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Hello everyone! My 5 month old female WGSD puppy Ava seems to be very submissive and I think this may be leading to other negative things. I had a couple questions that I hope you can help me with...

1. Recently, while walking on a trail, there was a fellow-GSD owner who had a little 3.5 month old (Indie) off leash and so to let our puppies play, I let Ava off leash to find the following happen:
-She submitted to the puppy half her size instantly upon it coming close to her
-Indie would gently play bite her neck and tail and Ava would not play rough back, instead coming to me and my roommate to whine and "ask for help" (I'm assuming)
-There were splotches of a little yellow all over the snow where they were playing from her peeing... Maybe just excitement?
-She loved being chased and would entice Indie to do so, but she wouldnt chase herself (this is just some additional information that might help)
So why is she doing this? Indie was half her size!! Is this a confidence issue? I have heard its not good to take a submissive dog to a dog park, do you think it might help her confidence? or no?

2. When Ava goes up to people by her free will, she seems to okay and relaxed... however if they come to me as I am walking her to pet her, she will instantly growl and then let out some piercing barks. This is the case especially when people come into my/her room. Is this because of the submissive behaviour? That she is reluctant to have people approach her?

3. While I think it would be super fun, and I would love to - I am not able to take my puppy to any obedience training classes due to transportation issues.

I would greatly appreciate any information/tips/tricks/suggestions etc. that can help me with this! Thank you!
 

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Peeing like that is submission , then the growl thing, does dog feel safe and lead in the right the direction?
 

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I agree with doggydad. Your dog is timid and all these things are overwhelming her. The pee was not excitement, it was fear. She's not comfortable with other dogs running up to her. She is not comfortable with people approaching her.
Don't let these things happen.
Socialize her by going somewhere such as a shopping center, and watching people from afar. Go to a school at dismissal time, stay far away, and let her watch from across the street as kids and people go by.
Bring treats and toys. Have outings be as much fun as possible. Have her focus on you, not on what goes on around her. It is very important for you to stay calm and matter-of-fact, and not feed her anxiety by getting nervous yourself.
When you have people come over, don't let them approach her. Have them ignore her, and let her approach them in her own time.
As you notice she gets more comfortable, you can do this from a smaller distance. But don't overwhelm her, or else she will feel that she has to defend herself, and that will not be good.
 
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