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Old 02-09-2013, 12:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dog is too submissive(I guess?)

Hey,

My GSD Skar(about 1 year old), is perfectly sociallized dog, very friendly with everyone, good submissive dog.
But sometimes I see that his submission is hurting him, sometimes when he meet dominants dogs he begin to lick them as crazy, that make them try to attack him and showing more dominant sign, which make him to lick more(and they become more dominant).
It's also happen that when a dog growl at him, he won't try to defence himself or show some "Stay back!" sign, and that may make th other dog try to attack him.

I do happy that he's submissive dog, but some confidence won't be bad thing I guess, some self sefence(and stop those face's licking!).

Can you give me some advices?
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Tug - to build his confidence. Start slowly - make it fun and let him win! If he is hesitant about biting the tug- use it like a flit pole - put in on a leash and make it scoot along the ground - when he comes to grab it - let him, then tug - to make the game more fun use 2 tugs, so when he bites on one, you drop it, and toss out the other on its leash. Also, I would be careful not to force him in uncomfortable situations with other dogs that he is not comfortable with. That 's great that you are thankful he is not not dominant or aggressive. When you notice he is uncomfortable around another dog, just put him on heel and walk away together, praise him for following you. That will also help to build his confidence because you are not leaving him alone to cope with the other dog - you are both working as a team.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you for the comment

I do play tag with him, I always did.
At the beginnig I didn't let him win, but recently I read about building drives, I understood I should let him win most of the times.
I wouldn't say that he doesn't has the confidence for tag or playing with other dogs, but more self defence and stoping with the submissive act which make dogs want to be dominant on him will be great.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't think your dog is being submissive but is actually giving calming signals to the other dog. The licking is a calming signal your dog is sending to the other dog, you may want to read On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals by Turid Rugass. There is also a DVD. Not all dogs want to play with other dogs, your dog may enjoy playing with you - and yes with tug to build drive- make a big deal out it , growl and really act like you want to keep that tug - then when you let go and let your dog win, act like you're defeated - walk away, slink - then turn , stand straight and praise "you've won - great hunter" and when your dog brings you the tug - reward with a treat and give lots of pets and praise.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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*First of all, he REALLY enjoy playing with other dogs.

I know my dog, he does submissive in a good way, he will never get in a fight for a toy or growl on other dog while trying to be above him(In addition, he doesn't lift his leg during urination, another sign of submission).
The only problem that dominant dogs sometimes try to attack him when he is submit to them.

About tag, I use the method of running with the dog when he is when and then petting him anytime he is holding it until he leaves it(he isn't holding that for more than about 10 seconds, but we are working on it), is it fine?
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Not lifting his leg when he urinates isn't a sign of submission.
Are you sure the other dogs are trying to attack him or or they trying to engage him in play?
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I've read in some places that a dog that doesn't lift his leg is usually cuz he's not trying to be an alpha dog.

I know these dogs I'm talking about(friends' dogs), they are very dominant.
And I know how to separate between a game and a fight.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The licking is both a calming signal and a sign of submission. Dogs (and wolves) often lick the muzzles of more dominant animals in order to entice a reaction out of the other dog. This reaction, often a display of dominance, reaffirms the submissive dog's position and creates acceptance and calmness in the submissive dog.

I can't tell you how many times I watched submissive wolves lick an Alpha Wolf's muzzle enthusiastically until the Alpha wolf pinned the submissive one and preformed a growly muzzle hold. The submissive wolf would settle immediately after the Alpha wolf "reaffirmed" the submissive wolf's position through the dominance/submission ritual.

The issue is that your dog is likely trying to submit to a dog without a stable dominant mindset. IMO dogs have broken/unbalanced social hierarchies in our modern world, leaving many dogs unstable mentally in terms of socializing with other canines, which I believe contributes to why a more dominant dog could hurt a submissive dog. They are not comfortable with their own dominance, nor are they familiar with how to properly interact with a strange dog in terms of social hierarchy.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skar View Post
*First of all, he REALLY enjoy playing with other dogs.

I know my dog, he does submissive in a good way, he will never get in a fight for a toy or growl on other dog while trying to be above him(In addition, he doesn't lift his leg during urination, another sign of submission).
The only problem that dominant dogs sometimes try to attack him when he is submit to them.

About tag, I use the method of running with the dog when he is when and then petting him anytime he is holding it until he leaves it(he isn't holding that for more than about 10 seconds, but we are working on it), is it fine?
Well, I wouldn't worry about the not lifting the leg while urinating. My Sting is bold and dominant and never backs down. He is a squatter and does not lift his leg while urinating. For tug, it isn't tag, it is a way to teach bitework and build the dog's confidence. The letting him win after a struggle (he bites on the tug and you pull - he bites harder, and then you pull,he bites , you let go ) is part of building up the drive. By winning, the dog has gotten the prey away from you. Leerburg has tugs and also training videos, some free, and advice -here is the link to the tugs Leerburg Dog Training | Bite Tug so you can get the idea. Natural dog training which uses tug would also be helpful - here is a link LEE CHARLES KELLEY This would probably be more helpful with your dog because you are trying to build up his confidence.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:12 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Wild Wolf- Interesting information! I really enjoyed reading your post?
Is there a way to solve that problem? It's suck that I can't let my dog to play with my friends' dogs.

Mary Beth- I don't sure I get it.
When I strugle him, and when he wins I do a little walk with him, is for drive building, and less for confident building?
And for build confident I need to show that I lose after he get the prey?

For the truth, I'm just working on building drives, so how can I combine both drive and confident building?
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