Main > Opinions on Video (34 replies)
Opinions on Video
by Sunsilver on 04 June 2012 - 20:47
|Background to video:|
Male German Shorthair Pointer, 4 years old.
Male Shiloh Shepherd, 2 1/2 years old, recently rehomed. The previous owners didn't give the dog much attention especially after a second child came along. He has not been well socialized with other dogs, either.
I think both dogs are neutered (need confirmation of that, though.)
I am interested in getting people's opinions as to what the body language of the two dogs is saying. (I already have some opinions of my own, but don't want to say what they are just yet.)
Also, suggestions are welcome re. training/socializing the younger dog.
The older dog belongs to his brother (thank goodness!) This is the third time they've been together.
Edit: It's only the first video on that page that I'm interested in.
by Nans gsd on 04 June 2012 - 22:25
|Well Sun: all I see is trouble escalating; and I would guess neither boys have been properly socialized and the shepherd is young yet. Sooooooooooo, that's about all I can offer at this time. Nan|
by Sunsilver on 05 June 2012 - 01:48
|Over 400 views, and only one opinion? C'mon, you're not going to hurt my feelings. I'm posting this on behalf of someone else, who is asking for help.|
I think the younger dog is being a PITA, and is liable to get its clock cleaned if it doesn't smarten up!
And the owner needs to step in and correct it before that happens, and he finds himself with some very expensive vet bills!
by Markobytes on 05 June 2012 - 03:08
The shepherd is clearly playing, it is the pointer who is unsure or doesn't want to play. The human is misreading signals, if he doesn't want the dogs to bite in play, he shouldn't put them together. I have a female sable shepherd who plays similar to this with my male shepherd who is much larger and clearly dominate at other times. She initiates this kind of play, biting his checks, neck and hocks then they take turns chasing one another. I see in the video plenty of signals the shepherd is giving of submission and play. Play includes in it natural displays of aggression. I see no problem with the shepherd, but I do wonder if the pointer is well versed in canine body language.
by Markobytes on 05 June 2012 - 03:11
|Another thought, if this is the pointer's yard he may think this younger visitor rude.|
by starrchar on 05 June 2012 - 15:22
|I will give this a try, for what it's worth. I watched this video a few times. It seems originally (in the garage) the Shiloh wanted to play and wasn't really obnoxious at that point, but the GSHP clearly rejected him and rather aggressively ran him off. Not sure why, but either GSHP sensed something in the Shiloh which caused him to refuse to engage in play or he just didn't want to be bothered or maybe HE has issues too. After being rejected by the GSHP the Shiloh seemed conflicted. He wanted to play, but felt stressed. Intense tail wagging can indicate stress. His hackles were up too, which indicates some fear and/or insecurity. Even so, the Shiloh wasn't going to give up trying to play and then he started to become frustrated because he wasn't getting what he wanted, therefore his behavior escalated. My guess is the Shiloh was not socialized with other dogs and doesn't really know how to respectfully interact. He also doesn't know when it's time to back off and/or he's just very strong willed. |
If I was dealing with this situation I'd start walking the dogs on leash together on a regular basis and take things very slowly. I'd expose them to each other in various environments, but always on leash for a while. I certainly would not turn them lose together again for a long time and NEVER (even if things eventually seem ok) without supervision. If in the future they are put together off leash the owners need to intervene immediately when things start to escalate and be firm about it. That type of interaction can not be allowed to continue. I would be very cautious because this seems like a situation that could definitely get ugly and at that point there may never be much hope for a harmonious relationship.
We have a Aussie mix right now that we are fostering and she exhibited similar behavior to the Shiloh's. She had not been socialized with other dogs and had no boundaries and she was (still is) also very tenacious. Our dogs are very laid back and would not behave as the GSHP, but as soon as the Aussie started showing inappropriate behavior I corrected her immediately and very firmly. There was no question that I would not accept the behavior and I was also going to make sure she would't harrass my dogs. She was very unstable and unpredictable at that point and even if our other dogs decided to engage in play I thought she might turn on him/her. We've had the Aussie for six months and she is now lose in the house with my other dogs, but I never leave her alone with them. Our Shiloh and the Aussie now play together at times and the Aussie has learned she must have boundaries. She has come a VERY long way since we got her, but I have been very careful to set her up for success. BTW, everytime I played the video the Aussie got very stressed. She started pacing and came over to me repeatedly. Our other dogs picked up their heads for a second and went back to sleep.
by VKGSDs on 05 June 2012 - 16:03
|I agree with Marko, the shepherd is trying to instigate play and the pointer can't seem to decide if he wants to play or not. I have two intact male GSDs (2 yrs and 4 yrs) and they act like this a lot. Both are VERY vocal, lots of growling and barking but that is not indicative of fights or aggression. I've never had a real dog fight. Often the younger one acts pesty like the shepherd in this video and the older one acts like the Pointer for a while but then either decides he will play after all, or he gives the younger one a good snark and that's the end of it. I don't usually step in because they are pretty good at reading each other and correcting each other and it doesn't escalate. I think too often people think that all dogs love to immediately run off and play with all dogs and that's just not the case. IMO dogs (especially dogs that LIVE together) should be able to tell each other off without it escalating into a bloodbath. However if the owner is uncomfortable and can't read these dogs then err on the safe side and keep the interactions minimal.|
by starrchar on 05 June 2012 - 17:59
|VKGSDs, I am curious as to whether or not either one of your dogs has their hackles up during their "interactions".|
by VKGSDs on 05 June 2012 - 18:53
|Yes, both my current males are very vocal and hackle a lot, not just interacting with each other but any time they get really excited. For example when I snap pics of them fetching toys, you can see all their hackles WAY up right as they get to the toy. Some times they hackle at each other in a snarky "get away from me/my food" sort of way, othertimes the hackles come and go as they are playing or pestering each other (like in the video). Compared to my third male and my female dogs these two males are just more expressive.|
by starrchar on 05 June 2012 - 20:27
I've seen dogs with raised hackles when they are excited, nervous, unsure, playful or being aggressive, but in this case I really thought that although the Shiloh wanted to play, he was somewhat fearful and stressed- rather conflicted. Ha, if only they could talk! I like these types of threads because I always learn something new.
by VKGSDs on 05 June 2012 - 21:10
|I think there may be a little insecurity there as well, but I think his main motivation is to play, judging by all that vocalization and dancing around. My youngest is like this. He comes out way too strong so half the time the other dog tells him off right away, but the more he interacts the more he learns other dogs' social boundaries and that he doesn't have to instigate play by a full hackling and so much noise, a play bow and a sideways glance is much more effective. He's got one dog friend that doesn't put up with his crap so my dog comes out and makes a lot of noise and gets in his face, then his friend gives him a good thumping, and then they run off like best friends and that's that.|
by Vixen on 05 June 2012 - 23:45
|It looks like the Shepherd's hackles are mainly raised on the shoulders (not the full length), therefore he is indicating feeling quite confident of the interaction. Engaging the GSP carefully and with a determined effort - almost like a clever game of Chess. The GSP is not wanting to relinquish being proud of maintaining a dominant position. The Shepherd is coming in comfortably sure like a predator mode, then quickly dashing away like prey (to instigate that he is not actually looking to be a threat) - but the GSP does not want to accept his offer of not trying to prove anything between them - just have a goof. |
(Why did the man pat the GSP at one stage???? Suggesting to the GSP "Well done, you keep up looking and acting arrogant")!!
by starrchar on 06 June 2012 - 01:25
|I could be wrong, but thought I saw the hackles up all the way down the back. That said, I would certainly not argue with anyone about what is happening here.|
by GSDguy08 on 06 June 2012 - 17:07
|His hackles were up too, which indicates some fear and/or insecurity.|
Hackles don't always mean fear. My dogs are in no way afraid of each other, but when they get too excited during play, hackles will go up. They're having fun, no signs of fear whatsoever. Hackles going up can be excitement........occasionally dominance.........and sometimes fear. My male Max will raise his hackles if one of the younger dogs annoys him too much (not when the dogs are playing), and he lets out a growl telling them to knock it off. Obviously I'm not posting in regards to the videos, I watched maybe two minutes of one of the videos and that's it.
by Sunsilver on 06 June 2012 - 17:56
|Vixen, the owner definitely needs to work on his own behaviour in order to properly train this dog. It's been suggested elsewhere that he needs to consult a professional trainer.|
It turns out this dog's brother shows similar behaviour, even though he's been properly socialized with other dogs. He does NOT know when to get out of their faces and leave them alone.
My suggestions would be for the owner to teach the dog a firm "LEAVE IT' command. Since the dog hasn't had much training, he may need to go back to basics, and do focus training to get the dog to pay attention to him. He also needs to find a safe outlet for this dog's energy. Playing with the brother's GSP is NOT a safe outlet.
The Shiloh show similar behaviour with other dogs he's met, too. I'm surprised he hasn't been in a serious dog fight yet. If the owner doesn't step up to the plate, I'm sure one is just around the corner!
BTW, both dogs ARE neutered.
by Rass on 06 June 2012 - 18:17
|Looks to me like the Shepherd is trying to instigate play. GSP is not interested. GSP never puts up hackles and is stiff. He conveys a more dominant stance that the younger (shepherd) cedes to. |
I hate to use the word dominant because it has so many really stupid connotations. That being said, the GSP is a dog who is dominant. Dogs who are like this are often older and often are not realy intersted in play. I think this dog is conveying that and trying to be polite about it. They younger dog is unconfident. He play bows at one point and is a bit of a pest trying to get the GSP to do what the GSP clearly does not want to do. The Shepherd has hackles all the way down his back and his entire demeanor is friendly.
The GSP is not friendly. He is stiff and clearly does not want to play. If the shepherd keeps up his trying to play, he will get spanked by the GSP.
I see no reason to inflict one dog that wants to play on another dog that does not. It can lead to a fight. It can lead to more.
I would separate these two dogs.
by Rass on 06 June 2012 - 18:22
|BTW I never let my dogs play with other dogs (unless it is a dog I own). |
It is not necessary.
The Shepherd is not doing anything much different than a lot of young shepherds. Letting him try to play with dogs that do not want to play is going to lead to a mess someday. He looks a nice pet dog. Why set him up to get hurt?
The owner should play with him and train him which will only serve to buid that relationship.
by clc29 on 06 June 2012 - 18:57
|Cisco (16mos GSD) plays like that with our older female Chow mix.|
He darts in and out growling and talking (not a full bark) to her always with his shoulder hackles up and tail wagging. Usually, she totally ignores him until she's tired of his pestering. At which point she barks back and tries to get a nip in as he darts off again. Sometimes when she's feeling frisky she'll chase him around the yard...which of coarse is exactly the type of reaction he hopes for.
Honestly it's hard to tell what's really going on between the dogs by watching the video. I can get an impression, but without being able to see both dogs faces clearly, I can't get an accurate read on either dog. One difference between my dogs and these dogs are, the GSP has a much more rigid posture (very stiff legged and straight tailed) and never takes his eyes off of the shepherd. Which I would interpret to mean the GSP is intimidated and unsure of the shepherd.
by Sunsilver on 06 June 2012 - 20:35
|One difference between my dogs and these dogs are, the GSP has a much more rigid posture (very stiff legged and straight tailed) and never takes his eyes off of the shepherd. Which I would interpret to mean the GSP is intimidated and unsure of the shepherd. |
CLC, you need to brush up on your dog body language. The posture you are describing is a dominant posture. Add to that the fact the GSP was growling and had its hackles up, it was a dominant-aggressive posture. There was nothing unsure about his stance at ALL!
by Markobytes on 06 June 2012 - 23:53
|The pointers body position does not appear to be a forward leaning position you would see in a dominate individual. There is also a lot of stress in the pointers barks that seem to rise even higher when he gets nearer to the shepherd. A lot of the pointers confidence seems to come from the owners proximity and actions. The pointer is capable of keeping his tail straight up but lowers it in many of these interactions. The pointer seems to want to play at times but does not commit other than brief charges that are not really direct. The pointer even points repeatedly in a breed specific prey position that is not one of a confident pointer, body forward. Fear bitters can also assume the ridged position clc29 describes, the pointer is not relaxed. Forward the video to 2:36 and you will see a submissive position given by the pointer that is not play. There were times when the pointer backs himself into a wall effectively protecting his rear, that is not a confident or dominate position. My take is the pointer does not have an experienced play history and has lost the unknown play skills he had or hadn't with his litter mates. The video was hard to follow , I could not see the pointers muzzle away from the owner. Play aggression includes by it's very nature mixed signals which have to be read by a dog fluent in body language to know which are play ( the aggressive signals ) and which signs are real. The shepherd seems to be comfortable until he gets a charge. The shepherds only crime is pent up, youthful rambunctiousness, he seems to be more fluent in canine language, but I am judging from one short, disjointed video. It is a good thing they were not two females, we would be seeing a totally different video. The man needs to stop watching Cesar.|