Distance-increasing behaviours are intended to tell the other dog (or person) to move away (“give me more space!”). Distance-increasing behaviours can include:
- agonistic pucker (nose wrinkled, teeth bared)
- ears flattened or pressed back
- intent stare
- bark and lunge
- head turned away
- lip licking or tongue flicking can be a distance-increasing behaviour or appeasement signal, often included in the list of calming signals
- tail lowered
- splitting (dog goes between two other dogs to head off conflict)
- crouch, head lower than body, tail down, legs bent
- height seeking posture
- tail raised
- mouth closed
- low growl
- punctuated barking
- paw lift
It is not unusual to see several distance-increasing behaviours at once.
For other aspects of distance, see: zones, distance
Distance Increasing Behaviors:
(Also see Cut-Offs)
Distance increasing behaviors signal that an interaction may be too intense or prolonged for one canid’s comfort. He uses a variety of signals to let other canids, humans and animals of other species know that they should back off, or end the interaction.
A head turn is a displacement signal or a distance increasing behavior. It conveys that the dog doing the head turn wishes to distance himself from activity nearby. May be accompanied by: averted eyes, paw-lift, tongue flicks, and other distance increasing behaviors.