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Author Topic: Is Having a Submissive Dog Good or Bad (or Neither)?  (Read 16359 times)
k2campbell
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« on: March 07, 2006, 06:47:00 PM »

On Kate's daily walks, we almost always run into another dog or two (or three, or four).  We don't go to an off-leash park, just a regular park that dogs are allowed to be walked in. Kate is SO submissive with other dogs, I don't know if it's good or bad?  The reason it concerns me is because of this IDIOT the other day...

So, as I've mentioned - it's NOT an off-leash park.  I was walking Kate by myself the other evening (later than our usual walk), and we were happily strolling along.  As we turned a corner in the park (there's lots of trees and shrubs) this Malamute comes out of no where and lunges at Kate.  Not fighting - playing.  A big, clumsy, gorgeous boy, but as soon as he got up to Kate, she slammed right down to the ground and was on her back.  She does this with every dog she meets (however) this time she REALLY slammed down - fast.  She didn't seem hurt (and I suppose the dog could have scared her too, seeing as it was dark out).  The idiot came around the corner "oh, so sorry dude", "oh, he never does that" (etc).  I told him if he wanted to walk his dog off-leash, he was in the wrong park.  Just miffed me cause the dog practically bowled right over me too (imagine if I had a kid with me)?

ANYHOW - just wondering about Kate's submissiveness - anything I can do to make her "not" as submissive?  She really hit the ground hard (and) I didn't like it.  Makes me kind of scared to let her play with other dogs (especially ones her size or bigger)...
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brandon
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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2006, 08:18:57 PM »

Hey how old is kate, she is young isn't she? I've always heard they go through a bunch of different phases when they're pups and part of that is a a lot of time a couple of fear stages. 

This is a pretty good page that explains it better than I could:
http://www.doberman.org/articles/puppy.htm
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“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.”
k2campbell
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2006, 08:31:50 PM »

Hey how old is kate, she is young isn't she? I've always heard they go through a bunch of different phases when they're pups and part of that is a a lot of time a couple of fear stages. 

This is a pretty good page that explains it better than I could:
http://www.doberman.org/articles/puppy.htm

Yes, Kate will turn 8 months old tomorrow actually.  Thanks for the info on the link, very informative (makes sense).  The only thing that worries me is that Kate has been submissive like this (towards other dogs) since the day we brought her home.  The more I think about it, I'm starting to think she was being bullied by one of the other pups in her litter.  That could totally explain it, don't ya think? Huh

I think the best thing for me to do (for Kate's sake) from here is to socialize her with even more dogs.  She has had a lot of socialization ever since we got her, I'm going to start making even more "puppy play dates" than we're having now.  I've noticed that with the regular (and not new) dogs she sees (as opposed to meets) - her submissiveness IS actually getting better.

BUT that other day just scared the crap outta me, didn't like seeing her go down like a tonne of bricks is all. Embarrassed
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brandon
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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2006, 08:36:30 PM »

Sounds like you're on top of it to me.. I'm dealing with just the opposite w/ our little fellow, he is 10feet tall, immortal or so he thinks  and hates all dogs.  I know this is fear related, because after he does his barking bit and relaxes he's totally into playing.
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Kiahpyr
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2006, 08:55:58 PM »

Kiah used to do that all the time. Now that she's getting older it's a lot better. I'm sure it's just a phase.
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ZooCrew
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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2006, 01:31:14 AM »

Alot of dogs do this.......... .some breeds are more prone than others, like golden retrievers.  I've seen so many that are the extreme submissives... ......and continue to be their whole life.

Nothing wrong with her behavior.  She may or may not grow out of it.  Most dogs do with age and socialization.  I agree with you that socialization will help the issue.  I might suggest that if you can, start her out with dogs smaller than she is, then work your way up to bigger and bigger dogs.  Try one on one first......... .then you can work your way up to group playdates.
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Senghe
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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2006, 06:21:21 AM »

I've had both dopminant and submissive dogs in the past and I don't think it's a problem per se, it's just a fact of life and you have to work with what your given.

I'm not sure how Leo's are with obedience, but I found that my very fist dog who was extremely submissive, came on in leaps and bounds with obedience training. She was a collie x golden and so submissive she would throw herself on her back and pee herself on a regualr basis even when she wa sjust happy to see her friends. However, I started doing obedience and agility (not that I'm recommend ing the agility bit for Kate, obviously) and it really built her confidence.
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k2campbell
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« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2006, 09:49:32 AM »

Thanks guys.

Kate just graduated from Obedience, she did well with the dogs in class (until they played), she’d almost always be on her back.  The more I’m reading your comments, the more I’m starting to think it’s a phase she’ll maybe grow out of.  And if not – that’s totally fine, we’ll just be more cautious of who we let her socialize with…

The dogs we have our play dates with are all around her age, we met in Puppy School.  She is coming less submissive with them, but slowly (which is better than nothing I guess).  I don’t mind at all in any way that she’s submissive, it just concerned me with that Malamute the other day, cause (as I’ve mentioned) she hit the ground so fast that she could have hurt herself (but didn’t – so I guess it’s OK). 

As for smaller dogs, we’ve gone this route, and it’s (for the most part) the same.  I think that can be attributed to my MIL’s dog though (Wally – a Westie) cause he doesn’t like females (so from day one with Kate) was aggressive towards her.  I think she thinks every small dog is like Wally now!  Roll Eyes

We’ll just keep at it and hopefully she’ll become more confident!  Wink
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« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2006, 09:59:07 AM »

Congrats Kate!
I hope she will grow out of the submissive behavior.
But as you said, If she doesnt its not really a terrible thing. I dont think. I think its better than having an agressive dog!
Good Luck
Carole
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« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2006, 01:30:13 PM »

Daisy is the same way(she is ten months). I used to worry but since I have been taking them to an off leash park daily, she is becoming more confident. She will still get into a submissive position with some dogs, but many times now it is more in fun than fear....she's goofy like that.  Cheesy I think her focus is starting to shift from her place in the group to having fun with the group.
I would keep doing what your doing...make play dates and see what happens in the next few months. She may outgrow it as she gets older and more confident. 
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smsmith
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« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2006, 02:29:15 PM »

Too bad you can't bottle submissiveness and send some for Einstein!

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Sarah
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« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2006, 02:40:07 PM »

Sadie did the same thing a few weeks ago - slammed herself down so hard that she yelped and gave me a heart attack! We were out walking in a park behind my house where lots of STUPID people let their dogs off leash (we don't go there anymore) even though it's not fenced in and it's adjacent to a moderately busy road. She's not super submissive in general, but she is with some dogs, mostly males. I definitely understand why you were nervous! Socialization (and lots of it) seems to be helping Sadie with her confidence. Now she's gotten a little too big for her britches though and I'm ready to ring her neck 90% of the time. 

Oh and by the way, I'm surprised you didn't deck him for calling you "Dude" Grin
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« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2006, 09:33:13 PM »

Tulsa used to be the scourge of the dog park, making sure everyone knew she was the 'Queen'!
In the last few months, she has let the other dogs be themselves, she will sit by my side when a dog is extremely social. Usually young dogs will lick around the face of a dog that they know to be 'Alpha', and will submit by a body movement. She accepts this, and will, if it gets out of hand, do an 'Alpha' roll. She comes back to my side and sits on my foot!
A submissive dog is not a bad thing.
An aggresive dog, knowing that it is 'Alpha'can be a problem.
As your dog matures it will figure out the 'pecking' order, and it will figure out who will love on it, and who won't.
Tulsa plays with the younger dogs, although relunctantely.
She'd just as soon not be bothered.
If they get in the way of her Squirrel Hunting, she gets p##sed.
I love my dog!
She is getting old, and set in her ways.
Kind of like her old man.
John
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k2campbell
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« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2006, 10:23:03 PM »

Too bad you can't bottle submissiveness and send some for Einstein!

Oh and by the way, I'm surprised you didn't deck him for calling you "Dude" Grin

I love my dog!
She is getting old, and set in her ways.
Kind of like her old man.
John

Thanks EVERYONE for all your advice and submissive (and agressive) dog stories!  Appreciate it  Wink

smsmith - I'll get right on that, where would you like the bottle sent to? 

Mom2Sadie - funny you mentioned that, cause the thought passed my mind when he was talking to me.  A ha ha! "Dude"...

Tulsas' Dad - well, you know what they say (that after a while of living together), an owner can start to act like they're dog!  Or is it the other way around? Smiley  I LOVE that bucket head pic of Tulsa.  Everytime I see it, I giggle...
« Last Edit: March 09, 2006, 10:26:33 PM by k2campbell » Logged
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