Make your observations! What do you see first? What else can you spot in this photo?
Black & tan German shepherd-
Face: ears drooped lower along the skull and rotated partially back, eyes rounded, eyebrows well defined and raised, mouth tightly shut
Head: looking away from the other dogs
Body: tense body, arched back with hips slightly parted
Tail: fully tucked under body
Context: meeting dogs off leash, on an outdoor beach with wide open space
Left golden retriever-
Face: ears rotated flat against head
Head: tilted slightly, lowered towards other dog's genital region
Body: leaning slightly forward towards dog, sideways
Tail: body height, loose and wide side to side wag
Right golden retriever-
Face: tight mouth but squinty eyes, relaxed eyebrows
Head: raised to sniff the other dog
Body: side facing other dog
Tail: loose, curvy, but raised high
Do you recognize the above body language cues in the video?
This photo was part of a stock photo series, in which the golden retrievers who live together meet the German shepherd.
What's your conclusion?
The German shepherd in this photo is displaying body language consistent with intense fear. Noting the degree of magnitude here is important for recognizing an urgency intervention. The dog's body language not merely concerned, worried or apprehensive, it is very scared. The golden retrievers in this photo are displaying prosocial and peaceful body language, but in this moment they are not offering space in response to the shepherd's avoidance and display of fear.