Home > Dog Behavior, Dog Training, Pet Safety, Pet Videos > Little dog/Big dog interaction – What do you see?

Little dog/Big dog interaction – What do you see?


So how much did you observe your dog this weekend? Other dogs? Did you catch anything interesting? Some new behavior you’ve never seen before?

I had the opportunity to do a lot of observing this past weekend. The dog park was a busy place. So much so that it was almost impossible not to observe something. It also made concentrated observation time difficult because there was SO much going on.

I wish I had taken more videos of dogs that I could observe later. It would be fun to see what things I missed (quite a bit I am sure!).  Since I have no slowed down videos of my own to share, I thought I would share a great one I found a couple of weeks ago. This video was posted on YouTube by Gentle Canine. It’s another great example of dog body language. What I love is that Kirsten (the dog trainer) gives a more detailed rundown of the behaviors displayed, and what they mean, on her website. I would encourage you to check it out.

As you watch the video ask yourself these questions…

  • What behaviors do you see?
  • What stands out?
  • Did you notice a dog freeze?
  • What were the positions of each dogs’ ears?
  • Were the dogs leaning forward or backwards?
  • Was there lip-licking observed? What stood out the most to you?
  • What did the husky mix do at the end of the video? Why?

Curious what all this means? The Whole Dog Journal has a Canine Stress Dictionary listing all or most of these behaviors and how to interpret them. I highly recommend it.

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  1. August 19, 2013 at 2:39 AM

    I’m doing a lot of observing and supervising with a foster dog in the house for the past 2 weeks. It really cuts into my computer time, lol! I need to check out your links 🙂 Flash is quite a difficult dog to read and I’m still working him out. Heck, he doesn’t know who he is himself yet, lol! Interesting video clip.

    • Mel
      August 19, 2013 at 6:54 AM

      I bet you are Sue! Maybe him not knowing who he really is has thrown off his signals? or, maybe he’s learning from Beryl? Daisy had many signals, but was so shut down that she wouldn’t show them at first. Dogs would go up to her and sniff her and walk away like she wasn’t worth their time. They didn’t know what to make of her. Maybe Flash is learning how to feel comfortable.

  2. August 19, 2013 at 3:29 AM

    This is a great video-slow motion rocks! The husky was using a lot of calming signals – licking lips, lifting front paw. The Chihuahua was clearly uncomfortable from the beginning – his tail is stiff, looks like he’s showing teeth early on but I can’t tell for sure. It’s hard to see the base of the Chihuahua’s head but the base of his ears look like they’re going back (even though they’re flopped forward); the husky’s ears look like they’re going forward at the base. I’m guessing the Chihuahua was insecure rather than aggressive since the husky was interested in him. The husky shakes off the incident at the end. Now I’m going to check out Kirsten’s website to see how I did! ;0)

    • Mel
      August 19, 2013 at 6:51 AM

      Really great summary BoingyDog! You caught a lot!

  3. August 19, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    Really interesting video! My Del has a friend who is a Chihuahua and their behaviours are often like those in the video- the small dog gets defensive while the big one tries to show that they are calm and mean no harm. I love looking at the differences between big and small dogs- they’re so different but both endearing in their own ways. Thanks for the share!

    • Mel
      August 20, 2013 at 6:08 AM

      Thanks for sharing your experiences and thoughts Rachel. Very interesting about it being behavior you have seen before.

  4. August 21, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    I took a dog body language class a while ago. It was basic but still I don’t remember what too many of the signs mean. The big take away for me was to pay attention to what your dog and other dogs are doing and learn how your dog will react after giving certain signs or getting certain signs. Sorry I can’t add to the conversation beyond that.

    • Mel
      August 22, 2013 at 6:52 AM

      I think it’s awesome that you attended a class Jessica. It’s not something most people attend or even know about. I think that is an awesome take away. Paying attention makes so much sense given how quickly they can communicate and how quickly things can happen.

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