Today,I was in the yard playing fetch with Rogue. Suddenly, she runs to the side of the yard nearest our owners who have the pit bull bitch tied in their bag yard. Her hair on her back is standing on end, and she is barking and howling. I have heard that hair on end like this is a sign of aggression. Is this true, or is she just excited?
If she was excited, her hair would be normal, her tail would be raised to a neutral position, not low or high, and wagging gently. Rapidly is a sign of attack. Her ears would be alert (at the bases, her eyes open, her mouth open slightly, but not with teeth bared, and she'd be standing normally. If her hair was on end, her teeth bared, her eyes squinting, her ears down flat and held back, her stance would be spread out like she's steadying herself, and her tail may either be held straight or wagging rapidly. It sounds like she was upset to me, whether it was aggression or she was disturbed. I'm not sure about dals and whether they bark or howl more, but wither way, a short yippy and high-pitched sound is playful and happy. A really deep growl or bark would be aggression
I have only heard her growl when she saw her reflection one night. She spent 15 minutes growling at herself. Her tail isn't like any dalmatian I have ever seen. It always loops to the right a bit. I doesn't curl over, just loops. Her bark is more like a hound. I have never heard a dalmatian bark. We was wagging her tail really fast. I don't think whe was happy. She has met other dogs and acted very calmly. I was really suprised at her response. It was different from any other encounter I have observed with another dog.
SM, my Dal goes crazy and barks really loud (very houndish) at his reflection in the CD cupboard glass door....he must really think it is another dog in the room because he starts acting all strange until we take his attention away with something else! Haven't seen his hair stand up though. We found it very weird at first because our Boxer didn't bark at all...only if possums were trying to eat her food would she let out a huge, deep "RUFF" but that was the only time! Now we have a dog that sounds like dogs in movies "aaaarrrroooooooooooooo". It's cute though!
Oh Boxer Babe! Did you have to mention possums. I have a deep, ingrainged fear of those things and they are the only animal I think needs to be extinct. It sounds like Dalmations tend to bark more than anything else. The hair standing on end is a sure sign od disturbance, be it fear of aggression.
Frosty Girl -- possums??? The brush tailed possums we get here in Australia (not sure if they are the same as yours) are soooo cute!! My sister and I found a baby one 6 months ago at our work. Anne was a kangaroo joey carer so we were allowed to nurse this little baby possum, that had no hair and was smaller than our palm, back to health. His name was Cassidy! HE got released back to the wild. It makes me laugh that you are scared of them!! :)
http://www.possumrescue.com/possumpictures.htm These ones. I know it's a bit odd, but it's sort of a family thing, we hate them. I used to have a dog Princess (pitbull, golden, doberman) who would hunt them down and corner them. We would stand in the window and watch her. I'm also afraid of big spiders and roaches. I have a lot of quirky, odd things I don't like.
Hi I wanted to respond to this post..being owned by 3 dals...When mine are in a situation where they are not sure of another dog or feel threatend..the hair raises on back and it is low bark..almost like a warning bark..Best thing to do would get her mind off the other dog...
Frosty Here are a few photos of our possums....yours ARE scary....they would freak me out if one was looking at me. http://www.koala.net/ed/animals/pos1.htm http://www.epa.qld.gov.au/nature_conservation/wildlife/living_with_wildlife/brushtail_possums/ I think ours are a bit more cute and cuddly! If you look at the last link above, there are some colourful birds right up the top of the page -- they are rainbow lorikeets -- I have one of those too called Murphy!
I have the opposums in the states. They are like huge nasty sewer rats. EWWWW! There are two of the them living in my neighbors tree next door to me. They fight with stray cats and are a horrible nuissance. I know my dal owns me. I carry her to bed like a little baby every night.
Boxer Babe: those ones aren't as bad in pictures, but I doubt I'd ever want to come face to face with one. THey do seem a bit less like a nuisance and a little more like natural wildlife. supermommy: I'm glad someone else thinks they're horrible. I was just saying they are like huge rats. They are just disgusting. I can't tell you how many times the dogs in our family have had those things cornered. My mom had one in her face hissing at her one time.