Let’s Be a Doggie Detective: Ears

Click on the ears and gather clues to become a Doggie Detective!

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Ears are upright and facing forward. Notice a small amount of muscle tension at the base of the ears to hold them forward in this position. For this dog, this is a normal, alert ear carriage.

Looking at the ears alongside the focused and relatively soft eyes and open mouth, this dog appears to be relatively happy and relaxed.

The ears are pulled back and tightly folded close to the head. There is tension between the muscles at the base of the ear and the eye. While ears pulled back often indicates some degree of tension or fear, it is important to consider context as well as other body clues (ears, eyes, tail, muzzle, gather the clues to solve the puzzle).

While this dog’s ears are pulled back, the eyes are squinty and relatively soft and the mouth is closed with the commissue slightly forward (this dog has a natural underbite). The dog is curved slightly and focused upwards at the person he is interacting with. This dog may be engaging in appeasement behaviors towards this person.

Ears are straight up, upward carriage. The muscles at the ear base are tight to hold the ears in this position.

When you consider this dog’s ears along with her bright, wide-open, focused/soft eyes, medium-high tail, and open mouth, you can see this dog is alert and ready to play.

The ear is slightly raised with visible tension along the lower fold. The muscles at the ear base are tight.

When you consider this dog’s ears as well as the tension around her eyes, her focused/forward gaze, and her closed mouth, you can see this dog is alert and concerned.

Ears are pulled back and to the side. Muscle tension at the base of the ear as well as in the muscles between the eye and ear and through the neck.

When you consider this dog’s ears in context, you will also see whale eye (whites of the eyes on one side), muscle tension around the eyes and forehead, the tail is tucked so low it isn’t currently visible, and a tightly closed mouth with muscle tension around the muzzle and whisker bed. This dog is wary, concerned, stressed.

The ears are pulled back and to the side. There is a significant amount of muscle tension throughout the ear base, tightening the folds of the ear.

When you consider this dog’s ears in context, the eyes are tight and gaze averted, the tail is tightly tucked under the body, and the dog is doing a lip lick with a tightly closed mouth. When considered alongside the avoidant posture (turning away), rounded/tight body, and muscle tension throughout, this dog is indicating a high degree of discomfort/stress and a desire to avoid interaction.

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