Jump to content

Raising Hackles When Greeting Other Dogs -- Just Curious!


Guest dougbb
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest dougbb

In his friendly greetings of other dogs on walks, my grey wags his tail, sniffs appropriately, and happily goes on his way. But I noticed recently that his hackles are always raised during these greetings, whether he's saying hi to a dachshund, a Great Dane, or even his greyhound bffs. Anyone else notice this with their hounds? I'd always heard that his is a sign of aggression, but he shows zero other signs of annoyance or fear. He loves other dogs of all shapes and sizes, so maybe it's more a display of excitement? Anyway, just curious to hear from others. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Summer hackles when she's running with other greyhounds and that's just excitement. The only time she ever hackles at other dogs is when she gets startled in her own yard by the unsocialized Shih Tzu that lives behind us.

SummerGreytalkSignatureResized-1.jpg

Lisa B.

My beautiful Summer - to her forever home May 1, 2010 Summer

Certified therapy dog team with St. John Ambulance

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hackles are a sign of arousal. That could be aggression, excitement, or several other things. It's something to keep an eye on, because it means your dog is getting worked up. Whether that is to suddenly attack a dog or to go darting off because he wants to play, you need to be aware of the potential for sudden activity.

77f6598d-2.jpg

My blog about helping Katie learn to be a more normal dog: http://katies-journey-philospher77.blogspot.com/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, they can be raised in excitement too!

 

Sid gets very excited to meet other greyhounds sometimes - for instance when a friend dropped round unexpectedly with her two, he was beside himself with happiness and excitement to see 1) a hound he already knew and 2) a completely new hound. His hackles were up as far as they could go, but lowered after less than a minute's greeting.

 

Philosopher77 is correct, though, unless your know your dog extremely well, be prepared for unexpected behaviour. Even if you DO know your dog extremely well, it's worth being aware that he or she can jump one way or the other.

GTAvatar-2015_zpsb0oqcimj.jpg

The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Peggy doesn't do hackles to any noticeable extent, but Angel my last one did and she was a Grey x GSD lurcher. Her hackles would come up like the back of a dinosaur at the rare times that she was not sure about another dog's intentions.

Hackles up plus ears flat and lips pulled back, plus tail out straight, is the imminent trouble indicator. Semi-raised hackles is more polite to other dogs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, as others have said, its just a sign of arousal. My (mixed breed) foster does it a lot when playing with other dogs at the park and she's incredibly well socialized and good with other dogs. So if his behavior is proper and polite, I wouldn't worry too much.

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Check the state of the tail - if the tail wagging is a fast swishing and is held lower, then it should be OK. If the tail is held out almost level to the back and the wagging is very slow then the dog is in a state that he should be watched because he is "on guard".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a good question that I've often wondered about as well. Luna also raises her hackles when she meets other dogs, or even when we have a get-together with some of her long time buddies. I've never noticed any aggression from her either, so I assumed she was just showing her excitement. She also tends to be a nervous dog, so sometimes I wonder if it's the result of being in an unsure situation. Regardless, I always keep an eye on her when she's with other dogs just to make sure things go smoothly.

Laura, mom to Luna (Boc's Duchess) and Nova (Atascocita Venus).
Forever in my heart, Phantom (Tequila Nights) and Zippy (Iruska Monte).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest dougbb

Thanks for the responses!

 

This is my first dog since childhood, so I'm still learning their language. He always has his tail low and wagging and his ears slightly perked despite the hackles; in the six months I've had him, he's only ever been a model of gentlehoundly behavior with other on-leash dogs. I of course always check out the approaching dog, ask the owner if he/she's friendly, watch my grey closely, and keep the greeting short, but mostly I'm keeping an eye on other dog -- a few dogs here and there transition so quickly from being receptive to saying hi to "oh, wait, now that I think about it you're kinda tall and pointy and scary and YAP YAP YAP."

 

Doug is also still learning that not every dog wants to sniff butts with him, and that maybe that's a good thing. :-) He loves greeting dogs, but there are so many unsocialized apartment pets in my area that it's best to leave the bulk of them be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not a fan of on leash intros in general so I tend to avoid them unless the other dog is CLEARLY well socialized and not overly exuberant and the owner seems capable of handling a loose leash while the meet and greet occurs. Sound advice I've also received from multiple trainers, the greeting should happen for 3 seconds, no more before you call (not pull!) the dogs away. If your dog can't be called away, probably best not to do the intros until he can.

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...