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scaredy, but loving, dog

January 27th, 2005, 04:14 PM
So we've had Parker a year and things are going wonderfully (We rescued her, though she picked us out.)

However, lately, she's been submissively urinating like crazy. Not excitedly, either. She's incredibly, incredibly submissive around my husband. We are both animal loving and affectionate, not mean yeller angry bad parents, you know? He's just more of the disciplinarian (when she chews, he sends her to her "room", when she begs he tells her to go lay down, typical stuff, firm NO!)

When he comes home from work, even after she's been happily playing with her toys and running around like a goof, she lays on the ground and stares up at him with those big Disney eyes. He gets close to pet her, and she pees. He calls her over, she pees. He looks at her, she pees. He walks into the room, she slinks around. I understand what she's doing, trying to respect his dominance or whatever, but it's impossible for him to even get close to her. He tries. We've been working with her for a couple of months now trying to relax her, build her confidence but nothing seems to be working.

He said last night he just doesn't know what to do, it's getting to the point where he doesn't even want to be near her because he doesn't want to upset her, but it only seems to make it worse.

Is there something we can do to help it so she's not so submissive to him? Do you think if they went to a training class together would it help?

She is not like this towards me, but I am the coddler. I am the nurturer. (not that my husband doesn't want to be. but he's definately more of the enforcer when she's bad.) Do I need to do something to my own behavior?

I know that Parker was going to be sold for testing before she was rescued (and subsequently rescued by us) so I don't think she ever had a good, strong beginning. I know a lot of patience is required with rescue dogs, however I don't want to start out with bad lessons. She's going to be with us for many years, and she can't be afraid of my husband forever.

What do you guys suggest?

January 27th, 2005, 05:32 PM
I know it is tough with rescues you don't want to scare them more. I think your husband playing with her more and not being the bad guy(disiplinarian) might help but even that will take awhile. Have him talk to her in a very calm and soothing voice even if she is across the room. Just telling her how pretty she is or what a good girl you know that kind of stuff. Also getting down on the floor to her level and not standing over her will help too. Sound also like the person who abused her (because this does sound like a dog who has had abuse in her life)may look or sound like your husband. I know Buddy was terrified of men and is coming around amazingly I have had him for a year but he still does not trust most of them and will stay very close to me and will not always let them get close to him or pat him if they try he runs behind me or cowers. But it is a very slow process. I think if she starts to come around more maybe he should start doing things like throwing a ball for her just him and her let them create a bond or a walk. She will realize that he does not want to hurt her and he is a good guy. Just out of curiosity is your husband a big guy that can be a bit intimidating. Just a few suggestions the others may have more for you by the way welcome to the board. Can you post a picture of your little cutie

January 27th, 2005, 10:06 PM
It would be strange for her to suddenly start submissive peeing for no reason. Something set her off and now she is supplicating to your husband at every opportunity. Never scold her for the peeing. Balance is the key. An overly submissive dog needs a confident leader, who gives them lots of jobs and doesn't over react to the submission. Some dogs can become drama-queens when they learn that exaggerated submission gets them attention and sweet talk.
Disciplining her is not being 'the bad-guy' unless it is done in a bad way. She is highly sensitive and his lesson is to be clear with his instructions but in as light a manner as possible. He also needs to light-switch his energy instantly. The micro-second she does as he asks he needs to soften his tone to a whisper and tell her what a great job she did. Not too much eye contact - it is probably too strong for her right now, work towards having a soft and loving eye when you talk to her. Stroke her under her chin and on her chest to help her feel confident. Don't encourage her to roll on her back when she submits to you. Ask her to sit or stand when you talk to her - it is a more confident posture. You have to teach her confident manners.
Often the more work you give her the more confidence she will acquire. Right now she is too concerned with hubby’s reactions, and when she has jobs to do it will keep her mind busy with work and she will feel good that she is pleasing you with her work.

January 28th, 2005, 01:10 PM
Thank you both so much. I appreciate the time you took to address my problem with Parker.

I printed out your responses and will show them to my husband so we can work on an action plan when handling Parker.
You're right, Tenderfoot, this hasn't JUST happened. She's always been very timid...and has done the submissive peeing once or twice. At first, we did the NO NO PEEING! and yelled at the pee...but soon realized the errors of our ways and started to just ignore it when she peed. First time "Parents" don't always know the right course of action to take :)

That is another thing, when anyone pets her, she immediately rolls on her back (before jumping on them a thousand times! ha!) I tell people to stop petting her when she does that so she knows to stand up if she wants attention. Man, raising dogs is so hard, but so rewarding!

Here's a picture of Parker in all her "Two Left Ears" glory.

Again, thank you so much. I'll be sure to post a progress report in a couple of weeks to let you know how far we've come.

January 28th, 2005, 01:51 PM
Very cute great ears hope things turn around soon patience

February 2nd, 2005, 01:05 AM
This reply may be a little late as you already have the answers, but I just wanted to say that we had the same problem with our rescue dog. Came to me , not my husband and he is even more of a softie than me. Eg. I did all the training. Turned out through trial and error, that it was his voice. He's got a very loud voice when talking normally. So for 2 weeks he talked in a whisper, ignored her and just lay on the ground away from her, playing with one of her toys, she gradually came closer and closer , still no contact from him though and he'd say hello, good girl etc very quietly. After about 4-5 days, she just pounced on him to play and the rest is history. Good luck