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Reading Dog Behavior Week 2

Last week I gave some tips on determining if your dog is feeling fear (defensive behavior).  This week I am going to focus on offensive behavior.  Offensive behavior is when the dog wants to move forward and is generally more likely to want to attack immediately.  Generally when a dog is offensive we call him / her aggressive.

Today I am going to focus on offensive behavior. Begin to notice the signs below:

  • The body is stiff rather than fluid.  The muscles are tense.
  • The weight is shifted forwards.  So the dog may be thinking of moving toward the stimulus.
  • The mouth is closed verses being open and relaxed.  The mouth could also be open and the lips are pulled forward.  The lips look like a “C” shape and you mainly see the front teeth.
  • The ears are pulled forward on the head (erect).
  • He / She may be hesitant to eat or he / she takes the treat with a very tense mouth.
  • The tail is held upward from the neutral position.  It may be wagging very quickly.  When it is held high and wagging fast this is called a “flagged tail” (The dog is extremely aroused if this occurring).
  • The movement is generally fast and jerky.  There is not fluid movement.
  • The respiratory rate is fast.
  • Direct eye contact is toward the stimulus.  Generally the eyes are big and round.
  • The dog is silent or has a lower pitched growl or bark.

The more of the above signs you see in your dog the more your dog is feeling offensive.  If you are seeing only a few signs then the offensive behavior is present and it is of a lesser degree.

If your dog is feeling offensive in certain situations my advise is to contact Four Legged Scholars so we can switch the response to happiness / calm behavior:)

Also remember any dog that feels offensive is likely to bite.

Happy Training!
Johanna Teresi, Professional Trainer and owner of Four Legged Scholars LLC

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