Here is part 2 of our latest installment on speaking dog!
You have probably all seen a doggie raising its hackles from time to time in different situations without even realising it but what is hackle raising, why do us doggies do it and why should owners be careful if they see their doggies do it??
WHAT IS IT?
The ‘hackles’ are a raised line of hair along the neck and spine (see pictures). We don’t have any control over this behaviour it happens automatically similar to how human hair stands upright when it’s cold to trap air. It may be more difficult to see in longer haired breeds.
WHY DO WE DO IT AND WHY SHOULD OWNERS BE CAREFUL IF THEY SEE IT?
Raising our hackles makes us look taller and more intimidating so this behaviour usually occurs upon greeting another dog but can also occur with people if we are afraid.
It can mean we are feeling nervous, uncertain or even a little excited-will this doggie play with me or is he or she not friendly? It takes us time to establish the intent of the other doggie and sometimes we react diff
erent on leads as we may feel like we cannot get away if a loose one approaches us.
Owners know their doggies best so if they do not like other doggies then it’s best to remove them from the situation if the hackles raise as they are likely to be uncomfortable. If both doggies are well socialised then hackle raising may well just be the initial reaction upon greeting. If unsure it’s safer to lead your doggie away from the situation