As a dog owner, time and time again you will find yourself asking, why does my dog do this? Your dog may have many habits, behaviors, and characteristics that you do not fully understand. One of these behaviors may be showing their neck. You know, when your dog stands tall and raises his or hear head so their neck is clearly visible. Why do dogs do that? Many of the habits in modern dogs today stem back to their genealogy and ancestral roots. Other times these habits are just learned behaviors that may be due to improper training or attention. So, let's take a closer look at why dogs show their necks and really find the reasoning behind it, shall we?
The Root of the Behavior
First of all, your dog’s stance can tell you a lot about him. For instance, if he lowers his body, head, and neck, he is being submissive or is not an alpha dog. However, if your dog stands tall, raising his head and showing his neck, this is a sign of dominance and also confidence in your pooch. You will also notice their stance when they meet other dogs. If the dog is more dominant, he will have his neck high. If the dog is not an alpha or even a beta dog, the neck will be lowered and sometimes they may even do a submissive bow. Another part of this behavior you may notice is a dog raising its hackles. Which is when the hair on the back of the neck stands up and the dog is standing tall. Typically this is when the dog is upset and may be ready to attack something. Never approach a dog you don’t know that has its hackles raised and especially don’t grab their collar at this time as it can cause the dog to bite you.
If your dog seems to be showing his neck when his head is tilted, it may be that he or she is listening to you or something else that they are hearing. This is just a common reaction to sound and is in no way an aggressive behavior. Although your pooch showing you their neck may seem odd, there are quite a few reasons for it. This is not typically a bad behavior or even a learned behavior, most of the time it’s just instinctual and their need to live in a hierarchy. So don’t let this be a call for alarm unless your dog is routinely raising his or her hackles and then you may want to find a solution.
Encouraging the Behavior
Even dominant dogs will look at their owners as their leaders. This is because you feed, walk, and show affection toward your pet. Your dog realizes you meet all of their needs. So, if a dog is raising their neck to you, most often it is nothing to worry about. However, if your dog is raising their hackles quite often or exhibiting aggressive dominant behaviors you may want to try to encourage your dog to be less aggressive. First, aggression in dogs is sometimes due to fear of the unknown. This can be best remedied by socializing your dog more. Take your dog to dog parks. Walk your dog to different areas of your neighborhood instead of doing the same route all the time. It is a good idea to get them out of their comfort zone sometimes.
Also, have doggie play dates with your pup. All of these things will help your dog to be less aggressive. Raised hackles are like a dog's involuntary fight or flight reaction. It may not be something you can train out of your dog. However, you can help your dog not have that response as often by removing stress or stressful situations from your dog, giving your dog a safe place to retreat to and be continually socializing your dog to help him or get over frightful situations