. The other GSD obviously didn't like it either.

Why the lip flicking? Is this her way of expressing fear? She doesn't seem nervous passing other dogs. She's not reactive, doesn't bark at them, and would lay next to me, if I chose to talk to a dog owner.

All she does, is sneak in a lip snarl, and it could set off the other dog at any given time.

Another reason why this dog will never see a dog park. I can see her getting herself in big trouble.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,124 Posts
My boy is very friendly...but he will react aggressively if the other dog shows ANY type of aggressive behavior. I've seen him flip a switch in .2 of a second when the other dog growls or shows a tooth. I really wish you had a training club near by where someone else can on a weekly basis watch your and Kira's interactions with other dogs. I know a few fearful dogs at my club...and yes, they stand there...do something small like that, and cause other dogs to react. If the handler isn't starring at their dog, or someone else isn't watching the dog at that moment...many would blame the other dog, but luckily the club is knowledgeable enough to know which dogs are likely to do that.

I'm not sure if she's always done these...as I remember watching a lot of videos where I didn't see that kind of reaction...but she's always done "something" little to cause other dogs to react. When younger...her submissiveness led to more attacks...now, its probably something of an aggressive show which causes even the most stable of dogs to do something about it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,804 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
My boy is very friendly...but he will react aggressively if the other dog shows ANY type of aggressive behavior. I've seen him flip a switch in .2 of a second when the other dog growls or shows a tooth. I really wish you had a training club near by where someone else can on a weekly basis watch your and Kira's interactions with other dogs. I know a few fearful dogs at my club...and yes, they stand there...do something small like that, and cause other dogs to react. If the handler isn't starring at their dog, or someone else isn't watching the dog at that moment...many would blame the other dog, but luckily the club is knowledgeable enough to know which dogs are likely to do that.

I'm not sure if she's always done these...as I remember watching a lot of videos where I didn't see that kind of reaction...but she's always done "something" little to cause other dogs to react. When younger...her submissiveness led to more attacks...now, its probably something of an aggressive show which causes even the most stable of dogs to do something about it.
This is all in line with her past. I don't doubt it. As you said, I wish I had the ability to frequent with an experienced club of some sort. Nothing around here, other than dog park people.... And I don't make friends with them. I have one or two choice dogs that she'll play with on occasion, and that's about it.

As I see and hear about this, it's clear that she's the one that starts a problem. My biggest fear, is that she may do this to the wrong dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,714 Posts
She was doing this last year, yes?
You posted this on October 12.

UPDATE:

Paul, your answer may be below.

My wife has no idea that I started this thread (as well as many others ..LOL)

I'm at work, and my wife just called me.

She tells me that she took Kira for a 2 hour walk today. Along the way, she met with a neighbor around the corner. The neighbor has a 2 yr old female WGSL named "Zena". Zena is a calm, very playful GSD. Kira has played with her in the past, without issues.

My wife invites the neighbor to go for a walk with her. They're all walking together, side by side, and about 10 minutes into the walk, Zena goes after Kira. (Both leashed, so no harm).
I asked my wife if she had any idea why Zena suddenly changed her love for Kira, and she said that the Zena's owner noticed a slight snarl from Kira, as they were walking. (Kira showed her teeth).
She said Kira instigated it.
Both women corrected, and they were OK.

This may be what I'm not seeing.

My wife just ironically sent me a picture of her and Zena hanging out together.
This is the closest I've had Kira next to another dog in a while.
They were chewing a stick together.

(Kira on left with the choke collar)

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,379 Posts
If you are able to use a high shutter speed camera and take mulitple pictures of Kira's reaction as she passes other dogs, it could explain a lot.

There are a ton of tiny messages a dog sends out that we just don't catch. I think you'd be suprised. Including Kira providing messages that she is nervous about passing another dog. Lip licking, eye avoidance, etc. Showing teeth and giving the stink eye would cause a reaction in another dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,325 Posts
We were sitting in a very dog friendly courtyard of a shopping center over the weekend. A couple with two Aussies sat very close behind us. The one blk/wht Aussie seemed very calm and nice and let Molly do a meet and greet. As they were leaving Molly wanted to do another quick smell of the other dog and I saw the lip snarl! The couple totally missed it, but I called Molly back.

Have you ever tried these things on your walks?
Teach Kira to heel on the right and when passing other dogs, make an arc around them with your body between the dogs.
Carry lots of treats and when dogs are approaching in the distance, start giving Kira treats with a calming command, and keep on distracting her with treats until the dog passes. Hopefully she will associate an approaching dog with good things.
See if Kira starts to display calming signals, one of Molly's is to put her nose to the ground and smell, she will usually move a couple feet away from the sidewalk and it seems she is pretending to smell. If Molly wants to stop and stare at the dog, I make her go down, a down position is suppose to be calming. Maybe if Kira is allowed and given room to display some calming signals she will feel better.

Poor Kira, she seems stressed or afraid.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
377 Posts
Dogs are tuned into body language 100 times more than we are.
My dog does the sneaky lip curl behind dogs' backs after they walk by.
She started this at around age 3.
If they walk by in the opposite direction, once they have almost passed by, she will
go around behind them and lift her lip and then carry on with us.
The other people/dog never her see her do it.
It's almost like she's saying, "Ha Ha, you didn't scare me"
I am not pleased.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,804 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
She was doing this last year, yes?
You posted this on October 12.
Omg, I feel like such an idiot. Yes, she did do this before. She's been good, so I forgot all about it.
It never happened with me on her walks.

BTW, ironically, my wife was walking with her friend again, and the owner of that dog tells my wife that Kira constantly glances at her dog and snarls.
Then they go into a play bow and want to play.
My wife said both dogs were enjoying bulky sticks together the other day.

Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,804 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Dogs are tuned into body language 100 times more than we are.
My dog does the sneaky lip curl behind dogs' backs after they walk by.
She started this at around age 3.
If they walk by in the opposite direction, once they have almost passed by, she will
go around behind them and lift her lip and then carry on with us.
The other people/dog never her see her do it.
It's almost like she's saying, "Ha Ha, you didn't scare me"
I am not pleased.
Has this behavior ever invited aggression?

Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,804 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
We were sitting in a very dog friendly courtyard of a shopping center over the weekend. A couple with two Aussies sat very close behind us. The one blk/wht Aussie seemed very calm and nice and let Molly do a meet and greet. As they were leaving Molly wanted to do another quick smell of the other dog and I saw the lip snarl! The couple totally missed it, but I called Molly back.

Have you ever tried these things on your walks?
Teach Kira to heel on the right and when passing other dogs, make an arc around them with your body between the dogs.
Carry lots of treats and when dogs are approaching in the distance, start giving Kira treats with a calming command, and keep on distracting her with treats until the dog passes. Hopefully she will associate an approaching dog with good things.
See if Kira starts to display calming signals, one of Molly's is to put her nose to the ground and smell, she will usually move a couple feet away from the sidewalk and it seems she is pretending to smell. If Molly wants to stop and stare at the dog, I make her go down, a down position is suppose to be calming. Maybe if Kira is allowed and given room to display some calming signals she will feel better.

Poor Kira, she seems stressed or afraid.
A few weeks ago, I posted a thread about how good Kira was on her walks. The weather was getting nice, and we were spending more time in the parks. I applauded her for ignoring people and dogs along her walks. We passed tons of dogs, and Kira just looked straight ahead. ... So I thought :)
The little snicker was probably snarling away.

Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,124 Posts
BTW, ironically, my wife was walking with her friend again, and the owner of that dog tells my wife that Kira constantly glances at her dog and snarls.
Then they go into a play bow and want to play.
My wife said both dogs were enjoying bulky sticks together the other day.
That's the scariest thing...the fact that its kind of random. You can't pinpoint what exactly sets her off and what she's fearful of. We have a bitch like this at our dog club...there is no training this dog to "ignore X" because one day she's playing with a dog, the next day she wants to tear it apart. Sometimes she'll lunge at people and then the other 99% of the time she'll ask them for pets.

I don't really want to bring up CM...but I've seen episodes where he gets called to treat a DA/fearful dog and just the presence of a confident, well-balanced dog calms the other one down completely. Like...if Kira raises her lip and the other dog just ignores it and figures its a sign of fear and not aggression...they will start to play, but if that dog misreads it for some reason, and isn't the most stable dog himself/herself, it will start a fight.

There are so many ways dogs give off signals that most humans can only hope to understand some of them...I remember reading an article on tail wagging and how position, speed, direction all effect what the dog is truly trying to say...yet most people just think that a wagging tail means happy/friendly...when it can mean a whole variety of different things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,804 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
That's the scariest thing...the fact that its kind of random. You can't pinpoint what exactly sets her off and what she's fearful of. We have a bitch like this at our dog club...there is no training this dog to "ignore X" because one day she's playing with a dog, the next day she wants to tear it apart. Sometimes she'll lunge at people and then the other 99% of the time she'll ask them for pets.

I don't really want to bring up CM...but I've seen episodes where he gets called to treat a DA/fearful dog and just the presence of a confident, well-balanced dog calms the other one down completely. Like...if Kira raises her lip and the other dog just ignores it and figures its a sign of fear and not aggression...they will start to play, but if that dog misreads it for some reason, and isn't the most stable dog himself/herself, it will start a fight.

There are so many ways dogs give off signals that most humans can only hope to understand some of them...I remember reading an article on tail wagging and how position, speed, direction all effect what the dog is truly trying to say...yet most people just think that a wagging tail means happy/friendly...when it can mean a whole variety of different things.
Nice knowing she's not alone ^^^^^


What's unusual, is that Kira shows no fear on walks or out in public. She's super friendly, walks with her head high, and doesn't seem fazed about anything. She never retreats from people or in the presence of other dogs (on leash). She's not leash aggressive, and her behavior at home has been wonderful.

Knowing what you describe, explains so much about some of the issues I've encountered with her.
What's different about Kira, is that her fear translates into flight and not fight. Not sure which is worse, but what I have learned (mainly from here at GSD Forums), is that either behavior will get this dog in serious trouble. I know in my heart, that the right dog will do a number on her, if given the opportunity. Kira is a marshmallow.

I recall a seemingly friendly yellow lab go ballistic as I passed his fence. The dog was a tail waggin', licky lap dog. He took one look at Kira, and seemingly wanted blood. My guess is that Kira, sent him a signal... a bad one.

I suspect that whatever work I've put into her, may have helped her quite a bit, because I can only imagine the basket case I'd have on my hands if I didn't.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
5,627 Posts
... to treat a DA/fearful dog and just the presence of a confident, well-balanced dog calms the other one down completely.
This isn't really true. Most fearful dogs are not stupid, they know who they can mess with and who they cannot. So while they may not be acting out in the presence of a certain dog, it doesn't mean they are calm or that any progress has been made.

Anthony, I don't see the lip curl as a fearful behavior. I typically describe something like that as being punky or jerky (or some other choice word ;)). She's likely doing it because it gets a reaction.

I would work on keeping her focus on you during walks, especially when passing other dogs. She's instigating and it could lead to much more dangerous consequences if she ups the game or does it to the wrong dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,714 Posts
Anthony, I don't see the lip curl as a fearful behavior. I typically describe something like that as being punky or jerky (or some other choice word ;)). She's likely doing it because it gets a reaction.
So this is a doggie form of bullying? :wild:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
377 Posts
My dog doesn't do it for a reaction because she waits until dog/owner aren't looking.
She only does it for a second then moves on.
Don't know if this is anything like Kira's move.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,853 Posts
I would work on keeping her focus on you during walks, especially when passing other dogs. She's instigating and it could lead to much more dangerous consequences if she ups the game or does it to the wrong dog.
I agree.
Has Kira ever worn a muzzle? I'm wondering if a soft muzzle would hide the snarky lip so other dogs wouldn't pick up on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,714 Posts
I'm sitting here laughing.

I just realized Kira is walking around giving other dogs the equivalent of "The Finger."
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top