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Hi!

It's my first time trying to read body language. I did know some basic stuff, but not all the subtle signals. Now that my dog is reactive to other dogs, I'm trying really hard to see all the signals to find out if she's aggressive or not.

So, can you help me?

When she saw other dogs, she used to be really reactive, barking, whining and pulling. And when the dog left, she would whine non-stop and bite the leash. She did get loose twice and ran directly towards the dogs: first time she sniffed them, second time she was jumping around it and barking.

After some progress in training her, we noticed that right now, if the dog is moving towards her, she keeps sitting, with her tail on the ground, ears standing, but the hackles in her back rise. She doesn't bark or pull anymore (as long as the dog comes towards her). Once the dog is gone, however, she starts whining, barking and gets really agitated.

So, do you guys think she's aggressive? The hackles' thing got me worried, as I saw somewhere that it might be aggression or excitement (arousal, either way)
 

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Hackles mean arousal, not necessarily aggression. The fact that she got loose and ran up to another dog jumping and barking around it, and the other time she sniffed, implies she is not truly aggressive. She would do damage if she intended to. It sounds like she WANTS to interact with other dogs whereas the display put on by truly aggressive dogs is meant to create distance, ie drive the other dog away.

Hard to tell based on the limited information. And do keep in mind that it does not mean she may not be aggressive towards certain dogs in certain situations.
 

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I agree, hard to tell with the information, but that doesn't sound like aggression to me. That sounds like what my dog loving, way too friendly dog does when he sees other dogs. She's being rude, I think, but that's kind of normal, especially if she's young. With time and training, she will learn what is appropriate for greeting and what is not. What helped my dog is playing with other older dogs that taught him some manners, and going to dog classes. He barked, whined, and pulled toward other dogs and payed me little attention at first, but he has vastly improved.
 
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