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Giving Shadow Confidence

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Shadow has always been very submissive; you call her over and she comes, then rolls over and presents the caller with her belly. She sees the dremel (I use it on their claws), the brush, the camera or the tooth brush and over she goes. And if she's not rolling over shes peeing! It doesn't really bother me very much, she's always been like this, but t concerns me. Can anyone suggest a site or a book (or even a post I missed doing searches) that can give me some pointers for giving my girl some confidence? She's such a good girl and I don't like everything scaring her, or agitating her like this!


Thanks everyone!

~Heather and Shadow

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My lead dog on my sled team, submissive pees and rolls over every time anyone walks up to her with a leash or whatever.

(She does love to go out, its something about being caught?)

She came to us from rescue like this.


At first it bothered me. I felt bad.....then I begin just to ignore it and pet her and tell her how good a dog she was and what a great job she does.


I don't know about your dog, if its a pup or what?


But I know with my Arnuk, I don't think she will ever stop doing this it just becomes less as years roll by. She is 8 now.

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I would recommend choosing just one thing and focusing on building her confidence with that. I'd start with something that you are not going to use for grooming or something. Meeting new people, for instance.


You could teach her to target your hand and then put that on the cue, "say hello". Reward lavishly. After she learns to target your hand, enlist someone that she is comfortable with and have that person sit. Instead of having the person approach Shadow, have your friend hold out his or her hand and tell Shadow to "say hello". Reward any movement toward your friend's hand. The pattern would be - "Say hello", she nose touches the hand, she comes back to you, you reward. Eventually you can have her do that with your visitors to the house. When she loves this and is super confident, you could probably drop the rewards since the behavior will become rewarding.


Confidence can be tricky. I'm trying to help Dean, who is outgoing, friendly, and interested in the world, yet has confidence issues, learn to be more confident. I've found that breaking things down into small pieces and teaching him patterns that he can count on is helping a great deal. Familiarity and assurance that he is correct help him a lot.

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Guest SweetJordan

My first dog was very submissive. She even used to pee when I came home and had a combination of the submissive/excited peeing behavior. She eventually outgrew this behavior at about 5 shortly before she passed away. She would still do a lot of rolling over but didn't pee unless she got super excited(someone came to visit who she hadn't seen in a while but loved etc.). Though typically the person would stand directly over her and that always made her pee. I never stood directly over her at least once I learned not to. I would squat down to eye level or lay back and let her crawl up on me to greet me(she liked to give a hug). Oh and I made sure not to make eye contact. That was once she could be trusted not to pee, before that I'd either ignore her or better yet let her outside first so she could pee there. Anyway, with her I did everything opposite that trainers say to do w/ a dominate dog. It didn't bother me, but I didn't want to make the situation worse. She wasn't unhappy in anyway. In fact she was so happy all the time that one of the nurses at the cancer clinic called her 'wiggle butt.' She did agility as well, but didn't compete. Once she learned that the teeter was fun she didn't want to do anything else. I figured who cares she's having fun.

One last thing though w/ my dog things didn't scare her. She was just very submissive to people. And she rolled over a lot but not quite as much as you describe with Shadow. In a dog pack though my girl ruled the roost but as a kind leader.

I did a lot of reading on the topic but don't have any specific sources off the top of my head. As Ben's mom stated many dogs do get better as they get older. Okay well I rambled, but I hope I helped some.

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Thanks guys =) She's pretty good when she meets new people or other dogs, socialization has been a key thing around here; if we go to the store to buy her food, she comes along. She also does the excited peeing thing. She seems to only display submission when she is at home with me and/or my mom (mom yells at her a lot, so I understand that... I hate her yelling at my baby v.v). 1/2 the time she's in my lap giving me hugs and kisses and cuddling, the other 1/2 shes on her back with that "Pleaaasseeee nooooooo" look that our BCs love to give us (AKA where'd her ears go?!). She is 1.5 years old BTW :rolleyes:

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