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Old 01-21-2014, 04:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Advice needed please on submissive GSD

My girl Misha is now a year old. Wonderful kid in all aspects.
Thing is she gets bullied on the play ground. She's 61lbs and a real athlete but like a human kid I don't like seeing her pushed around.

In other words she's the first to go submissive around other dogs and drop on her back. I don't want an aggressive dog but wonder if there's not a way to boost her confidence so she's not so fearful or submissive.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-21-2014, 05:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If it was me, I would stop going to the dog park. There are tons of other ways to get exercise! Hiking, swimming, jogging, ect. In my opinion the exercise from dog parks are not worth the risk of possible issues that could develop. Plus dogs really don't need doggie friends to live a full and happy life, all they need is you. But if you really want to keep the puppy play times, find a dog that plays really well with yours and meet up somewhere other than the over crowded dog parks.
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Old 01-21-2014, 05:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I like attending the dog park with my dog, so I sometimes disagree when others say to STOP taking your dog there altogether. However in your circumstances i would agree. I hate to see other submissive dogs being bullied at the dog park and it doesnt help their confidence either. So maybe taking a break from the dog park would be better until shes older and more secure. Since I have been researching raising my dogs confidence I have found anything in which your dog can succeed and receive positive praise will help her gain confidence. We do training, tricks, playing tug and letting her win, agility, nose work classes. As far as raising her confidence with other dogs setting up playdates with other well behaved secure dogs may help.
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Your number one job is to protect your dog from bad experiences, what your teacher her is you can't protect her as she is being constantly "Punked at the dog parks!"

What she'll learn is "you" can't protect her...I have to protect myself! Best way to do that...strike first!

Ta Da! Dog aggressive dog!

Stop going to the dog park...problem solved!
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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She will always be submissive, it is part of her personality, isn't always a confidence thing. Just stop exposing her to dogs that will bully her.
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Is it real fear you're seeing or is she just the first to roll to her back? We have a dog here that functions as the kennel greeter and he very often flops to his back to help other less secure dogs feel more secure even when they're kind of beating on him a bit. A lot of times the most secure dog goes to the floor first and the one standing over pretending to be king is the one that is really scared.

Two secure dogs will take turns "killing" each other and being the "killer." A less secure dog will be too insecure to take the vulnerable role. You really have to watch the tail and some of the other body language to get a complete picture of what you're seeing.

A really socially savvy dog will do what it takes to keep play going. They'll pretend to lose to another dog, they'll allow that other dog to beat on them a little and they'll run from the less secure dog to get that dog into the game. They use supplicating gestures like lip licks and stuff most people would consider submissive gestures even when they're the real alpha dogs on the block.

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Old 01-21-2014, 06:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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She is submissive because she is young and has a gentler character than the boisterous others. Very characteristic of the only puppy in the litter or artificially and separately fed. Is it true? She needs a company of her kind. One day you may meet someone with some Labrador puppy, and they become best friends. You dog might like a company of small dogs.
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Two secure dogs will take turns "killing" each other and being the "killer."
Yes, of course, dogs learn from each other and tend to find a victim themselves having experience of being hunted. But it also could be a case when the dog cannot play at all. Simply didn't learn how to do it during early pupyhood.
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baillif View Post
Is it real fear you're seeing or is she just the first to roll to her back? We have a dog here that functions as the kennel greeter and he very often flops to his back to help other less secure dogs feel more secure even when they're kind of beating on him a bit. A lot of times the most secure dog goes to the floor first and the one standing over pretending to be king is the one that is really scared.

Two secure dogs will take turns "killing" each other and being the "killer." A less secure dog will be too insecure to take the vulnerable role. You really have to watch the tail and some of the other body language to get a complete picture of what you're seeing.

A really socially savvy dog will do what it takes to keep play going. They'll pretend to lose to another dog, they'll allow that other dog to beat on them a little and they'll run from the less secure dog to get that dog into the game. They use supplicating gestures like lip licks and stuff most people would consider submissive gestures even when they're the real alpha dogs on the block.
Great observation, we have a dog like that at our dog park. Is very social but greets alot of dogs by creeping very low and acting submissive. Her owner said she does it to show shes not aggressive and has always been like that.
By the way Baliff, I should have said this before but your avatar really freaks me out LOL
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Thing is she gets bullied on the play ground.
What behavior tells you this besides the fact that she lies on her back around new dogs.

What was she like during her heat. Was she in any way defensive then?

Quote:
if there's not a way to boost her confidence so she's not so fearful or submissive.
Again what other evidence is there that she is 'fearful or submissive'.

I would think by actually lying down other dogs can't bully her. She is avoiding conflict by acting in a submissive way but maybe that is her technique until she is stronger.

You just let her off in a dog park to fend for herself and wonder how to build confidence and why she is acting submissive to a pack. She is defending herself and lowering herself to potential threats to avoid conflict. I'm not sure if that is a bad response or a fearful response based on the info you gave.

Does she show stress or tension or is she generally calm around dogs?

How does she act after dogs have a smell of her?

Do dogs try to pin her when she is down or pretend to hump her?

I guess to build confidence you get in there and protect your girl. If some males were intimidating my female when she was a pup I'd be in there intimidating them and protecting my girl.

You can also build confidence and drive through playing with a ball and string or tug.Obedience also builds confidence especially when you use it to build drive. As the dog gets into these games she can start to ignore other dogs more but you need to get in there and train her.
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