Smiling Dog

http://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/smiling-dog

Hope it's ok to post links from youtube, if its not please someone let me know, Quick 😃

He looked like he was expecting to get hit to me. When the guy walked up, ears back, squinting and a little shaky.

I didn't take it that way. Her tail was wagging in a big circle the whole time and I didn't see the shaking…maybe I missed something. I saw the eyes close, too, but I didn't see the flinch muscles in play.

Beautiful Shiba

Edit: I looked at it a second time, watching for signs of fear. While I was wrong about the tail going the whole time, I still don't take her as an abused girl. It takes a bit of effort for a dog to keep its ears flat like that, which may explain why her ears shook a little. Otherwise, she appeared relaxed and comfortable around her guy.

Edit again: AJ flicks his tongue like that sometimes when he's getting a back rub or a tummy rub. He's not afraid of me and loooooves his back rubs. Laying the ears flat does not always mean fear. Sometimes it is deference and submission. Some dogs are natural submitters. Sometimes they do that when they are very happy to see someone. I did note she flatted her ears when the woman and child were reaching for her but did not flinch or pull away. She does not appear to fear humans to me.

Houston

I thought it looked cute, but maybe that is because I had no idea what the narrator was saying..

The tongue flicks are the big signal for me.
The lips pulling back and airplane ears could be excitement, but the tongue flicks tell me she is uncomfortable.
The lips pulling back could be a form of fear grimace. I saw the very tips of the ears shaking too.

If I were approaching this dog, I would take all of her body signals as saying she was uncomfortable with me coming any closer, and would probably curve away, turn my side to her, and give her a chance to come to me. I may try to soften my eyes, and yawn to make her a bit more comfortable too.

She doesn't look like a threat, but it looks to me like her body language is saying "oh, please don't, please don't, please don't."
The squinty eyes, and slow wag are probably trying to show that she isn't a threat.
If she were really happy, I would expect an open mouth, and more wag, moving up into her hips.

-Nicole

Houston

ok, so I looked at it two more times and I am on the fence with this one..part of me sees a happy dog with mellow body language and the other part of me sees a dog that is fearfull..I sure wonder what the truth is.

@AJs:

Edit: I looked at it a second time, watching for signs of fear. While I was wrong about the tail going the whole time, I still don't take her as an abused girl.

Definitely not abused. She wasn't cowering. Just uncomfortable.
Kind of like when a kid is happy to see an aunt, but doesn't want the big hug they know is coming.

edit: I thought of exactly what it reminds me of: It reminds me of when I come toward Petey with Nail Clippers in my hand. he is happy to see me, then when he sees the clippers, the tail lowers slowly, the squinty eyes, the pulled back moth corners, slight lowering of the head, and ears out.

When he is really, really happy the ears go straight back, not out to the sides.

She is being very submissive, and very exaggerated in showing her submissiveness. http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/kids-and-pets/caninebody_language.pdf - if you look at "Active Submission" that is her.

If it were me approaching, I would stop, because I wouldn't want her to feel like she needs to give such huge submissive displays.

I wish Barbara Handelman posted more often. Her blog is so wonderful to learn how to interpret very small motions in dogs.

http://woofandwordpress.com/blog/

-Nicole

Do you think that perhaps she may have felt intimidated by all the strangers and video equipment? Could that have been a partial factor in the behavior?

Any dog who is tied out, can't get away from folks who might mistreat them.
This dog looks to me like she is giving MAJOR submissive signals to the man approching her.
(could be that she has had folks mishandle her when she was tied out and couldn't get away*.
Just my thought.

I agree with the submissive grin and ears, but I didn't take it as signs of abuse. I do know of some dogs who have never been abused but still display over the top submissive signals like submissive peeing.

I would like to see this dog's response without her being tied up. I think that would give a more accurate indication on the dogs issues.

The dog is probably tied up for her own protection. Having lived in Japan, I am personally aware of how close the houses are to each other and to very busy streets that people zoom up and down on at mach-4 speeds. Yards are very small and you are lucky to have enough ground to have a lawn. I remember our "yard" was the flat roof with the waist-high wall around it. Our landlord had a tiny garden up there and it's where we kids would hang out.

I've heard Shiba Inu are very similar to Basenji in their lack of fear toward cars. Cultural differences are in play here too. This home looks like it's in the city. If that's the case, she is a very lucky dog to have someone looking after her at all. I cannot pass judgment on this dog's situation because of all this. She is clean, healthy and obviously gets walks and attention. She is not fearful of her owner or of other people. She accepts affection easily and can be approached. She may be the dog who has a naturally submissive personality. While I would much prefer a fenced yard as opposed to a rope or chain, I cannot pass negative judgment in this case. I have lived in Japan. Life is different there.

I would like to thank Ms. Thunderbird for sharing this video. I'm sure she shared it without thinking it would spark a discussion on whether the dog may be abused or mistreated.

It's good that it's sparked some discussion. Your right Belinda initialy i put it on because i enjoyed it so much, i thought the Dogs smile was beautiful even reaching her eyes. I never thought about her being scared, i noticed the shaking but thought it to be excitment. Now i'm not sure about it but hope he is just happy to see his owner.
I had a Dalmation that smiled a lot, she did it to greet us but also did it when she was a bit nervous. She would pull her lips back and show her top teeth, sometimes she did it so much it made her sneeze 😃 It was quite funny sometimes when new visitors came and she smiled, they would instantly draw back their hands 😃

Spring, my 12 year old, smiles. Usually when I am giving her a Ttouch massage and cuddle. She does behave in a submissive way when she smiles (as much as a Basenji can be submissive). She does indeed flatten her ears but I can't say she behaves in the same way as the Shiba. She opens her mouth to smile displaying her teeth and doesn't turn up her mouth like that.

@thunderbird8588:

It's good that it's sparked some discussion. Your right Belinda initialy i put it on because i enjoyed it so much, i thought the Dogs smile was beautiful even reaching her eyes. I never thought about her being scared, i noticed the shaking but thought it to be excitment. Now i'm not sure about it but hope he is just happy to see his owner.
I had a Dalmation that smiled a lot, she did it to greet us but also did it when she was a bit nervous. She would pull her lips back and show her top teeth, sometimes she did it so much it made her sneeze 😃 It was quite funny sometimes when new visitors came and she smiled, they would instantly draw back their hands 😃

Thunderbird8588,

Funny you should mention this… One of my closest friends has Belgian Sheps, and the first time I met my friends 'Georgie', she came over to me with her VERY typical Belgian smile, and I nearly cra**ed myself, thinking she was about to bite... I knew all about their smiles, BUT, I was just not ready for such a HUGE smile, all the teeth showing... We still laugh about this, and she still does it to me everytime I see her :D:D:D.

@thunderbird8588:

It's good that it's sparked some discussion. Your right Belinda initialy i put it on because i enjoyed it so much, i thought the Dogs smile was beautiful even reaching her eyes. I never thought about her being scared, i noticed the shaking but thought it to be excitment. Now i'm not sure about it but hope he is just happy to see his owner.
I had a Dalmation that smiled a lot, she did it to greet us but also did it when she was a bit nervous. She would pull her lips back and show her top teeth, sometimes she did it so much it made her sneeze 😃 It was quite funny sometimes when new visitors came and she smiled, they would instantly draw back their hands 😃

Thank you for posting the video. Since it seems that I am the only one on here that has a Shiba and has had her for almost 11 years here is my take on the way the dog acted. First that is a smile for sure Spice does that all the time however Spices tail is always still curled over her back but with strangers there that could have made the dog drop the tail. Spice loves everyone and wags her tail all time but when she was younger she might have put her tail down if there were to many people around she did not know. Yes Belinda you are so right Shiba cannot be trusted loose any more than a Basenji. When we got Spice the lady first gave us a book to read that she had made called the Shiba from he__ __. After reading the book she said are you still sure you want the puppy?? I think the dog is fine and happy.

Rita Jean

Here is a pic of my Dalmation Amy in her smiling mode. I know it looks fearsome but she was the friendliest of Dogs and couldn't understand why people snatched their hands away 😃
This is the only smile i captured as i had her in the days before digital photography and didnt take as many pics as nowerdays.
Perhaps other members may have pics of their own Dogs smiling?

That is so cute.

I didn't see threatening at all in that picture. Her eyes are soft, her nose is not wrinkled up, her commissures are neither pushed forward or pulled back, her ears are all the way back, but not pinned or airplaned, her jaw is relaxed, and she has her head tilted back slightly, displaying her throat.

She is doing everything she can to say, "see, I am nothing to be afraid of."

Have you ever read Stanly Coren's book "How to Speak Dog"? The first case he discusses is a breeder misreading this very grin in her setter, on page 4 and 5 ( paperback edition).

It is a really good book. I highly recommend it.

-Nicole

Thanks Nicole, will look out for it.

Sounds a very interesting book, I'll look for it on Amazon.

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