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I'm new here...this is my third post but I joined b/c Max and I need your help!

Max is 4 1/2 months old. He is 1/2 GS, 1/4 Great Dane and 1/4 Boxer (quite a combo) and he is very shy. I know this can be characteristic of GS and Great Danes to be shy and cautious (I'm not sure about boxers). Max is not aggressive and he does go up to strangers or people that come over but as soon as they try to pet him he will urinate. I know this is a sign of submission but how can we break him of this habit?

He does not urinate when people he knows well approach him and he is a typical puppy with people he is comfortable with. (playful, energetic and goofy)

I am nervous that his timid nature will eventually turn into aggression. He has just recently started barking. He seems to be getting more protective the older he gets (typical I think??). He will bark when someone comes to the door at night or walks by our house at night when we are outside.

Anyway we are going to start him in doggy day care a few days a week to help him socialize. This was our vets suggestion. I was hoping you guys could give me some more tips/ideas to help with this urinating/shy issue.

Thanks in advance!!
 

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My male was very well socialized and trained but he started doing that around the same age. Not with everyone, usually with men and one of the female vets. They go through a fear stage as pups, so I pretty much ignored it and he stopped doing it a few months later. The barking comes with that age too. The socialization will help- are you taking him to an obedience class?
 

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train, train, train and socialize, socialize and socialize everyday
many times during the course of the day. find a class.
 

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Stosh's advise is pretty good. I'd make sure not to fuss about it and perhaps have new people pet the pup outdoors or only after they sit down and he approaches them. If you are already doing the sit down stuff, then just move it outdoors and keep it upbeat and fun.
Or ask people not to pet him until the second or third meeting.
 

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You can manage this and work it out. Having a timid/submissive dog doesn't necessarily mean you will end up with a fear aggressive dog. Best thing is you know to take the bull by the horns and work on his confidence so he'll be all the wonderful dog you know he can be!

Knowing YOU are a strong leader and will take charge in all situations is key to this. So the more dog classes you are able to attend will help with this. Particularly classes that are POSITIVE based (treats/toys/praise) based rather than only correction based (leash yanking only classe to correct when they are WRONG rather than reward when they are right...)

SOCIALIZATION with you. So lots of meet and greets that aren't overwhelming and that have you in a calm and happy leadership role.

Great DVD to purchase to SHOW you what to do to be a calm leader in your dogs eyes is Calming Signals by Turid Rugaas.
Amazon.com: Calming Signals: What Your Dog Tells You: Turid Rugaas: Movies & TV



A great book to help you learn to be a calm leader for your dog is The Dog Listener by Jan Fennell
Amazon.com: The Dog Listener: Learn How to Communicate with Your Dog for Willing Cooperation (9780060089467): Jan Fennell: Books

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Other info on the web is:

http://www.sspca.org/Dogs/Urination.html

http://www.bestfriends.org/theanimals/pdfs/dogs/submissiveurination.pdf

http://dogs.about.com/od/dogtraining/qt/submissiveurination_petmd.htm

http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vmth/...bmissive and Excitement Urination in Dogs.pdf
 

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train, train, train and socialize, socialize and socialize everyday
many times during the course of the day. find a class.
Amen. He is young and will outgrow it. The more life experiences he has, the more confident he will become.
 

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Thanks for the advice everyone! I grew up with labs and I've never had any experience with any of the breeds he is mixed with! He is so smart and willing to learn I'm hoping this will work itself out with more training and socialization.

I'm also glad to hear I'm not the only one who has had this problem!

Also, I have heard (not sure if it's good or poor advice...you all can tell me) that when he gets nervous or scared and runs back to me I'm not supposed to pet and love on him b/c it reinforces his timidness. Of course I'm terrible at this b/c he just comes running back to me to see if it's okay. Anyone been told not to pet your shy dog when he comes running back?

Also thank you for all of the great websites and resources; I will be reading up on that tonight!
 

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I'd ignore his behavior at this point, he's still so young. Just carry on like normal and he'll see that there's nothing to be afraid of. He's at the age that a lot of pups have fearful reactions to things that they didn't even notice weeks ago. But what everyone else said is key- make sure he's in all kinds of situations and a class. He needs you to teach him what's appropriate and acceptable and what's not.
 

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Also, I have heard (not sure if it's good or poor advice...you all can tell me) that when he gets nervous or scared and runs back to me I'm not supposed to pet and love on him b/c it reinforces his timidness. Of course I'm terrible at this b/c he just comes running back to me to see if it's okay. Anyone been told not to pet your shy dog when he comes running back?

Also thank you for all of the great websites and resources; I will be reading up on that tonight!
You don't want to soothe and sympathize and coo to calm him. But a quick pat on the head with a 'love ya' is fine. What's important is how you react. You need to keep standing up, be NORMAL and calm and happy. The way you'd be if he wasn't worried and afraid. Like if you are just wandering in the kitchen and he wanders in. That kind of matter of fact, hey there, and move on.

May even want to be distracting to make him more quickly forget the angst by going to the kitchen (where I keep my treats anyways...) and get some teeny treats out for a quick upbeat and reassureing session of going thru his tricks.
 

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Our first dog was an adopted 4mo submissive peer. The above posters gave great advice already but one thing that really helped us was when she met new people we had them get down to her level, not look at her, and turn slightly so they weren't face to face with her. When she was ready to be pet we would tell them to scratch her chin or chest and that helped out a lot. When she was meeting men (she was really scared of men) we would tell them "no talk, no touch, no eye contact" and we would have them drop treats by their feet. It usually took 2-3 times before she felt comfortable enough to let men start to pet her. And like others have said never pet them, talk to them, or look at them when they run back to you...totally ignore them.
 
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