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Dogs fur up...necessarily bad/

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  • Dogs fur up...necessarily bad/

    When a dog has its' fur up, for a few seconds when it first meets another dog or dogs, does this necessarily mean the dog is aggressive? or can it mean the dog is unsure of itself and wants the other dogs to approach carefully?

  • #2
    I certainly wouldn't say it's no doubt, absolute aggression.

    Think about yourself in a similiar position. For example, when you hear a loud knock on the door, open it and find a large, in uniform police officer standing there. Instant reaction is tence up, hair on the back of your neck stands up and your heart skips a beat. There is just a sudden fear of the unknown--why is he here? what is he going to tell me? You just naturally prepare yourself for the worst.

    So I think it's safe to say a dog will do the same thing. It certainly doesn't want to walk into a situation blind, let's be friendly and playful or shy and timid, scared and walk right up to this other animal that I've never seen before and doesn't smell familiar. "They" say dogs sense fear. So perhaps they can with eachother as well. If one dog walks up to another one just dead scared, the other dog may notice and take that fear to it's advantage.

    But if we get in "attack" mode, this other dog will know that "I" am bigger, badder and meaner and it really doesn't want to fight with me. I really don't want to fight with it but I will if I have to.

    On the other hand though, my Mal's hair stands straight up when she's excited.


    • #3
      Completely agree with the previous poster. I don't belive that the hair raising is 100% aggression. I would however do my best to socialize this dog and possibly take him/her to classes where he is able to interact more with other dogs and new sites. The better a dog is socialized the better they handle new situations.

      On a side note you can often see Blue's (Weimaraner) hair standing straight up on his back often accompanied by an evil snarl.....when he is "hunting" flies or other evil bugs in the backyard! LOL :lol:
      "Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." --Roger Caras


      • #4
        DogLover and Country Chic: Thanks for your replies.

        Abby is in obedience classes. She took the first level course and liked it so much we signed her up for the second level course. She will probably go to the third level course, too, simply because she likes it so much, it makes it easy for me to commit to something that is good for her. She loves to play with the other dogs in her classes, and was evaluated by the Humane Society before her adoption, as "shows no signs of aggression". When she first went to class she was shy and cautious, but as the instructors have said "she's over it". She still is a teensy bit cautious. She was about 3 1/2 or 4 months old when we got her, so we don't know her early background. She sure is sweet to be around, though.

        We take her to play-dates outside of class whenever we can arrange it with other dog owners. The raised fur happened when she went to the home of two strange dogs as a guest. She came right off of it in a few seconds and soaked up the belly rubs of the owner, and after that the three dogs investigated the yard, garden and inside the house of the hosts, and all went very casually.

        I've also seen her fur up while she was running full-tilt away from a horse who had startled her. No aggression there, just "where's my mom? where's my mom?"

        I think it was just her feeling overwhelmed by everything new, and wanting to hide her insecurity. I like to get more opinions besides my own whenever possible, especially when in regards to something so important as her sociability. Thanks again.