Tell me about "the eye"!

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Criosphynx, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. Criosphynx

    Criosphynx New Member

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    Sounds like a creepy movie huh?

    I was researching BC and came across this term....giving "the eye"..

    Like the dog freezes and stares at the livestock and then stalks closer to it (am I understanding that correctly)

    Emma...my mystery mutt...does this. She will herd my Cockatoo and will herd the chickens....she gives them "the eye" until they move...then she directs them where she wants them...she never hurts them.

    she does that slow stalking stuff too. Especially when the animal isn't looking.


    Do other herding breeds display this behavior? Im very intriqued by this as no one so far has been able to venture a guess on my dogs breeds based on looks, so i'm turning to behavior....lol!

    Aside from this issues with freeshaping this dog has been a dream to train. I often joke that she speaks english. Eager and intelligent, drivey too.

    This is Emma..shes "corgi sized" lol

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    I've known other herding breeds that will do similar behaviors, but it is a whole different level of "eye" when you see a border collie do it. It can be downright creepy until you get used to it!
     
  3. AgilityPup

    AgilityPup Agility freak!

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    Yeah, Border collies are REALLY intense when they do it, and from my experience it's not something that mix breeds (my border collie/lab, for example) inherit. My Psyche doesn't do it.

    I think it can also be a drive thing, too. Bella has an "eye" that she'll give to stock, or anything she's really interested in, but it's not the same as a border collie eye. It's much less intense, while still being pretty intense.
     
  4. Criosphynx

    Criosphynx New Member

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    so it is a herding breed trait tho?

    I just only see it mentioned in Border collies and I doubt my dog has border in her.
     
  5. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    It's one part of the sequence of predatory motor patterns in dogs. The sequence of this behavioral conformation basically includes: orient, eye stalk, chase, grab/bite, kill/dissect, consume. One behavior releases the next and that one releases or allows the next and that one precludes the next and so on. Different breeds of dogs have differently "shaped" behavioral conformation. Border Collies' motor patterns are interrupted after the eye, stalk and chase. They won't continue on with the bite, kill, dissect etc... (other than little nips) or they shouldn't. It has to do with breed development/selection and actually...where the adult onset and off set period starts in the brain. (the regulation of brain chemicals such as dopamine and seretonin from the pituitary...that's part of it)It is interesting that wolves have all of the sequence....all of the behaviors and dogs only have some of them. But the ones that dogs do have are much more intense or specialized than wolves'. They just don't hve the whole set.
     
  6. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    I thought BCs were intense . . . until I saw Buffy and then Kharma do it, lol. They are also stalkers extraordinaire. Kharma even creeps Shiva out when she does it. It's Kharma's favorite game to play and everyone's LEAST favorite game to play with her, but she doesn't give them a choice. I call it her game of "AHA! I've Got You Now!" game :D

    When hunting, she and Bimmer both run through the entire sequence described by Dober.

    Bimmer's stock style is really different though. He's mostly relaxed and it's very low key unless something thinks about balking him. Then he shows the teeth and they generally fall back in line . . . and maybe step a little faster, lol.

    And seriously, I do a mean herding eye and stalk mode myself . . . I've used it successfully many times on the cows. :eek:
     
  7. Criosphynx

    Criosphynx New Member

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    Gotcha.


    it never progresses to bite/kill etc. That surely points to a trait that is herding specific...and not just "dog"....right?

    I've had a ferret walk up and bite this dogs nose and hang from it and gotten ZERO reaction. She continued to stare at it while we poured water on him to get him off her.
     
  8. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    The Terrier could also be contributing to that behavior. Some Terrier breeds will do something very similar. Tallulah does, and APBTs have been used as stock dogs, so your Emma could be getting bits and pieces of that behavior from different places.

    I suspect she gets a great deal of her cute factor from her Terrier side :D
     
  9. Criosphynx

    Criosphynx New Member

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    Haha thank you. And yes, that makes sence. :)
     
  10. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    Yes, this is a Border Collie staring (giving the 'eye) at her sheep.

    [​IMG]


    I feel the need to respond to this. The term herding ONLY relates to working LIVESTOCK. If the dog is 'herding' something other than livestock, it's only prey drive. NOT herding.

    I'm not sure. I've seen a few times different GSDs and 2 Belgian Malinois working and they did not work the same as the Border Collies I've seen. They were more working with there bodies and mouths (gripping) then the croutching and eyeing the Border Collies do.
     
  11. Criosphynx

    Criosphynx New Member

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    chickens aren't livestock? lol

    I've seen herding breeds herd children and other dogs... Thats not considered herding?

    Unfortunately sheep are not plentiful in urban Socal...perhaps I'll have to find one. lol :)
     
  12. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    Yes, chickens are. But dogs aren't. :)

    No, the word herding applies to working livestock. But this day and age, the word is being used very loosely. So most farmers/trialers/breeders/trainers/whatnot, use the term 'working livestock'.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2009
  13. hotdog2007

    hotdog2007 New Member

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    That is really interesting! So were dog breeds bred for a specific function by specifically choosing dogs that had some exaggerated parts of the sequence and some absent (or less exaggerated) parts of the sequence?

    LOL, I have one dog that has more of the orient/eye stalk part of the sequence (border collie/hound mix?) and one that has more of the chase/grab/bite part of the sequence (lab/husky).



     
  14. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    I've seen sighthounds do a whale eye when they are hunting. Strider and the bull have a love/hate relationship, which is why he can't go in the pasture while they are out there. Through the fence, he will stalk up to the bull, half crouch, and give him a googly eye like I have seen border collies do. Then when the tension peaks he'll leap into the air and snap his jaws while snark roaring, which makes the bull run away from the fence.
     
  15. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Yes. Dogs were selected to do the jobs humans wanted and they'd choose dogs with exaggerated behavioral patterns they liked.

    If this is of particular interest to you, you might like the book, Dogs, a new understanding of canine origin, behavior and evolution, by scientists, Ray and Lorna Coppinger. They discuss this at length.
     
  16. Criosphynx

    Criosphynx New Member

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    I had been trying to remember the name of that book. Thank you for the brain jolt.

    I just bought it (isn't the internet amazing...three second purchase) for like 5 bucks used on amazon. Can't wait to get it
     
  17. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Oh! Heh, heh Crio. It's a great book. You'll love it. (well, some people find it agonizingly detailed, but I like that stuff) Their theory on evolution is very compelling but it is just that...a theory. There are a few stumbling blocks with their theory that another small group of scientists find. And their theory is also very logical sounding. In fact, to me....more logical. Anyhow, the Coppinger's book is packed full of interesting information about various aspects of dogs. Let us know how you liked it once you read it. (That was a great buy too! $5.00! Wow!)
     
  18. Criosphynx

    Criosphynx New Member

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    I like it too. :)

    I get all my dog books used. I've got quiet the collection :) Most of the *used* books arrive new. Like people bought them and then never read them.
     
  19. mrose_s

    mrose_s BusterLove

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    Buster does it sometimes, he can be quiet intense when he switches on but its really interesting to see him just slide up that extra level and really zone in on something.
     
  20. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    No other dog does the eye quite like border collies do. They're a very specialized breed in their herding style. You won't see a sheltie or a shepherd crouch and eye stock like you would a border collie. A lot of it has to do with what the breeds are bred for and how they're supposed to herd.

    A lot has to do with imo intensity and prey drive more than 'herding'. Summer is a dog that will stare you down intensely. She's actually scared people (my roommates) because of it. Of course it's nothing compared to a bc, but she'll stalk other dogs and animals. She crouches, eyes them up and will circle and nip very deliberately. Obviously she has no herding breed in her background. What she does have though is a lot of prey drive. She's the dog that tries to climb the tree after the squirrel runs up it. I always think it's funny she's a toy dog because other than my shepherd, she's probably the most intense dog I've ever owned! I joke that if she was bigger her staring would really be frightening for people. Honestly none of my herders have really displayed this behavior. My shelties got rather mouthy at times. Trey is one that if you moved suddenly in front of him, his first instinct was to reach and nip your heels. When he and Nik were young they'd play with each other by chasing and biting the heels but neither of them stared each other (or anything) down.
     

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