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I have two GSD's - an 18 month old female and a 9 month old male. The female is everything you'd expect from the breed - non stop energy, protective, alert, loving, etc. However I'm disappointed in the male's temperament. He's too shy, not very energetic and doesn't stick up for himself (for example if the female tries to take his toys he let's her do it without much of a fight). Usually he just wants to cuddle with people. What can I do to improve his energy, confidence and self respect?
 

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????? You want your dogs to fight over toys???? Deferring to the older female is not a bad thing. why don't you stop her from taking his toys? As the leader, that's your job.

At 9 months, what do you really expect from him? What do you mean he's to shy? Not very energetic?

To see my male in the house, you might say the same thing. Because he has an OFF switch and can settle. Working is a different dog.
 

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Oh...didn't anyone tell you? GSD girls own ALL the toys. That's the sacred Law of Dogs. It doesn't matter who's bigger. If they're older, and they're female, the toys belong to them. And probably the best dog bed too.

Seriously, this is incredibly normal. It leads to peaceful households. Relax and let them be. They've worked it out, and it's fine. Count your blessings that you aren't breaking up dog fights -- sometimes GSD girls are notorious grudge holders. The boys let it go (usually), but the bossypants girls...nah. I love having a "peacekeeper" in my multidog home -- they're lovely, get along, don't take things personally, and just roll with dog-on-dog dynamics. That's what everyone wants!!!

Trust me, if you ever live in a home with two dogs vying for dominance or pack position, you'll forever long for the days of your easy-going boy. Value what he's doing and trying to teach you about dog social behavior. He has a lesson for the human here.


If you want to build true confidence, enroll in an excellent obedience class with him. It doesn't teach dogs to fight (which you seem to think you want but don't really). It teaches him that he always knows the right thing to do, and nurtures your bond. That's the real source of inner strength, for most dogs.
 

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Obedience training builds confidence. Not allowing the older female to bully him wouldn't hurt either!
 
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Thanks, I'm glad to hear it's normal. And I didn't mean I wanted them to fight, I only meant I didn't want him to be a pushover.
 
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