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Why is my dog too much shy or submissive with other dogs?

Sandra asked:

My german sherperd dog is already 10 months old. She is still very shy with other dogs. Even a very small size dog can chase her. If other dogs approach her aggresively, she submited immediately. I would like her to play with other dogs happily with confidence. Most dogs she met in off-leash park were very nice(not as aggressive as she thought). Please give me some tips on how to train her to be confident like a gsd should be.

Dog Health Advice

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This entry was posted on Sunday, February 14th, 2010 at 6:50 pm and is filed under Dogs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

9 Responses to “Why is my dog too much shy or submissive with other dogs?”

  1. Noggles Says:

    lots of dog park time and interaction with other animals..

  2. Endorphin Says:

    this is a job for Cesar Millan lol…maybe you should train your dog to be more assertive. I wish i could help sorry. I have a dog and I still don’t understand why male dogs hump each other. It’s not that they’re gay…or are they?…hmmm. man, my dog better not be gay.

  3. Red Says:

    Dogs are like people they all have different personalities. She’s probably just naturally shy and submissive. Try taking her to the dog park more and eventually she will become more confident. Socialization is key.

  4. c.k. Says:

    10 months is still very young! Just keep socializing her (exposing her to dogs). Submission is not a concern. Shyness that leads to aggression is – happens when you don’t socialize enough.

    Every dog is a complete individual. With luck, you will end up with a complete sweetheart of a submissive girl.

    Don’t worry if she doesn’t want to play – just keep taking her. Even if she never turns out to be a playful pup – just being around the other dogs is VERY healthy.

  5. Rob Says:

    This can be just due to inexperience…your dog may only know that being submissive is the only way to interact with another dog. Try finding a few dogs ( variety of sizes) which are really friendly and confident to play, like a boxer, and let them play till they get bored of each other. This will reinforce that being confident is fun. It might just be part of her nature but this cant hurt.
    Also try taking her a walk with a confident friendly dog, that way they can approach other strange dogs together and she can learn how to act without having to be submissive every time.
    Hope this helps. đŸ™‚

  6. havenseesgreen Says:

    try to have her around other dogs as much as you can, she will learn eventually…. reassure and reward her when she shows interest in the other dogs.

    and the guy wondering about his gay dog? theyre not gay, its a dominance thing lol. totally not sexual, just letting the other know its in charge.

  7. Holland Says:

    i dont think like that

  8. Sandra Says:

    Unfortunately, while GSDs are *supposed* to be confident, many are not. Many in the US are products of back yard breeders and because of this they are prone to improper temperament. Also, at ten months old, she is still very much a baby. You wouldn’t expect a toddler to stand up to a bullying teenager no matter how small or dorky that teenager was. It is your job to get in there when other dogs approach her aggressively and get her out of the situation/prevent the other dog from approaching. As someone else mentioned, I would rather have a dog that submits to even the smallest dog than one that is fearful or aggressive to them…especially a breed like the GSD with it’s dubious public relations/reputation.

    As for increasing confidence, you stepping in and ending the situation when you feel that she is becoming overwhelmed will go a long way. After all, everyone’s braver when they know someone’s got their back if they should run into trouble. Also, basic obedience will do wonders for a dog’s self confidence…especially if you use positive training methods. As she learns what you are asking/expecting of her she will become more confidant as she realizes that she knows what it is you want. GSD’s are frequently happy to please their owners and if she knows she’s making you happy then she will be more confidant in her abilities.

  9. Garry Says:

    Dogs have personalities just like humans do. You should be happy to have such a passive dog. She will grow more confident with age and more socializing…I am sure this is a fairly common trait in many dogs so reading a few training manuals will definitely provide you with some tips to speed up the process…I had a Golden Retriever that would roll on her back when other dogs approched just to show she was very unconfrontational…I started holding her when other dogs approched so she would feel safer (and this would also not allow her to roll onto her back). Eventually she started interacting with other dogs.

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