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Half Mast Ears
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 720
    Well, I am really trying to learn body language but am stuck on one of the terms that maybe more experienced owners can help me with.

    Half-mast ears. What do half-mast ears look like on Shibas? I can kind of see it on dogs with floppy ears, but am really confused about how a half-mast set should look on ears that naturally stand up. Anyone have any pictures that could help me understand this aspect of body language better?

    (I wasn't sure what category, but since this is about body language which is strongly related to behavior, I thought here. Maybe education would be better?)
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1111
    What is it supposed to indicate? I'm thinking of when their ears are either relaxed or nervous, when they're kind of wide set. Kind of ironic to me that Ozzy's ear placement is the same for both relaxed and anxious lol..

    Here's a pic of kinda what I'm imagining. But I'm not really sure what "half mast ears" even means as a term or what it's supposed to indicate.

    https://instagram.com/p/BRcG5UZDmcC/
    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2017-04-09 02:31:14
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 720
    From what I have read so far, it means that they are relaxed/happy. Not airplane-ear happy, but happy.

    Cute ^_^ I am wondering if that is half-mast. I know that ears forward and pricked is alert, and back and down is afraid. Airplane is super excited-happy. Half-mast is that neutral state where they are not excited, just happy and calm. Maybe that is what they look like....

    Coal's ears are set on the side of his head, kind of, so they don't change very much. I am trying to find a more expressive ear Shiba to help me better understand how it looks. Half-mast tail is really easy, at least ^_^
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1111
    Yeah, that makes since to me. Ozzy's ears totally relax when he's being brushed or cuddled and he's just in total contentment. My cousin insists that Ozzy looks like bear in the big blue house (old kids show) when his ears are relaxed.
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 720
    hahah ^_^ I hope more people post. The more examples I get, the better able I will be to understand this.
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1111
    Well until others answer I'll gladly add a couple more examples I found in Ozzy's puppy pics lol.

    image

    image
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 720
    cute! and no complaints here! :D I'm gonna skim your thread to see his ears on alert so I can have a basis of comparison, too.
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1111
    I totally need to update his story thread again sometime. :P
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 720
    lol yes you do! :D
  • ZenkiZenki
    Posts: 368
    Been trying to find pictures of my boy with "half mast ears". Can't find any. Hahaha...
    I've seen him move his ears sideways but i always thought he's just scanning sounds of potential "danger" or something to attack like dead leaves rustling about. ;))

    Dont think this counts since he's still a baby and his erect ears has grown yet. :))
    https://instagram.com/p/BRtfj5lACDL/
    Untitled
    Black, Tan and Awesome
    Instagram: @ShibaZenki

    “Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.”
    – Ann Landers

  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 720
    wow this is harder than I thought! I think if the dog is scanning, the ears will be in constant motion (if I am remembering what I have studied so far). Half-mast remains in the half-mast position.

    He is cute ^_^ But hard to tell since his ears are still puppy ears ^_^
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 720
    Maybe this will help: Brenda Aloff's website talks about "friendly" dogs and the first couple of pictures are said to have half-mast ears.

    http://brendaaloff.com/training/reading-room/8-general/reading-room-articles/19-should-i-approach
  • ObizaObiza
    Posts: 63
    @Lilikoi - The grin on his face in those pictures is so cute.

    Here's my best go and the three different ear motions.

    Alert
    IMG_1211
    Half-mast ears?
    mini
    Airplane ears.
    IMG_0913
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 720
    @Obiza oooo Comparisons! Perfect! I am feeling pretty positive that the middle one is half-mast ears. What is going on in the third one? Are those airplane ears or is he unhappy? haha

    I really wish the books I had been reading included more dogs with naturally up ears. All the picks of half-mast are floppy ears XD
  • ObizaObiza
    Posts: 63
    Those are Rusty's "I'm being needy and you're ignoring me, PET ME!" ears haha. It consists of him inching his face closer and closer to yours trying to lick you until you pet him. Granted the look on his face always looks like he's highly unhappy or scared to death. It freaked me out the first time I saw it. His airplane ears look pretty similar with an added tail wag or wiggling butt if he's sitting.
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 720
    haha actually, that does make sense, if I am understanding what I am reading ^_^ It's an appeasement signal, attempting to "win you over" to what he wants lol so your interpretation is right on. If he was scared, he would be giving you the whale eyes ^_^
  • spacedogsspacedogs
    Posts: 351
    Rhyz doesn't really do half mast ears, unless he's sleeping or getting head scratches his ears never relax.. he has fur wrinkles in his forehead from being so intense.

    This is Rhyz being relaxed - ears are up.
    image


    Rhys receiving the head scratches - the ears go down.
    image


    And bird. Ears alert - same as first picture hehe.
    image
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 720
    haha so cute! Hmm. so half-mast are definitely a slightly bent down thing but relaxed can still be mostly up....interesting.
  • spacedogsspacedogs
    Posts: 351
    Rhyz is harder to read based on ears alone since he rarely relaxes his ears, but the rest of his face and body language is pretty expressive to make up for it.

    Laika is, of course, a whole different story but she rarely cooperates for photos, which is why she's sleeping in most of the ones I get .. otherwise I always snag little short videos of her. :D
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 720
    hahah well, in any body language reading, you don't just look at one part ^_^ I find that I can't really see any half-mast ears on Coal. There is a difference between his ears at attention and relaxed, though. Maybe that is his "half mast" ears.

    He is wearing a cone now so I can't contribute. Been looking through his previous pics to try and find some semblance of half-mast though.
    Post edited by Anjyil at 2017-04-11 03:12:54
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 720
    I totally saw half-mast ears on Coal while he was sleeping! But when I went to get the camera, his ears perked up at the sound XD
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1111
    There are not half-mast ears at all, they're "I'm listening to what my pa is doing in the kitchen but I can't look away from mama who is eating something yummy" ears. :)) But I love when he's trying to listen to what's going on behind him and just looks like a derpy rabbit. =))

    image
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 720
    lol it always surprises me how flexible dog ears are XD
  • KiichigoKiichigo
    Posts: 28
    @Lilikoi
    i love when my pup's ears do that
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 720
    Yeah, it is adorable. I see Coal do it more and more now, but he immediately alerts when I bring the camera lol

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