"some dogs just don't speak dog"

fankino04

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I was chatting with a friend about her new rescue gsd and how things were going, she says they are going really well but the new girl is overly friendly with other dogs and races accross fields to play with them but then becomes quite vicious if the other dog reacts negatively (perfectly understandable response when a large unknown dog bounces on you). She has had a trainer out to help with this and the trainer said "some dogs just don't speak dog", so her dog doesn't understand the other dog is not a threat and that she has scared it by being so full on. I wondered what others thought about dogs not speaking dog and the problems that causes...
 

CorvusCorax

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I don't often agree with Bonny lol. I have one that wants nothing to do with other dogs. I have seen the whole range from his appearance provoking extremely negative primal responses in other dogs, to, as you describe, dogs that completely disrespect the body language of 'go away".
I've been told that his colouring and amount of hair can make him very hard for others to read.

And a dog that goes out of it's way to cross a large area then turns nasty when the target reacts, in my experience, does not want to play in the way we think. These dogs are often insecure bullies (lots of GSDs are, sadly).
What these dogs generally want to do is splat the other upside down to assert themselves and throw a tantrum when they can't. Just my own experience lol.
 

fankino04

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In my friends defence when she got the dog the rescue said that she had good recall, my mate has kept her on long lines for over a month to check this and the dog seemed good, even with other dogs around but there has been a few incidents since moving on from the long lines where certain dogs have been too tempting, the dog is now back on long lines to prevent this happening and as I said she has got a trainer out to help with the issues with other dogs, sporadic recall issues and a few other things.
 

CorvusCorax

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It could be that she was removed from her mother early (I see a trend of letting pups go at six weeks, so that's two weeks less food to pay for, sigh) or has had the wrong sort of interaction with other dogs. Dogs do tend to revert to their normal behaviours once they have been in a new home for a while so I doubt this is a new thing. Like I say, GSDs can be total knobbers sometimes. There's one lives close to me that comes bowling over and throws in a few sneaky snaps at mine before running away when she realises they're 'bigger and badder' than she is. She isn't trying to play and she isn't as big and brave as she likes to make out...
 

jumbyjack

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My little dog hasn't a clue how to behave or react around other dogs. She will cringe and wee and then snap like a crocodile, she does not speak dog for sure! She's another who clearly missed out on the puppy play.
 

Clodagh

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I think it is an ever increasing problem, people have to make sure their dog can speak dog.
Puppy classes teach them nothing about communication but they need to ionteract with a variety of ages, some who will play and some will say bog off.
Humans cannot fulfill this educational need.
I don't know if you will be able to see tihs but here are a series of photos taken by a friend pro photographer when Ffee met his older lab. Every thing is said between the two of them. Apologies for the mad woman!
https://www.facebook.com/pg/paulo24...G3p3-XMBgB5xuJLvuJHVwYwZLi0GX5Y&__tn__=-UCH-R
 

Pearlsasinger

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We had 2 litter sister JRTs, amongst a pack of Labs/Rottweiler/BC, 7 in total. We always said that one of them had to translate for the other because she only spoke JRT, no dog or English. Fortunately the others were very tolerant. I agree that anyone who allows their GSD, or any other dog to run up to other dogs, needs their head read.
 

Clodagh

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trouble is Clodagh, you just don't know out of those dogs you meet in public which will say bog off and which mean something more serious! I actively avoid other dogs now which is relatively easy here but a bit of a shame.
And I totally get that I only meet other working dogs, and I am incredibly lucky. When I go to Norfolk and meet other dogs in a 'relaxed' environment there is always a memorably badly behaved one there. It's not just that dogs don't speak dog it is that the owners are pig ignorant too!
 

Levrier

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Sadly I think most of the time it is the owners who don’t speak dog rather than anything to do with the dog being unusual or not understanding. I’m amazed how people totally misinterpret the signs that their own and other dogs are giving off ☹️

This is a very generalised comment I hasten to add OP not trying to diss your friend!
 

suebou

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This thread is really interesting, we have at least six working gundogs of various ages, breeds and sexes at any one time. We also have a very good looking working bred gsd who shows lots of the things talked about here. She’s always lived with us, since eight weeks old, and is massively intolerant of other bitches, will only walk with some of the dogs and is happy to pick on, bowl over and generally bully any of our or visitors dogs. Very few retaliate(thank goodness! ) but when it has happened it’s pretty unpleasant. She then thinks she needs to sort it out! She can be the most wonderful, clever and intelligent dog but her language is not understood by any of the other dogs here! We have NEVER had the same issues with spaniels, labs, hpr, retrievers or my lurchers of all sorts. Even terriers have generally behaved like dogs!!
 

fankino04

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Sadly I think most of the time it is the owners who don’t speak dog rather than anything to do with the dog being unusual or not understanding. I’m amazed how people totally misinterpret the signs that their own and other dogs are giving off ☹️

This is a very generalised comment I hasten to add OP not trying to diss your friend!
This is what I was wondering when she said the trainer told her that her dog doesn't speak dog and misunderstands the other dog and therefore retaliate to non existant aggression, I did wonder if its the dog or the people not understanding....
I have a female malamute who can be similar to this (she was rehomed through amruk at 7 years old from a home who had her from 6 weeks old and apart from the terrier they also own very rarely socialised her with other dogs) we have to take care when introducing her to other dogs but I often wonder if the problem lies with her or that we are missing some signals that would explain things?
 

DabDab

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I think the trainer was just trying to break it nicely to your friend that the dog will require a lot of work and may not ever be completely trustworthy around strange dogs.

I've never had a dog that was incompetent at communicating with other dogs, though they have all had slightly different styles ;).
 

Levrier

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This is what I was wondering when she said the trainer told her that her dog doesn't speak dog and misunderstands the other dog and therefore retaliate to non existant aggression, I did wonder if its the dog or the people not understanding....
I have a female malamute who can be similar to this (she was rehomed through amruk at 7 years old from a home who had her from 6 weeks old and apart from the terrier they also own very rarely socialised her with other dogs) we have to take care when introducing her to other dogs but I often wonder if the problem lies with her or that we are missing some signals that would explain things?
That assessment suggests to me that you are unlikely to be missing signs 😊 in my experience owners who miss signs tend to be people who don’t take into account where their dog has come from and what experiences he/she may have had? I see a lot of rescue owners who are apparently astonished when their (FOR EXAMPLE - NOT COMMON!) Greyhound grabs a passing small dog which exactly represents they would chase on the track 😁
 

DiNozzo

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My mothers Yorkie doesn't understand other dogs due to being badly socialised as a pup (and possibly being removed too early- I don't remember).

He's very good though, he keeps himself to himself, although I do vividly remember an occasion at a P2P where we'd brought him with us as it would be a long day on his own otherwise.

We'd sat down to watch the races, and a couple came up with a young St Bernard that was bouncing around on the end of its lead. The Yorkie did not know what to do with himself an sat watching with his head cocked and one paw held up in front of him.

Apparently he told another dog off the other day for getting in his face by squaring off to him and he was most shocked when it worked and the other one backed off!
 

Cinnamontoast

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I’ve unfortunately known a few GSDs who don’t speak dog, a rescue who comes over, seems all happy then starts growling and will then attack, a puppy farm dog who slipped his lead and attacked one of mine. I don’t know their history so I don’t know if it’s due to lack of socialisation, but akitas and gsds are the two breeds I’d leave the park for if they were heading my way, although the big lump next door was best mates with my boys.

I don’t think Zak speaks dog. He doesn’t understand friendly approaches and thinks he needs to attack all other dogs. He never got over being attacked himself. He’s wired wrong. His brother is totally different and completely blanks other dogs unless he thinks they’re threatening his brother. 🙄 I don’t think we could have done anything to change Zak. He holds grudges and is unlike any other dog I’ve known.
 

Clodagh

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And I totally get that I only meet other working dogs, and I am incredibly lucky. When I go to Norfolk and meet other dogs in a 'relaxed' environment there is always a memorably badly behaved one there. It's not just that dogs don't speak dog it is that the owners are pig ignorant too!
When I said about dogs not speaking dog, IMO it is the aggressor who is as lacking in comms as the 'aggressed' (is there such a word!?).
 

splashgirl45

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talk about owners, i came across someone with a french bulldog on the lead, i put my terrier on the lead and my collie cross was walking next to me. the other dog seemed ok when on the floor but the owner picked it up as soon as she saw me and it then started growling and struggling to get down. i couldnt help myself and did say picking them up usually makes them more defensive, she said i do because she is not good with other dogs......i give up!!!
 

hurricane124

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We've been told our dog doesn't speak dog. The behaviourist thinks one of the reasons she's scared is because she doesn't know what other dogs are trying to tell her (playful, submissive, defensive etc) so always assumes they're out to get her!
Other dogs also don't seem to like her because she doesn't know how to show them when she wants to play etc.
 

fankino04

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I don't often agree with Bonny lol. I have one that wants nothing to do with other dogs. I have seen the whole range from his appearance provoking extremely negative primal responses in other dogs, to, as you describe, dogs that completely disrespect the body language of 'go away".
I've been told that his colouring and amount of hair can make him very hard for others to read.

And a dog that goes out of it's way to cross a large area then turns nasty when the target reacts, in my experience, does not want to play in the way we think. These dogs are often insecure bullies (lots of GSDs are, sadly).
What these dogs generally want to do is splat the other upside down to assert themselves and throw a tantrum when they can't. Just my own experience lol.
I met up with my friend yesterday and asked how it was going with the dog and she said there hasn't been much change, the trainer has said to keep her on a long line for introductions to new dogs and just take it slowly but hasn't offered much advice regards if it goes well and the dogs are then off lead to play and something happens. My friend says even when her dog is playing with her "usual group of doggy friends" it is always her chasing the other dogs and rolling them over which made me think of your post. How would you suggest dealing with a dog like this? I thought keeping a long line attached and when the play gets "too much" stopping it so she learns play only continues if she plays nicely? Any suggestions on how to train nice play?
 

fankino04

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I had a horse that didn't speak horse. It may well be a thing in all species.
I got told by a livery owner that my horse didn't know how to be a horse simply because when they hayed the field in the winter she chased the other horses to get the food first, I thought that was normal horse behaviour 😂
 

mule

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I got told by a livery owner that my horse didn't know how to be a horse simply because when they hayed the field in the winter she chased the other horses to get the food first, I thought that was normal horse behaviour 😂
Sounds a lot like one of mine:)
 
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