ellee asked in PetsDogs · 1 month ago

My dog raises her hackles and has a straight, up in the air tail when meeting other dogs. Is this a sign of aggression?

Whenever me and my pup go to the dog park she raises her hackles and sticks her tail straight up in the air. She has never hurt another dog, and has no aggression towards the other dogs. I’m guessing it’s a sign of dominance, but I just want to make sure. She’s fine after sniffing and meeting the other dogs and her hackles and tail goes down. I think the only time she would be aggressive is if some other dog tried to attack me, or the dog attacked her. She was a rescue so we don’t know if she got socialized before we got her. 

3 Answers

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  • Maxi
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Your dog is 'unsure' and it stems from lack of socialisation/anxiety ...dogs that do this are trying to make themselve 'look' bigger to the other dog...the problem with that is if they come across another unbalanced dog who 'takes offense' at this show there is more likely a fight could happen.

    Personally I would not take any dog to a dog park espeically one who is unbalanced and off lead as all you can do is deal with your own dog you have no control over other peoples dogs.... and it only takes once for your dog or another dog attacks and that will set the behaviour for the future...so her thinking will  then likely be to attack before she is attacked.

    I would spend time socialising the dog instead and socialising is about new smells, new sounds, new sights, not just about meeting dogs, so lead walking in different places, walking ON lead with other dogs, (no nose to nose meetings) that will build her confidence and you then have a more balanced dog

  • 1 month ago

    My dog does, too. It's not always aggression. It can be fear, anxiety, arousal (YEAH, NOT JOKING), excitement, and yeah, anger. I was worried that my dog was doing this when meeting other dogs, but tail was going, he was playing, he was bouncing up and down, all happy, not growling or snapping, just playing around with other pups. He just gets really excited when he meets other dogs. It's not unlike us having a natural reaction when seeing something, like a really good picture or something giving you the chills. You're not cold, just excited at it.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    My dog does the same thing, always has.  She's not aggressive.  Maybe she's trying to make herself look bigger. 

    I can judge her mood by her tail!

    (Thanks for rescuing her - and I mean it.)

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