America’s Blue Lacy Dog Blog

America’s Blue Lacy Dog Blog

Bringing owners, breeders and enthusiasts together to just talk dogs.

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Good Dog/Bad Dog

It has been stated by Blue Lacy owners that have owned Lacys for over 50 years that children should be able to lay on the dog, grab their ears, and even pull on them.  The Blue Lacy should not attack or bite children or adults whatsoever.

A bite does not “just happen out of the blue.”  A bite does not happen with “no warning.”  If you pay close attention to your dog, or the dog around you, you will see tons of signs the dog is uneasy and/or taxed.  An excellent article for reference on this subject is Say, What?, written by Pat Miller in the November 2005 issue of the Whole Dog Journal, www.whole-dog-journal.com.

It is extremely important for you to pay attention to your dog.  If you are in the company of someone that has their dog, pay attention.  A dog does not have the ability to talk; therefore, you should pay close attention to the signs shown by your dog, or the dog around you.  A dog will typically show stress signals, which could potentially lead to an act of aggression.  You should become as much of an expert at reading your dog’s body language as your dog is at reading yours.

When you punish a dog for growling, snapping or snarling, the dog may not show these signs prior to biting because he knows it is not safe to do so.

In order to help prevent any trouble, it is imperative you understand the dog’s body language. To help you learn the different signals, look at the picture as a whole and not just one piece.  You should closely monitor the dog’s posture, tail, eyes, ears and mouth to better understand the language your dog is speaking.

Study photographs of dog body language.  Watch DVDs you can view in slow motion.  Stay in-tuned at doggie day cares, play dates, training classes, dog parks, etc. and study the language of other live dogs in addition to yours.

Below is a list of the various body parts you should pay close attention to and a brief explanation of the behavior to look for in the dog.

Body Posture

Humble, peaceful or frightened – Behind is upright (leaning back), lowered; erectile hair, also known as hackles, may become erect.

Relaxed, assured – Standing erect, confident or tall to full height.

Attentive, aroused, excited, self-assured – Standing erect, leaning forward; erectile hair, also known as hackles, may become erect.

“Play bow” (asking for play) – Shoulders lowered and haunches raised.

Tail

Humble, peaceful or fearful – Drawn under.

Easy, laid back, tranquil – Remaining in place, without movement, facing down.

Gentle, easy, laid back – Slightly waving from side to side held in a low to middle range.

Humble, friendly, excited – Fast wagging motion held in a low to middle range.

Excited, aroused, aggressive, attentive – Fast wagging motion held in a high range.

Eyes

Humble, fearful, looking away – Ward off or turn away.

Easy, laid back, calm – Eyes closed or partially closed or squinted.

Humble, friendly, excited – Direct eye contact, gentle.

Assured, assertive – Alert and wide open.

Excited, aroused, aggressive, attentive – Strong and sharp stare.

Ears

Humble, peaceful or fearful – Pointed back.

Easy, laid back, calm – Back and relaxed.

Attentive, excited – Forward and relaxed.

Excited, aroused, aggressive, attentive – Pricked forward.

Mouth

Humble, peaceful or fearful – Lips are pulled back.

Exhausted, tired or stressed – Yawning and licking lips.

Easy, laid back, calm – Lips are relaxed.

Excited, aroused, aggressive, attentive – Lips are puckered forward and possibly raised, snarl.

Here is a picture of the various positions described above:
Please remember the dog is always speaking to us and it is our job to learn their language so we can better care for them and provide a safer more loving environment.

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