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> Weird Behaviour! Any Ideas?
jackied
post 17th Mar 2012, 11:00 am
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Scenario:

Airedale approaches. I know that this dog is friendly, gentle, but doesn't come when its owner calls. Twix is stalking it (on lead). Previously on one occasion the Airedale has run right up to us and Twix has not garred at it.

Airedale gets closer. Twix lunges and barks - not garrrs. I am struggling to hold him and OH suggests I let him off. (We are in a fenced area, no joggers, the only other dog walker present I know quite well and Twix has a history of being surprisingly OK with him and his dog.) The Airedale owner is Ok with this.

I let Twix off, he runs towards the other dog. They have a sniff, then a brief moment of garr on their hind legs which I am pretty sure is a play attempt on Twix's part, not a squabble. Repeat sniff and garr.

Then - and this is the weird part - Twix starts walking round and round the Airedale. And round and round. And round and round. And round and round. He is close to the other dog, staring at him and looks tense, but he's not actually stalking. Round and round and round. If the Airedale moves, Twix moves with him, still circling. Round and round and round.

Pancho the Westie approaches to see what's going on, then jumps up at me to get my sausages, and Twix completely ignores him. Lucy runs up to the Airedale's owner and asks her to throw her ball rolleyes.gif Round and round and round.

None of the dogs (except Lucy smile.gif ) comes when we/the other owners call. Eventually I go right up to them (before I was trying not to increase the tension as I thought if the Airedale took Twix's treats that might really start something). When I get to a couple of feet away Twix finally breaks away from the circling and comes to me looking relieved. I put him on the lead and the Airedale goes back to his owner, also looking relieved. Twix stares at the Airedale as it moves away but doesn't garrr.

What on earth do you think was going on? It was as if Twix was stuck and didn't know how to stop circling. Have you ever seen this before?


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Lindsay
post 17th Mar 2012, 11:49 am
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I've not actually seen this, but can imagine what you mean.

Sometimes it would be so great to be able to talk to dogs and to just ask them smile.gif
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Dalsmum
post 17th Mar 2012, 3:36 pm
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Do you think he could have been controlling the Airedale ?
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KB Merlin's Mum
post 17th Mar 2012, 4:22 pm
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Is the Airedale well?

I can't help thinking that maybe Twix was worried about something. Is he picking up on a smell from the Airedale ?
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muttlover2
post 17th Mar 2012, 4:45 pm
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We sometimes meet a collie bitch who is a bit nervous and a bit controlling. She used to not like my dog but we have discovered if we play ball together that they "work" alongside each other fine. However if we stop, she will sort of go to him and push him about with her collie eye and she sort of circles a bit in a pushy eyeing way but it's a step down from aggressive, more like she is trying to control him and still a bit wary of him. She is defiinitely better than she was with him but is a nervous and controlling herdy dog. She is quite protective of the other dog (who is utterly fine and super friendly so really doesn't need protecting!) i don't know if this is similar to Twix. Otherwise, if he was stiff and the other dog was a male and he is going round a bit it could be the male posturing or wariness but not actually wanting a fight thing - just wary.
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nikirushka
post 17th Mar 2012, 4:58 pm
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Intriguing. I wonder if, as you say, he was just 'stuck' - gotten himself into a repeating pattern and didn't know how to break it. Maybe stress just got him stuck into it and stopped him getting out of it.

Rai does something similar if River has dropped a ball at my feet to be kicked - Rai will point at the ball but do circles round us both, over and over and over. Can't stop her when she does, in her case it's stress and overexcitement and the ball which in itself makes her manic and removes her self control. Almost OCD. I don't think it's quite the same as Twix though as she will always do it in that situation and always has, it's not a one-off new thing dunno.gif
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jackied
post 17th Mar 2012, 7:29 pm
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QUOTE
I can't help thinking that maybe Twix was worried about something.


He's always worried about other dogs. The Airedale had a shaved patch as if he'd had an op but it didn't look particularly recent (and he was running around happily). Twix did look very wary but I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the dogs that he isn't wary of.

It did look kind of like a dysfunctional herding behaviour though I've never seen Twix circle in a herdy way before. But I also wondered if he wanted to leave the Airedale and come back to us but didn't want to turn his back on it - so got stuck going round and round in circles. Maybe he simply doesn't know how to retreat without garrring in an awkward situation, and felt he couldn't garrrr since the Airedale was quite a lot bigger than him. unsure.gif


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celia
post 22nd Mar 2012, 3:04 pm
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Sounds like uncertainty to me . Sometimes when Barney has greeted another dog and things are fine-ish but the other dog doesn't seem that relaxed Barney will be reluctant to just move away, in case there is trouble on the horizon . So if things are a little tense , he won't turn his back on the other dog and that can lead to a sort of circling - usually Barney tries to get the other dog back to it's person and then he can "release" it .
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rosiemongrel
post 22nd Mar 2012, 4:45 pm
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QUOTE(celia @ 22nd Mar 2012, 3:04 pm) *

So if things are a little tense , he won't turn his back on the other dog and that can lead to a sort of circling.


snap - same here. Barney has circled and circled and circled around another dog for ages, looking deeply worried, but utterly unable it seems to break it off. He does a high-pitched 'feeeeeeep' kind of a sound whilst circling, which is an arousal / anxiety noise he makes (he makes it in the car too). When he has broken the spell and moved away, he looks over his shoulder constantly as he runs back to us, with his ears pinned to his head sad.gif . If the 'spell' is too strong, he changes his mind about turning his back on the other dog after a few seconds of running towards us, and then he turns around and resumes the circling, because he obviously didn't feel safe running away from it after all.

In a relaxed meet 'n' greet he just does a face sniff, bum sniff, pee on a vertical surface, move on kind of a thing.

This post has been edited by rosiemongrel: 22nd Mar 2012, 4:45 pm
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spottycharlie
post 28th Mar 2012, 8:40 pm
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I've seen thiws happen in an old dog of mine, Charlie who was aggressive, himself and another dog had a bit of a fight after Charlie snapped his lead and he circled the other dog until I eventually managed to call him away calmly. I asked a behaviourist about this and she said it was a controlling thing.
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Akitas
post 29th Mar 2012, 10:45 am
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QUOTE(celia @ 22nd Mar 2012, 3:04 pm) *

So if things are a little tense , he won't turn his back on the other dog and that can lead to a sort of circling - usually Barney tries to get the other dog back to it's person and then he can "release" it .

If I call Meg away from a dog she doesn't trust she'll actually just back away from it back to me. We've noticed if she turns her back on these dogs they follow, but if she can keep an eye on them they stay still and let her go. She's usually trying to keep the other dog away from Inja though so having the other dog follow her back isn't a good idea.
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celia
post 29th Mar 2012, 11:22 am
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Akitas, Barney does similar, what he doesn't want is the dog to follow him over to me, if he feels any distrust.

But he also in general thinks dogs should stick with their people and even when he was mister sunshine with other dogs he did have strong views on dogs that did not heed their owners.
When he was a friendly chap I often had to escort dogs back to their people after a game with Barney and them not wanting to "go home" or else I would have acquired about twenty dogs on each walk smile.gif , and I suspect doing this has somehow got him into the idea that some dogs need to be told to go back to their humans. unsure.gif
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