Hair Standing Up on Dogs Back

@Jshean20 (14377)
Canada
March 13, 2007 12:41am CST
I've noticed that the hair stands up on my dog from time to time and this can happen when they're scared but what other kinds of situations does this happen in? What have you noticed with your dog?
1 person likes this
14 responses
• United States
13 Mar 07
It can stand up on their backs when they are scared (like your dog) or when they feel threatened and want to look bigger than what they actually are. I don't have a dog, so i can't tell you what my dog does, but i do believe that the reason stated before is why the hair stands up on their back. :)
1 person likes this
@blackbriar (9095)
• United States
13 Mar 07
My lab/pit mix raises his hackles whenever he sees/hears someone walking past the house or coming in the yard. I mean his hair along his spine from the base of his neck clear down to the base of his tail stands straight up with aggression. He's growling and barking as well when he does that.
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@melanie652 (2526)
• United States
13 Mar 07
I notice on our cats the hair stands up and their tails get bushy when they're scared. I also see it when they're being agressive, like when a strange cat shows up or they're picking play fights with each other. I think they fluff up their fur and tails to make themselves look bigger. I think they do it to make themselve look more intimidating to their opponent.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Dec 07
my two Lab's  - My two Labrador Retriever's the smaller one is a mix.
I have two dogs, one a Labrador Retriever and the other a Lab MIxed with a Shar-pei. Both of my dogs "Get their hackles up", which is what it is called when a dogs hair stands up along their back. When my lab does it, the affect continues on down to her tail which looks like it's got a big kink in it. It's a reaction to their being either scared, startled or aggressive. My little one does it at the drop of a hat, but the larger one only does it when she "hears" something that she doesn't think she should be hearing. Either way, it's a perfectly normal things that dogs do and depending on your dogs individual personality situations where it can occur will be different. I've seen my dog do that when we were about to have an earth quake too, oddly enough. Dogs and cats can sense these things and will act quite strangely when they're going to occur.
• India
15 Dec 07
I like my hair to be a little long, like between the shoulder blades, or to the middle of the back.I have had it like that forever.I love my hair so much! My hair length is almost in my waist! sometimes i curl it for a different looks! But i am planning to cut it because of the summer!
@babyhar (1339)
• Canada
19 Mar 07
My dogs hair on her back seems to stand up when she is rather scared or something had really startled her. It's difficult to notice that she does this with her fur as she is a rather short haired puppy. But when she hears a noise that startles her or sometimes if someone knocks at our bedroom door or sometimes even front door. Her hair will go up sometimes. I also find when this happens she tends to release as she got really frightened quite fast. I try to calm her the best to my ability when this happens. I also know if something had really upset her in some way her hair on her back will also go up to. If someone had made her upset she will turn to going to a corner & sitting there with her eyes up looking not all to impressed. And in her attack mode in case someone decides to do something that had spooked her all over again, or had even upset her as well. I find that when she gets threatened it seems like her hair will stand up as well. She tends to set herself up in a defense mode. I think the reason for this is because she is defending herself & the people around her. I know she will sometimes stand right in front of me or my other half if she feels like someone is trying to threaten us or even her. I believe the reasons I had listed above are as to why our puppys hair tends to stand up! I've heard also that when a dogs hair stands up on there back.. It also I believe is a warning a dog is trying to give off to the person or thing that had spooked or upset them. I've also heard that a dog does this as well because they are trying to show that they are not at all afraid. It's a defense mechanism really. It also sometimes is because they are wanting to show that they are the dominant one in the situation . Sometimes it doesn't always mean that the dog is scared or even angry. In conclusion.. I have found that these are the reasons that my dogs hair on her back tends to stand up. I haven't found any other reason as to why she goes ahead & does this.. But I have heard other reasons as to why this happens to a dog or why a dog does this.. And I believe I had listed some of them above! . . Thanks for allowing me to share! xx
@tess1960 (2387)
• United States
14 Mar 07
A humidity increase or the atmospheric pressure changing suddenly will case this too. Also a home that is too dry.
@limosonia1 (1560)
• United States
14 Mar 07
For my lab his hair stands when he is on the defensive. Like one day he heard something in the back yard he didn't bark but his hairs went up and I noticed because he came and sat next to me then growled under his breath. Then he took off running towards the back. I followed there was somebody in my yard and he had heard it. We live in the country so it was scary.
• United States
13 Mar 07
My dogs hair always stands up when they are angry and ready to fight.
• Singapore
13 Mar 07
my dog always hide under the sofa and look up at me with really pitiful eyes after he does something naughty... he knows i will get really angry... but he still does naughty things... well, the pitiful eyes thing works big time for him... i can never bear to scold him when he does that... lolz...
@slickcut (8141)
• United States
13 Mar 07
Anytime a dogs hair stands up ,he is on the defense. he can either be scared or he could be alarmed about something or someone...I have a small dog and when his hair Stands uP that meAns he iS not happy with his surroundingd,it could be a bad sign..................
@BunGirl (2639)
• United States
13 Mar 07
With my guys it seems to be mostly when they're wrestling. It's kinda funny!
@Galena (9125)
13 Mar 07
it's called their Hackles. the hair mostly at the shoulders, and a bit around their hips (you notice more with a short haired dog) stand up when they're agressive, defensive or scared. it's to make themselves look bigger and more threatening.
@melody1011 (1665)
• India
13 Mar 07
I think it also happens when my dogs are faced with an unfamiliar situation. Like when other dogs come into our compound.. they just cannot bear it. Also when new people come home, my dogs or rather just 2 of them go absolutely crzy and keep barking with their hair all standing up. Like you said, when they get scared especially when there are extremely loud noises like crakers and fireworks.