My husky is great. Very confident dog. He is submissive to most dogs, but will play with any, and isn't scared of hardly anything. He sleeps on his back almost every night, which ive read that means hes an extremely confident dog. He seems nearly carefree. If my gsd takes away the rawhide he's chewing on, he happily walks away, tail wagging, to do something else. Nothing bothers him. I also frequently read to never let a husky off lead or they will run. We do it nearly every day. For a husky, he has very good recall. He is a rescue that came in as a stray. I'll never understand why that dog was given up. What do you mean specifically when you ask how they do on walks?
I didn't realize petting her head was a sign of dominance. I'll stop doing it.
She doesn't have a problem looking me in the eye. I do plan to teach her the focus command eventually.
Tug is a very good idea! I thought tug as more as a way to play than to boost her confidence, but I love the idea! Problem is that I can't get her to do it. We have once or twice, but stupid me had to beat her. I know I can get her to again though.
I think I've done a poor job of articulating my concerns.
Imagine a dog that lived in poor conditions and was abused. It's mannerisms and the way it carries itself would be much different than one who lived in a happy, loving him. The latter would behave like most of your dogs probably do, or my husky does. Full of life, wanting to play, head up, not fearful, etc.
I'm not saying she behaves like an abused dog, but there are some similarities. She literally carries her head low. It's like she has no pride or self confidence. She is happy, I think. If I approach her tail starts wagging. Then if I'm petting her and the husky comes to us she leaves. It just seems like an odd behavior to me, as do other little things. I don't understand why she would be enjoying attention then leave just because the husky showed up. Its like she feels inadequate, or like hes part of the family, and she isnt. Maybe I read too much into it, but there's a contrast between how she behaves, and how lots of other dogs do. My husky being the complete opposite of her magnifies the behavior.
In time I know this behavior will go away as she gets more comfortable with her new family. Five months is not a long time either. She's showed improvements from when we got her and she will keep progressing, but the more I can help her and the faster it goes, the better.
Thanks again for all the great responses and ideas. We're gonna keep working, and I'm gonna pick up any of those books I can find when I get to the library next.