This was the most concise and informative article I could find about it: “His hackles went up. What does that mean?” It’s such a great question and one that I hear from clients regularly. When the hair on a dog’s back goes up (technically called piloerection), it’s usually a sign that the dog is aroused or excited in some way. It is an involuntary reaction, just like the goose bumps we humans get, so it’s important not to have any expectation of a dog being able to control it. While sometimes aggressive dogs do exhibit piloerection, it is not true that it’s necessarily a sign of aggression.
Data are limited on this phenomenon, but as an ethologist trained to observe animals and their behavior, I have noticed some things about it. Based on my experience with many dogs over the years, it seems that different patterns of piloerection are associated with different behaviors, probably because they are associated with different internal emotional states.
Some dogs exhibit a thin line (at most a few inches wide) of hair all along their back to the base of the tail. I associate this pattern of piloerection with a high level of confidence and in my experience, these dogs are more likely to go on offense and behave in an aggressive way than other dogs.
Another common pattern of piloerection is a broad patch of fur (up to 8 or so inches wide) across the shoulders, which does not run more than one-quarter or one-third of the way down the back. I associate this pattern of piloerection with low confidence and I often find that these dogs are somewhat fearful.
The most confusing pattern is when a dog exhibits a patch of hair that is raised at the shoulders and another raised patch at the base of the tail. The hair in between along the back is not raised. This pattern of piloerection often occurs in dogs who are in an ambivalent emotional state and feeling conflicted. Many of the dogs who show this pattern are somewhat unpredictable in their behavior and inclined to be more reactive than other dogs.
Of course, there are many exceptions, but these generalizations apply to the majority of dogs that I see.” - Karen B. London Phd. [https://thebark.com/content/piloerection]
Eating better isn't just for humans!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
🐾Winnie, our #chiefcanineofficer
is always willing to be the taste our raw veggies to make sure they are okay for human consumption. She's a giver!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Our prior #labradorsofinstagram
(Sota and Schooner), hated vegetables just like their mom (me!).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
But Winnie came to us well into our healthy living journey. And she hasn't met a vegetable she doesn't like. She even nibbled on some raw asparagus yesterday too.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Do your dogs like veggies?
Max joined our family in June of 2004, he was Dylan's 10th birthday gift, we spent a day dog shelter hoping not really knowing what kind of dog we were looking for. The first dog at the first shelter walked to his kennel door, pressed his entire body against the grate and just looked at us while we pet him and then we continued on to other shelters. We were not looking for a barely out of puppy stage black dog who would eventually be a large 80lb black dog. At the end of the day we were heading back to #oregonhumanesociety
to ask about this too young black dog, I was looking for a more mature trained dog. What they pieced together was that 'McDuff' was a Lab/Rottweiler mix, about a year and a half old, had been surrendered by his original owner then was adopted out only to be left at a vet the next day. Basically 2 families missed out and we won the dog lottery. What we gained was a fairly well trained dog who didn't bark and never made a mess in the house. He was also deathly afraid of water and didn't fetch, it was years before he would drink from his water dish while it was being filled with a hose.
#olddogsrule #olddogsofinstagram #hewillbemissed #lovemylab #seniordog #olderlabs #adoptdontshop