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  #1  
Old 01-28-2004, 09:00 PM
Dee Dee is offline
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Stareing, what does it mean?

Hi,

Just wondering if anyone knows what it means when your dog stares at you?? My dog did this twice tonight, and honestly it made me feel uncomfortable. Both times I stared back until he averted his eyes. I've never seen him do this before and don't know if I did the right thing by staring back.

Thanks,
Dee
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  #2  
Old 01-28-2004, 09:11 PM
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Re: Stareing, what does it mean?

Unlike many breeds, Rottweilers are often very comfortable with eye contact. There is all kind of eye contact with dogs just as there is with people. Hard challenging eye contact, soft - I like to see into your soul eye contact and everything inbetween. If it made you uncomfortable it is perhaps because it was hard eye contact or perhaps simply that you have never paid attention before or had those exchanges with your dog. You must determine what kind it is and then you will know what the proper response is. I frequently have long conversations held with eyes alone with my dogs and do not consider eye contact in itself to be a challenge.
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  #3  
Old 01-28-2004, 09:52 PM
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Re: Stareing, what does it mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Judi W
Unlike many breeds, Rottweilers are often very comfortable with eye contact. There is all kind of eye contact with dogs just as there is with people. Hard challenging eye contact, soft - I like to see into your soul eye contact and everything inbetween. If it made you uncomfortable it is perhaps because it was hard eye contact or perhaps simply that you have never paid attention before or had those exchanges with your dog. You must determine what kind it is and then you will know what the proper response is. I frequently have long conversations held with eyes alone with my dogs and do not consider eye contact in itself to be a challenge.
I've done the same...once you recognize the different types of eye contact you can communicate on another level. Charleigh has "HEY! Come play with me" eye contact, usually reinforced with lots of bouncing and nub wagging. "I need to go out" " want a drink of water" eye contact. "MAKE ME" eye contact. And right now while I'm typing she's laying on the floor staring at my back. When I turn around and look at her, her eyes are very soft. I think she's just content to be in the same room.
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  #4  
Old 01-29-2004, 01:42 AM
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Re: Stareing, what does it mean?

My husband calls it "putting the whammy" you. It is Misty's way of trying to get my husband to let her on the sofa or a bit of his snack. It is the dog's way of communicating.
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  #5  
Old 01-29-2004, 06:00 AM
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Re: Stareing, what does it mean?

Akasha and Keil have been trained to make eye contact with us quite frequently. When I say Akasha's name the first thing she does is look into my eyes. It is one of many ways that we communicate. As Judi said there are many different types of eye contact. I have never felt threatened by either Keil nor Akasha when making eye contact with them.
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  #6  
Old 01-29-2004, 06:12 AM
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Re: Stareing, what does it mean?

It's a blatant Jedi mind trick. :D

"You don't want the last bite of that sandwich"
"I don't want the last bite of the sandwich"
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"I'll give it to the dog!"

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  #7  
Old 01-29-2004, 10:16 AM
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Re: Stareing, what does it mean?

Chase looks into my eyes quite a bit. Usually there is something important she thinks I am not paying attention to. She wants out and I missed her "dance" at the door. It is 2 minutes past breakfast time and if she has to wait longer, she will just starve to death.

There is also the "gosh mom, you really must give me scritches behind my ears" look.
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  #8  
Old 01-29-2004, 12:13 PM
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Re: Stareing, what does it mean?

Jas will gaze directly into my eyes too. Especially when I call her and ask "who is my good girl" she sometimes does her little trill too at the same time. I have noticed this gaze more in Jas my rottie than in the other 2. Anya the cattle dog has a definate attitude with her looks and the terrier has a rather mischevious look.

The rottie is much more expressive in her facial expressions. The lovie end anyway :D :D
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  #9  
Old 01-29-2004, 12:42 PM
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Re: Stareing, what does it mean?

Backing up a bit. Dee, I think with this dog's history, in all honesty you are probably correct in that he was likely trying a challenge. didn't want to push his luck with his old style so was seeing if he could test the water's with the eye contact. If he does that again, you should stand up tall, give him a stern look and tell him to "knock if off and go lie down"...............
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  #10  
Old 01-29-2004, 01:32 PM
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Re: Stareing, what does it mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Judi W
Backing up a bit. Dee, I think with this dog's history, in all honesty you are probably correct in that he was likely trying a challenge. didn't want to push his luck with his old style so was seeing if he could test the water's with the eye contact. If he does that again, you should stand up tall, give him a stern look and tell him to "knock if off and go lie down"...............

Judi, I do think your right about why Koda was stareing. He's been doing really well until a few days ago when he started challenging again (not getting off the forbidden couch when told and making me drag him off and then shortly after I leave the room hopping back on). On Tues. when I was doing his weekly nail clipping, he sort of went after my hand. When I say "sort of" I mean threatening to nip at which point we had another CTJ meeting (he seemed to respond to this one much quicker than the other times). We've not let up on him and the only thing that's changed is we've had a stomach bug go around to everyone in the family this last week and we've slacked up on his training. Could he of seen this as his opportunity to climb the ladder again? We're onto him and he can try, but he's NOT getting away with his challenging behavior. Generally, we've seen a huge improvement in his attitude but we're not yet where we need to be with him. I am happy to say that he's not bothered the boys at all (except for stealing their toys) and is not bullying the other dogs. So I do think we're getting there, but he's just not finished trying. I was really happy to read your last post because after reading the other replies, I was wondering if I made too much of his stares.

Thanks for all your help/support.

Dee
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  #11  
Old 01-29-2004, 01:44 PM
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Re: Staring, what does it mean?

Excellent thread, I personally find that Makita will stare at me, indirectly, as she is reading my body language, etc. this is totally not threatening, as she is picking up the many signals I give off when I am not talking.

Obviously, probably like most of your rotties, she turns on a dime when I start to cry, or even think about crying, she feels my sadness instantly, I catch her staring more like "observing" all the time.

Another reason why this breed amazes me, and I respect the fact they are so intelligent. :D
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  #12  
Old 01-29-2004, 02:38 PM
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Re: Staring, what does it mean?

Such an interesting thread. Staring, just as with any form of communication is always coupled with body language. There is the contented stare, the "feed me some, please" stare, the potty stare and others as outlined in this thread. My Rottie has challenged me only once with a stare. I knew it right away. We had adopted her at age 5 and the first few weeks were simply adjustment to being in the house versus outside kennel and gettting used to us. At about the third week, I came up the stairs and she was sitting there, very focused, tense and the stare was "hard". I gulped. My first Rottie. I knew that if I ignored her or reacted passively she would assume dominance. I grabbed myself by the virtual collar, marched up the stairs and ordered her to go to her rug and lie down. That was all it took. Several days later I upped her training. We had one more attempt at climbing the ladder when I tried to take a bone from her. If I remember correctly it was probably about the same time as the other incident. I went to reach for the bone and she growled, fiercely. I immediately initiated the CTJ mtg and threw in a few swift obedience commands. She hasn't growled at me or the kids since then. We approach her when we need to move a bone or kong, command "release!" and then take it. In the 5 years we've had her, not a single further incident. She is my constant shadow all over the house and yard. I take her out with me often too. As I type she is lying behind my chair and sucking up the heat from the coal stove.

Remaining ALpha is critical. Diligence and watching the small deviances of behaviour and body language can tell you alot. Training and continued training increases the emotional bond and solidifies to the dog who is or is not in charge. Our Rotties are wonderful animals. It deeply saddens me when I hear of someone getting hurt, most often due to lack of attention to the small things. Hanna and I have learned alot about each other and I can pretty much tell at any given time what her mood, stress level and need is. Being a responsible and sensitive owner will keep you and your Rottie happy, safe and a good press report.
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  #13  
Old 01-29-2004, 05:27 PM
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Re: Staring, what does it mean?

This thread really cracked me up because I couldn't help but think of the way Duchess will stare at me intently and then dart her eyes to something then dart back to my eyes, willing me to look at the item. If I do look at it, she runs over to me smiling and doing the all over body wag. I'll say "what, I don't see anything" "what do you want" and she gets all serious again darting her eyes back and forth like "right there! right there! gimme that pizza crust!"
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  #14  
Old 01-31-2004, 12:01 AM
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Re: Staring, what does it mean?

Little Bear was not a confident dog. He had all of those friendly, gooey, nice stares, but there were times when he had a very intense, menacing stare or sometimes a "crazed" stare. I had to distract or stop an activity, depending on the cause of the stare. I guess I was also seeing other body language, but the stares that weren't the good kind just seemed to radiate an impending problem so clearly... He was the only one who had stares that really concerned me. I'm glad it was so obvious a warning, actually.
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  #15  
Old 01-31-2004, 02:46 AM
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Re: Staring, what does it mean?

I have dealt with that scenario before. The first time I noticed it, I went out of my way to be the winner of the stare down contest, and even scolded her for staring. I agree with the other poster that it's a breed thing. Rotties are thinkers,, and observant. But consider this. If you are worried that a stare is a dominance related issue. Does it make sense that you dog is completely subordinate to you but sometimes stares, and that this is a sign of dominance?? No,, not at all. Consider everything before interpreting a stare as a challenge
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