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Hello to all! My GSD Shelby is just growing like crazy. She is well into the mid 70's weight wise and stands 26 inches at the shoulder! For a 10 month old female, she's big! My question I have though is about her submissiveness. She is getting so big but still pees when little puppies or little dogs come around. She also pees for strangers still and puts her ears back. She has started an advanced obedience training course along with tracking. She gets schutzhund training exposure weekly because she will eventually be full into personal protection. Do you guys generally think she will grow out of this and be more assertive? She barks out the window and across the street at people if she feels off about them and sometimes she will back away from a new person that wants to pet her. Is she just in an unsure phase of her life right now still finding out who she is? Any suggestions on how to build her up or is the training going to do that?
 

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Hello to all! My GSD Shelby is just growing like crazy. She is well into the mid 70's weight wise and stands 26 inches at the shoulder! For a 10 month old female, she's big! My question I have though is about her submissiveness. She is getting so big but still pees when little puppies or little dogs come around. She also pees for strangers still and puts her ears back. She has started an advanced obedience training course along with tracking. She gets schutzhund training exposure weekly because she will eventually be full into personal protection. Do you guys generally think she will grow out of this and be more assertive?No, not to the point where she can handle bitework and PP...imo. She barks out the window and across the street at people if she feels off about them and sometimes she will back away from a new person that wants to pet her. Is she just in an unsure phase of her life right now still finding out who she is? Any suggestions on how to build her up or is the training going to do that?
I'm sorry, but from this description alone, if this is a regular occurrence/personality(which it sounds like)..... this dog should not be put through PP training. A dog like this does not have the nerves to be put through something as intense as PP. I'm wondering if she would even be able to handle the bitework phase in SchH....it's one thing to be a bit skittish around strangers (still NOT ideal for either arena)...but to urinate at the sight of strangers and small dogs is a very weak nerved dog, soft, dog. This isn't just submissiveness(imo). There is no threat...no need to submit when there is no threat. I would never put a dog like that through this sort of training. Obedience? Absolutely.

What about her makes you or anyone else think she can handle SchH, let alone PP??
 

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She doesn't pee at the sight of strangers just when she meets someone new, she wags her tail like crazy and squats to pee when they start to pet her. The place where she is receiving obedience training does three levels of training. They do obedience, tracking, and schutzhund. They do a trial run for new dogs and when it comes to training and obedience she does great! They did a test with her for schutzhund (for later after obedience) and she responded well to the trial and passed. They were impressed with her. The training academy here has a great trainer and I trust him. He was a K9 handler for 18 years on the police force and his dog is a champion. She's very situational though. You put her on a training field with other dogs around and she stays focused. Runs right to me off leash, doesn't run after or try to play with other dogs. She meets dogs at a dog park and she is submissive for the first few minutes then jumps right in. I wouldn't put her in schutzhund unless I felt she could do it and if the trainers felt comfortable. It will be a while until she starts full on PP training. That is why I was wondering if submissive GSD's are common or if it is a phase. We have had her since 9 weeks old. Over the last two months she has stopped peeing when we pet her and for some regular people we have over so I am getting the feeling she might be growing out of it.
 

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She used to urinate when YOU pet her, up until last month?

If your question is, "is this normal or seen in PP dogs, will she grow out of it?" I am inclined to say, no it is not normal in any stable nerved, PP applicant. I just question anyone who is training a dog that does that and thinks it can handle PP or SchH bitework...two COMPLETELY different things that are usually not done concurrently....another reason why I question the trainer.
 

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Oh, and just because someone was a K9 HANDLER does NOT qualify them to be a trainer. imho. It is a VERY nice selling point for owners looking for obedience, who don't know any better. There are some TERRIBLE K9 police handlers out there that advertise training for dogs. There are also some WONDERFUL handlers who are terrible trainers. So he took one dog, his K9, whom I'm assuming he went through an academy of some sort with (someone else doing the training) and took that ONE dog to be a champion....champion of what?

I just am so confused, I don't know a single, legitimate SCHUTZHUND trainer who would be enthused to put a dog with your dog's nerves through bitework, let alone a legitimate PP trainer thinking the same....so it causes me to really question who is evaluating and working the dog. That's all. Could you post your dog's pedigree? Video of bitework?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am not here to say, who does what the best or to hear people slam my dog for being a submissive puppy. I am here to find out if anyone else had a submissive dog. I said she USED to pee when we would pet her but she stopped doing that at or around 6-7 months old. She would do it in the mornings, like she was excited to see us and would pee. She wasn't doing it every time we pet her. She's never done the ears back and squat to pee for us. The K9 Handler/Trainer we are working with came HIGHLY recommended and has a dog that is a Schutzhund champion. He knows what he is doing. You making a guess that he has no idea what he is doing doesn't answer my question so don't waste the thread time on here. Be helpful, not argumentative.
 

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lovecho, the head of the schutzhund club evaluated her along with the trainers. she is very well mannered, obedient, listens and responds well during training. my only question is about her submissiveness. she is getting less submissive so i am wondering if this trend will continue. for instance, i walk by my neighbors house, she always looks forward to greeting them on the walk, neighbor walks over, approaches her, she starts acting like a puppy and when he pets her she pees as her tail is wagging and she is jumping around.
 

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Follow up with the trainer....I have known submissive peeing that went to six or seven months and the dog became good sport dog. Sounds like you are novice, and if the trainer sees things that they think can be worked with, then follow up with them if possible.....Good Luck!
 

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thanks cliffson! i am new to taking a dog for training of this magnitude. My previous dog was a boxer and i just had him as a pet so he knew sit, stay, come, and shake. I would eventually like Shelby to do S&R. I also want her to be there for when my wife goes out on a jog or walk in later evenings. The sight of Shelby alone will probably keep most creeps away from my wife but some people are really stupid and I want her to be prepared if that ever happens.
 

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Update: we had training yesterday and apparently he intro to schutzhund wasn't what I was thinking. They were just testing her prey drive. She had another evaluation this morning. We have decided she is not a good candidate for protection training. She's just too friendly and doesn't have a strong bite or prey drive. We are going to continue with obedience and tracking because she's really doing well with following a track. That will hopefully lead us both into the local SAR training group within the next year or two.


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If you want to do SAR with your dog, not doing bite work is your only real option. Most SAR groups won't accept dogs that have had bite training of any kind.

My dog didn't have the appropriate nerve base for bite work, either. But we still did tracking and obedience training with the local schutzhund group/trainer.

Good luck. I enjoy tracking a lot.
Sheilah
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Her prey drive is good, not aggressive, but she is very people friendly. I guess we will just continue to see how she does. Also, yes, no bite training or PP continuing.


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I don't think anyone in here was calling your dog a sissy. And as far as your trainers concerned, you said he was a K9 handler but you didn't mention if he had any formal training to be a trainer. If he does you didn't say it so people assumed he was just a handler at one point. If he doesn't have any formal training then that's a different story. I'm not sure if you feel short changed because your dog isn't the dog you wanted him to be but that is irrelevant now. I suggest you focus on his strengths instead of his weaknesses. It could also be in his blood lines also.

The bottom line is this. He is only 10 months old so you have plenty of time to work with him. I also think it would be better that your dog is submissive rather than aggressive towards people or other dogs. I'm sure he is a great dog and no matter what he will be a great friend for years to come. Good luck with your family member.

P.S I just saw that your dog is a girl so sorry for calling her a him. I just get used to say him a lot because I have a male.
 

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UPDATE: Ok, it has been a while since I have been on the forums. I wanted to let everyone know that after working with the trainer a few more times we decided to stop taking Shelby for tracking training and personal protection. While she has a fantastic nose and is a GSD, we believe she just isn't cut out of the personal protection and is just the kind of GSD that will be a good family dog and nothing more. We are really enjoying her more now that we aren't trying to push her and get results like I originally wanted to have with her (Guard dog and training buddy) She is really growing up and coming into her own now at 18 months now. She slimmed down and stretched out over the last few months. 67 lbs and 27 inches tall at the shoulder and had a great checkup at the vet. Since that last month she is starting to bulk up again and fill out which I expected as she moves towards two years old. We had her checked for a urinary issue as mentioned before. She had been doing the submissive peeing and it concerned us. She still pees when she gets overly excited but not as much as she used to. The vet said she is most likely growing out of it. She does not do it with us at all anymore. The vet did point out that she has a small vulva which may be why she has some bladder control issues, again, she may grow out of it. She is beautiful though and becoming a great friend as she grows. Full of energy and loves to bark at everyone on walks. Again, we didn't train her for personal protection. She loves us, family, and other people we know, she will get used to them. Strangers, she barks at naturally so that is all the personal protection we really needed. That and the sight of her being around our yard and in our house should do the job. Thanks again for all the feedback!
 

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I think it is great that you have made decisions for the best of your dog !
One thing I would not encourage though is the barking at strangers, especially on walks . You may be rewarding her anxiety , fueling the anxiety.
 

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good for you! i wish more people would accept their pets instead of trying to make them do something they cant. your dog has got a good owner.

i too would not be happy that she is barking at people on walks. if someone is minding their own business and isnt a threat then i wouldnt encourage it. she isnt being protective, she's being fearful.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yeah, the walk thing is weird. She just barks at people and I tell her to "leave it". I try to calm her but she doesn't listen. Any tips?
 

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Yeah, the walk thing is weird. She just barks at people and I tell her to "leave it". I try to calm her but she doesn't listen. Any tips?
Distract her. Start working obedience before she gets into that state. Get her off to the side, reward with a game of tug or something else so that she learns to ignore the "threat" or whatever it is she's focusing on. Make sure she's always focused on you, instead of the thing coming towards her, during those times.

This stems from the same type of fear when your dog barked at people across the street from your window. It wasn't protection then, its not now. It's "I'm going to make a lot of noise and make myself sound bigger to you so that you get scarred and don't come near me."

You're just going to have to train her to ignore the things around her.
 
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