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[Intro]
It all started about a month ago when i took Cloud to the park. This was my second time taking him for a walk in the park and we ran into another much bigger dog and his owner. We approached them and everything seemed to be allright but all of sudden Cloud became extremely frightened and started making this bizarre screeching sound that i had never heard before. The other dog wasn't even aggressive or anything he was just sniffing him. Cloud hadn't really hadn't been exposed to many dogs with me at all before that since he didn't have all his shots and i didn't want to risk him catching something. Ever since then iv'e been trying to socialize him a lot with my friend's dog and i've been taking him to dog parks. Little by little he's been doing better but it seems that we haven't been able to progress any further lately ... At the dog park he isn't afraid to meet new dogs anymore but he'll become extremely submissive when they try to chase him. He'll tuck in his tail completely underneath him and lay upside down letting the other dogs take advantage of him. Most of the time when he's laying on the floor they'll put their whole mouth's around his neck and start biting him and he'll just lay there waiting for me to get him .

[Question]
What should i be doing to stop him from being so submissive..? If i stop the other dogs from playing too rough with him , i'll be showing him that it's okay to be submissive because i'll be there to help him . At the same time I feel as though I shouldn't stop them because I want him to learn on his own and not rely on me because i won't always be around.

By the way , the other dogs i'm talking about aren't even all that agressive either , they play fine with all the other dogs in the park , it's just when cloud shows submission that they start to take advantage of him. I've only been able to find info on dogs being submissive to humans not other dogs.

Theres also a few other things i think might have played a role this ...

1) I adopted him from the Humane Society , not too sure of his past before he got there . He could have been abused by other dogs ...

2) I feel as if they neutered him way to early , he was only about 10 weeks old when they did and idk what kind of effect that might have on his behavior.


:help:

Many Thanks.
 

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How old is he? I had the opposite situation with Mac. He'd jump all over every dog he'd see until he met a 7 year old german shepherd that showed him whos boss :). At the dog park he was really timid at first but then after a few times he joined in the fun. Sorry I don't have any advice for you.
 

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Seeing as how you adopted him, he may have had very bad experiences with dogs in the past that has made him extremely fearful of other dogs. You need to take it very, very slowly with other dogs. And be VERY careful. Don't ever let him 'figure it out' himself. Because this will most likely lead to a fight. By stepping in and stopping the other dogs from being too rough, you're doing right by him, because eventually, he will defend himself.

Another reason he may be so submissive is possibly just bad breeding. If his parents were unstable dogs, then he's going to be socially unstable. (As you've seen). The best thing you can do is very, very slowly and gradually build his confidence around other dogs. By allowing him to get into the situations where he's on his back and other dogs take advantage of him, that's just making it worse, I'd imagine.

Take all of this advice with a grain of salt, as this is all speculation. (I'm still trying to learn myself). Hopefully more seasoned members will come along soon to help you out. Good luck. :)
 

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I hope you will always be around to protect Cloud! In fact, that's one of the main ways you can help him gain confidence. You do need to show him that you are a good leader by letting him know you will keep him safe. One thing you could work on is to teach him to go around behind you when he gets scared. You can give him a command for that once he gets it (Rafi's command for that is "Back") and also teach him to say hi to other dogs and give that a command once he's got it.

Some dogs are submissive and will always be submissive but you can help him gain confidence that will hopefully transfer over to his dog-dog interactions. What kind of formal and informal training have you done with Cloud? Short reward-based daily training will help him gain confidence and help strengthen your bond and further establish you as a kind, consistent and confident pack leader.
 

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How old is he?
He's about 4-5 months old .


be VERY careful. Don't ever let him 'figure it out' himself. Because this will most likely lead to a fight. By stepping in and stopping the other dogs from being too rough, you're doing right by him, because eventually, he will defend himself.
I'll definitely keep that in mind , i might have been moving a bit too fast for him .


What kind of formal and informal training have you done with Cloud? Short reward-based daily training will help him gain confidence and help strengthen your bond and further establish you as a kind, consistent and confident pack leader.
I've taught him some of the basics , sit/down/paw & completely house trained him.This guy at the park suggested obedience classes , i'll definitely look into that next week.


Thanks for all your input guys . A lot of work to do , but it always pays off! :)
 

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Personally, I would stop taking him to the dog park or only take him there when there are only a couple of dogs and you can control the interactions. Constantly overwhelming him by letting strange dogs scare him isn't going to help him build confidence. Having him around known stable dogs that won't take advantage of his fear is better for him than strange dogs.

Obedience classes will help him build his confidence in himself and in you as his leader.
 

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I agree with GSDraven...my moms GSD isnt social with other dogs either. We have slowly been starting to bring him around other dogs and is doing much better. It's hard on your boy when he is surrounded by so many dogs at once...he doesnt know what to do. I would def try with fewer dogs around
 

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could be he is so submissive since he is just a little guy? Are the other dogs adults or also puppies?

I would definetly not let him intersact with other adults.
 

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He's a baby! Stopping other dogs from playing too roughly is exactly what you should be doing. You want his experiences with other dogs to be positive, and it's up to you to protect him from bad experiences - don't let other dogs chase him!
 

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I say it's puppy submission too. Zoe was never submissive with little dogs though not rough either, but would roll over when a big dog came around. The minute she got close to their size it stopped,lol Puppies know when a dog is bigger and older than them and naturally will submit like they do with their mother. If there are a lot of dogs there he may feel overwhelmed because there is so many. I wouldn't stop taking him because he is still young and has time to be molded a lot. Taking him away from the situation will not help him learn to socialize with dogs, but too many may be too much. Go when it's slow or find some friends with dogs he can play with in a more one on one scenario. Find dogs closer to his size and keep exposing him:)
 

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Oh my gosh! PLEASE stop taking him to the dog park! It's likely you created this by putting him in overwhelming situations. He's just a baby--he should NOT be put in situations where older, bigger dogs are wanted to chase and pounce on him. That is not good socialization at all.
 

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He is still just a baby and of course everything still scares him. I wouldn't suggest just not taking him to the park though because if he isn't around dogs at all he won't learn how to properly introduce himself, play etc. Focus on bringing him out with friends/family member's dogs one on one so he isn't overwhelmed by a lot of dogs at once. Not sure if you have doggie daycares in your area but at 4 months we put our guy in daycare once a week because he loved dogs and wanted to play but would always get his hackles up and be so scared of them. He now makes weird squeaky noises when we get to day care and almost rips me arm off trying to get in! He is now great at the park and with all other dogs, he does still get scared once in awhile when dogs bark at him but as he gets older he is getting much more confident.

Good luck :)
 

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Keep taking him to the dog park just make sure that he’s not completely overwhelmed by the other dogs. He’s young and will be submissive, he’s a puppy and that’s how they get by in this world. I have a 6 month old puppy and he was submissive to any dog bigger than him at first, but now he shows them who’s boss. The only dogs I’ve seen put him in his place are great danes and older GSDs. It’s true that there are dangerous dogs at dog parks but it’s very rare and if you live in the city like me you have no other choice but to take your dog there to socialize.
I’ll also warn you by saying that my puppy has shown to be very high prey drive and has absolutely no fear. He’s been bitten by older dogs and still comes back for more (now those dogs don’t stand a chance). If you do have friends that have dogs they can help by going with you, I’ve noticed that my pup loves my friend’s female great dane and when we went to the park with her he wouldn’t leave her alone, none of the other dogs mattered. Try going into the small dog area, I’m sure he’s still kind of small, or search out the other puppies at the park, your dog will prefer to play with them. But I don’t think you should stop going since socializing with just one dog won’t help your dog understand that other dogs are friendly too. I was worried about the same thing the first few times I brought my boy to the dog park, but then you realize he is smaller than most dogs and can get picked on, a few months later, and he’s the one harassing all the labs and smaller dogs. I can’t wait for him to grow up and run the place.
 

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I won't risk taking my dog to park where I am not familiar with all the dogs and their owners! You have to correctly access each dogs temperment at the park and determine if it safe for your dog/puppy to interact with the other dogs. One wrong or dangerous interaction will scar your puppy and create the potential for a dog aggressive dog. I will create the safety needed for my dog so he understands that I will not place him in a situation that will endanger him. Build your dogs confidence with safe situations that are controlled. Most dog park interactions are not controlled and destroy many a good dog's temperment when it comes to other dogs. Later when your dog has had good interaction with known dogs you may try and risk dog parks, but the real danger always remains with dogs that are unknown.
 

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your dog might be to young for the dog park.
the dog park i go to the dogs have to be six months to enter.
there'a section for small dogs. have some play groups at your house.
if you can find some dogs his age for him to play all the better.
with age your dog might not be so submissive. keep protecting him.
 
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