Super submissive GSD - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-08-2015, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Super submissive GSD

I adopted my GSD at 7 months from a shelter and now will be turning 2 yrs in February. I notice that she is a very submissive in dog parks. When it comes to calm and friendly dogs that try to engage with her she tucks her tail and usually rolls over. If they try to engage with play she tries to get away from them. Is my dog still in a puppy stage? Is it possible to make a submissive dog more dominant?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-08-2015, 07:39 PM
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If she doesn't enjoy interactions with other dogs stop putting her in that situation.She can never be a confident dog if she's continually being overwhelmed with way more than she can handle.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-08-2015, 08:00 PM
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Agree with dogma, quit taking her to dog parks. You could try boosting her confidence by playing games like tug and letting her win. Classes may provide a controlled environment to help as well, though that depends on her threshold.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-08-2015, 08:00 PM
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Yeah, doesn't sound like this dog needs to be going to dog parks. Sounds like it is overwhelming. Work on training her in first quiet environments and slowing work up to more busy but not chaotic environments. I'm talking about walks in town and hikes. You might be able to increase her confidence a bit by training something like agility or working with a good trainer to see if you are somehow encouraging her fearful behavior. But I would definitely skip dog parks. You can increase confidence but you cannot increase dominance.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-08-2015, 08:09 PM
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I adopted Ranger, rip, and he was the same way at 4. I helped him gain confidence one on one with agility, swimming, tug of war and tracking scent. Once he gained confidence, I introduced him to my friends cattle dog who was a very smart and well trained dog. My friend suggested that in this case it was best to socialize him with one dog and a smart one at that. You dont wand a neglected or abused dog around untrained (stupid) dogs. After a year or so of him playing and working with Eddie, he was fine with other dogs of questionable nature. Thanks for saving a GSD. Go easy and good luck!

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-08-2015, 09:39 PM
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Hmm OK I'm not going to get on my "anti Dog Park" high horse. I've "said" plenty in that regards in the last week.

Instead I'll post my standard link and point out the article from Susan Bennett on "Three Dogs who should not be at the Dog Park."

New Dog, Very Challenging

And suggest the OP look here for solutions "before" things get worst.

Fearful, Anxious or Flat Crazy "The Place CommanD - Boxer Forum : Boxer Breed Dog Forums

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-09-2015, 11:48 AM
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Is it very important that she play with other dogs?
With all my dogs I've been wary of strange dogs and have never visited a dog park.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-09-2015, 06:08 PM
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I have rehabilitated some dogs like that by fostering them with my gentle, kind-hearted, peaceful female, who is amazing at reading other dogs and deciding when/how to engage them without frightening or antagonizing them. I follow her lead on what they need, as she can read them expertly and intuitively knows how to help. When she hangs back, it means it's too soon -- she'll know when they're ready. I could not do half of what I do in rescue without her. She teaches them what I cannot. You need to find someone with a dog like that.

I don't know how to tell you to find that kind of dog--she was sent to me as a gift from Upstairs. I just know that kind of dog can work wonders in helping the kind of issue you describe.

I also agree that a good beginner OB class can do wonders for a dog's self-confidence, if you go about it right, with that as your goal. I've seen a few dogs completely transformed about 3 weeks in, when they realized they were totally safe around other dogs in the class, and they always knew the right thing to do and got praised for it because they were set up to succeed. It's a beautiful thing when you see that happen--the posture changes, and the whole affect is different in the blink of an eye, when their world suddenly starts making sense and they totally trust you. I would go into the class making building the dog's confidence the goal, with the skills just being a nice side-benefit (and convey that to the trainer--a good one will be very supportive of that).

Last edited by Magwart; 11-09-2015 at 06:11 PM.
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