Don't tell me what I want to hear: But what can I learn from behavior? - Page 3

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by beetree on 12 December 2017 - 00:12

It is a dopamine rush display from anticipating a tasty bite of neighbor that never comes true.

by ValK on 12 December 2017 - 00:12

Koots, haven't seen this. at least if playing not went in wrong direction.
that's manifestation triggered by nervous system and can't be controlled consciously.

by beetree on 12 December 2017 - 00:12

My dog Beau has hackled during play and still does at 4 years with his buddy Mojo. It just comes naturally to him as a defensive response. Nothing negative about it only it makes him look bigger.

Baerenfangs Erbe

by Baerenfangs Erbe on 12 December 2017 - 13:12

No kidding Valk, I just wrote the exact same thing. With the overall  description of the dog I highly doubt that’s the case.😉

by Centurian on 12 December 2017 - 20:12

What you write is not entirely true.
Some of my last posts I tired too open people's eyes that when it comes to dogs ,.... we have to think like dogs. Look through their eyes .

1.You say that your dog is hackled ...
2.You say that happens in the situation of play .
3.The time span of this ongoing behavior is : 4 years .. with a buddy !

Your conclusion : " Nothing negative about it only it makes him look bigger " .

Really BEE .... look at this being the dog !

Valk ... is absolutely correct !!!! " that's manifestation triggered by nervous system and can't be controlled consciously. "

Specifically it is an autonomic central nervous system reflexive action. It's an automatic innate reaction physically and chemically. Not innate as in meaning like an intuition . It is an innate genetic flight , fright , or fight uncontrollable automatic response. Like blinking an eye. You have no control over your eyes blinking - a hand comes to your face , you blink without thinking. The behavior manifested form the thoughts and feeling of the dog is hackling and a form of communication . [ I'll skip the dog comminication lingo ] Exactly what do you think the dog is feeling ? Not what you think , but what is your DOG feeling ? That is what is functional here. BTW .. it is not a positive feeling when you figure it out. It can therefore be within normalcy to be uncomfortable ,uneasy , concerned , fearful , and scared to death when experiencing certain feelings. Moreover , it is also not fun and playful . It may seem that way , but put yourself in the dog's mind and skin ..If you were concerned , would you say you were having fun and that it was a postitive experience .. ?

Play ..... you do not understand play ... most people think play is fun and games . Play is fun and games but a portion of play at the same time is not. How many times i write : if you categorize , you will misunderstand ... How many times do I have to write about this ? ' Play ' has several components to it - this is fact , period !

Children ,puppies .. the same. They learn from play and that makes playing partly a serious experience . There is a very serious component inside the experience of play. How can I liken this : two puppies fussing ,chasing and wrestling about. Yes this can be fun for them .. yet at the same time [ and many of you cannot digest the fact that opposites can occur at the same time in life , [ ying/yang and more than 1 thing can occur at the same time ] there is the element of challange for rank status i.e. dominance. Play allows the two puppies to learn and to determine who is  subrodiante and who is dominant , which is a serious matter to the puppies. Not a life and death situation but the play experience  has Relevence. Relevence because the dominant one will claim first rights to any and all resources ! And relevent enough to make your dog have such a feeling that resukts in the hacles raised.

So 4 years now.. why is it that your dog's hackles still go up ? After all this is his buddy .What specifically and presicesly is it that precipitates this to occur within the dog , with a buddy . Meaning each dog knows the other extremely well , why should one dog have it's hackles up ? And ,  is this critical and should it it even matter , to the dog that is ? Not meaning should it matter or not matter   not to you . You can chose to  answer or not to answer that for yourself , if you care/don't care.  Pesonally , your dog ,  I don't care ..      

     But in ending ... I wouldn't write that there is noting 'negative ' about it... at least not from your dog's point of view...and from other readers sake. 

by beetree on 13 December 2017 - 00:12


I concur the hackle is something that cannot be controlled consciously in the same way that a person who blushes has no control of that physiological reaction.

Play is based on serious business, yes.

My Beau is seven years younger than Mojo. He always hackled easily in play and still does but not to the same degree when he was a young pupper. Mojo rarely hackles. And never in play.  They are mostly buds, but certainly have had their moments. They live without crates in harmony. Everyone loves our dogs and we do not have to confine them with company. Only the front yard perimeter is an area of territorial concern but that is another topic. Even now as Beau is coming into his prime and Mojo is the elder statesman.

What I WANT the silent newbs reading to take away, is that if they see their dog hackle in play it certainly is NOT a condemnation that their dog is displaying a nerve bag issue and their dog isn't doomed to be a wash out.

Very learned dog men and women have commented on this issue when I first encountered it and thank goodness some only laughed at my initial concern and good thing I didn't let it affect how I saw my Beau. He has a very solid temperament and also is very territorital and like a person who blushes easily, he will hackle easily when the defense mode kicks in.

Nothing to worry about! Now if you have a specific concern that you want to illustrate to counter my own experience, than please do share.

by Centurian on 13 December 2017 - 01:12

I have nothing further to add since I already shared thoughts for viewers to ponder over. The comment was not a critism of you or your dogs but a notation of a few facts and a few questions to be thought about , by all the readers. I even reflect on what I say and do with all my GS .. constantly think and contermplate .. anf I have found that they have taught me a lot.

Similar to yourself , I now have two young females out of the same litter . When they play at certain times the hackles will go up on both females. Sio I have a very good grasp of your situation.

Many new people to the dog world I have found, are very unfamiliar with the knowledge that many people on this site post. Many don't know what Valk had mentioned- but now they do . Many don't realize play has many features and now they do . The majority of what I write , even if it seems to be addressed to another poster , is really geared to the people that simply prefer to read about ideas. I have learned that many of the posters on PDB really don't care about my comments.

The communcation between canines is fascinating . However I leave that topic of conversation for some other day ....

by beetree on 13 December 2017 - 01:12

That is all nice and dandy except you aren’t being honest and consistent with who you are addressing when you Capitalize my name, twice.

I get it you want gravitas.

Just address my challenge to you to be specific to my post . I deserve a reasoned specific response. Please, don’t hide.

by ValK on 13 December 2017 - 01:12

i don't understand why you feel offended.
Centurian spelled it in more educated way. it doesn't mean your dog isn't comply as a family pet but to be honest, i would rather prefer german shepherds with such trait wouldn't been used for breeding at all and eventually "washed out".
from such trait of low confidence to a problems with nerves in next generation odds way much higher than to any positive traits.

by beetree on 13 December 2017 - 02:12


No offense but your post is laughable especially when we use the term "educated".

What are your credentials, because frankly your posts sound rather lame with all the regurgitation of all that repetitive gobbledlygook speak.

It doesn't matter if I own pets, we are talking dogs. It is ridiculous to think that a dog who hackles exhibits a trait that a breeder needs to avoid. That is what better dogmen then post here, now, would maintain and since they aren't here, I am saying it for them.

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