Friday, April 9, 2010

Which is the happiest dog?

Take a look at these pictures of Ellie, and then vote (using the poll at the righ) for which picture (blue scarf or not blue scarf) shows the happy dog.

I would love it if you would use the comment section to let me know what helps you to your conclusion.


  1. At first I didn't even see the scarf, I was so busy looking at the muzzle. Ick to muzzles, but that's just me. It's hard to comment cuz I can't see both photos while i'm in the comment box. but my initial reaction was in favor of the first picture (w/scarf) but i coudn't say why. as i attempt to evaluate it, i'd say she looks happier w/her tongue hanging out even tho her ears are back. photo 2 she just looks a little guarded or unsure of what she's looking at. now i'm trying too hard. there you have it!

  2. Not a muzzle Colleen, but a gentle leader - like a horse halter. I would say she is content and alert ( which sounds pretty happy to me!) in bottom photo, but looks like she's ready to go get something good or interesting or tasty in the top = really jazzed and happy. It's hard for me to tell just by looking at these photos without the surrounding elements.

  3. Top photo, Ellie is stressed. Ears back, floppy tongue, angle og "eyebrows" all indicate fairly high levels of emotional discomfort. Also the vertical furrows on her forehead show she is overwhelmed.

    Bottom photo, Ellie is relaxed & happy. Ears are relaxed, as are lip, tongue & facial muscles. Finally, Ellie's eyes are much clearer in the bottom photo.

  4. Thanks for the comments folks! I want to hold off a little to see if we get any more takers.

    It's a gentle leader, Colleen, not Ellie's favorite.

  5. Laura has it pretty much nailed. In the 'blue scarf' photo, Ellie is at the Tucson Canine Classic. If I had to apply one word to my impression of her at the event, it was unfocused. Many of the dogs at the event were having digestive upset.

    In the second photo, she's just finished with a little training session, finishing up with a treat.

    The giveaway is the heavy spatulate tongue with the unfocused eye. Her eye is much softer in the 'no scarf' picture.