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Karma is 7 months now. She is very sweet and we are getting better with the submissive peeing, finally. We have 2 dogs, the other is a black lab. Since early on, Karma is very submissive, always rolling on her back to show submissive behavior. I don't really mind in the sense that since we do have 2 dogs, they both are not fighting for dominance, but I have lost hope in having at least the appearance of a guard dog. I did not expect such from the lab, but Karma won't even stand up when someone comes to the door....or even comes in the house! No barking at anything significant (only barking at wind, neighbors, or other dogs) ugh. I do not want her to be aggressive and mean, but are there any suggestions for getting her a little closer to being protective?? She's like a big cat! LOL

~Chelle
 

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Once your 'big cat' reaches full maturity-2 years, come back and let us know how silly kittie is doing.
I would also start working hard on socialization so big submissive kitty doesnt turn into big scared fear bity dog.
I'm sorry if I come off a little mean but you have a baby on your hands. Protect her during her growing up stages and she in turn will protect you when she is fully grown.

Edit: You could train her to bark on command?
 

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She is only 7 months old, she is still very much a puppy. Guard dog instincts dont kick in until they are at least a year old. It usually comes around once they hit maturity 2-3 years old. Sometimes they never get guard dog abilities.
 

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As everyone has said - give her time. The biggest thing is to work on her confidence; lots of socialization, good experiences and confidence building activities. Even if she never really becomes a "guard dog," an calm, obedient German Shepherd is going to be a deterrent.
 

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Thanks guys. She is my first GSD and my first submissive puppy. I'm very happy she is not overly aggressive and that she is so sweet, but I've never seen a dog barely even raise their head when people come in the door before, especially people she has never met. I will be patient :)
 

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A German shepherd doesn't have to be aggressive to be frightening. Most people won't get out of the car if they see Bo watching from under the bushes. (hiding under the bushes) :)
 

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I'd rather have a slightly submissive GSD than a slightly aggressive one. Bernie is only 60 pounds with about 25 more to come, and he's a strong SOB. If he were aggressive or dominate, that would be a very large problem. As has been stated, the key is obedience. Ever think about taking Karma to training to help her gain confidence?
 

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our 6.5 month old Brutus is a lovebug. he loves and licks everything. when walking him a neighbor runs across the street with her little cotton ball dog. it's funny to watch. he is our first GSD. I am constantly working on the basic commands and socialization.
 

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I think people have offered really smart advice. It will be interesting to see what your girl is like at 2.

I called a trainer years ago when I had a shep/lab mix and a Golden retriever. I complained that they both loved everything and everybody and were not good watchdogs at all. He asked me a series of questions about bad behaviors, each to which I answered, "no." He said, "I have people come to me about really bad behaviors. You say your dogs have none of these. You are lucky!" I almost started crying.

He did suggest, though, that I get someone to approach the house, rattle a few door knobs, etc. to perhaps raise some concern in the dogs. I thought that was an interesting suggestion, although I didn't do it. In reality, the shep/lab was not a bad watchdog, just not as on top of things as I wished.

One really amazing video I've seen is about the Surfdog Ricochet, who was not at all what her owner wanted or expected him to be:


Even if your dog continues to be very submissive, she will probably provide other things that will amaze you!
 

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A German shepherd doesn't have to be aggressive to be frightening. Most people won't get out of the car if they see Bo watching from under the bushes. (hiding under the bushes) :)
So true, image helps. Lots of good advice above. Socialize and give as many opportunities for new experiences as you can. She is young and just being 'cautious'. She might not be exactly what you wanted or expected (mine sure isn't) but you will find qualities that make you love her for who she is.
 

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i have a 4 and a half gsd who is scared of life(he's a failed police dog' a rescue dog) a gentle giant in everyway. But my gentle giant turned into the most amazing protective superdog when i was approached one night in our area by two youths (who were harmless just wanted to ask directions) my big wooze of a boy appeared as if my magic at my side grew two feet in front of my eyes, alert bold confident and totally focused on the two guys. At this behaviour I must admit i panicked a bit, he's a 36kg dog and if he attacked i had my doubts if i coud have stopped him. but no he sat at my command not taking his eyes off the guys. They stopped when he appeared asked for directions and complimented me on having a dog so well behaved and protective. He knew what to do when it counted. They moved away and he turned back to scaredy boy again. They can pull it out when it counts and thats reassuring to me.
 
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