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Puppy too submissive towards other dogs

January 16th, 2006, 06:16 PM
Hi guys....sorry I haven't been around in a while.....just a quick question. Mushu is and always has been very submissive towards other dogs even our two senior cats. He is 8 months old now. We have friends that we meet in the back yard with their dogs. one is a large german sheppard/collie mix....the other senior very dominant ...Not viciously agrresseive but trys to mount every other dog cockapoo. When the german sheppard x comes out he come running like a bat out of hell to play with Mushu, Mushu crouches to the ground in a submissive position. He lies flat with his head on the ground and waits. He is always on the bottom on his back and he does nip back but sometimes the large dog honestly plays a little rough and Mushu lets out an occational yelp but he keeps playing with the big guy. Thats the history of the since Mushu came from a puppy mill that had over 50 dogs running around the house at the same time...I try to tell my husband that he is submitting because that is the type of dog he is...and even in the wild with wolves you have the hierarchy of the pack and some dogs are alphas and some are fine and happy to be beta or unfourtunately in Mushu's case Delta' I right? It's driving my husband nuts and he says Mushu is a wus. I don't think it's anything to be concerned about but my husband thinks its a behaviour problem. My moms dog is very aggressive chi poo who Mushu is very dominant towards. He is always trying to mount him and when moms dog is out of his bed, Mushu takes over. So he's not always submissive....I tell my husband the other dogs he plays with is just that...they are not showing any hostile dangerous aggression toward him so he is not threatend and submits to play...whereas moms dog shows teeth and bites...Mushu stands his ground and becomes dominant...again I would like to know if I'm right.....

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

January 16th, 2006, 06:48 PM
I wouldn't worry about it. My dog is also very submissive to some individuals and dominent towards others. They are probably picking up on cues that we miss or, rather, do not know to look for.

If he were really scared, he would simply cower before the dog or run back to your or hide somewhere. Since he still plays, he is obviously still having fun. Dog society and dog relationships are quite complicated and intricate and an endless source of amusement to me.

And all puppies are submissive to begin with, he may assert himself more as gets older and more sure of himself and his place, the same as us humans do over time.

Lucky Rescue
January 16th, 2006, 07:42 PM
It's driving my husband nuts and he says Mushu is a wus.

And why would this bother your husband? He wants a big tough dog?:confused: You know the old saying "Be careful what you wish for..."

It's normal for puppies to submit to adults.

January 16th, 2006, 11:23 PM
I know a guy with a german shep who encouraged his dog to be more aggressive. Over time, he got what he wished for and we don't see him around anymore.

Submissive is better than too dominant, IMO. Tell the hubby to find something else to validate his manhood. Like a big hairy SUV. :D

January 17th, 2006, 09:15 AM
Can you list each of the behaviours that you see to be either submissive or dominant. Personally I don't like those labels because in most cases it has nothing to with those labels at allbut I would like to know what you see them as.

January 17th, 2006, 09:53 AM
It would actually be the Omega - not Delta.
Everyone in the pack has a place in the pack and is dominant over one but submissive to the next - the Omega is submissive to all as the Alpha in dominant to all.
Having said that, even in the wolf world these rules are always subject to change. X might control A,B & C. C controls E, but E controls X. It often depends on the situation but you can find this scenario playing out all of the time.
It might be better to frame your pups temperament as 'not challenging'. He's smart enough to not want to get his butt kicked by the big guys. But he is smart enough to not put up with the obnoxious behavior of that other little dog who bugs him too much. Perhaps your hubby will like that description better. :p

January 17th, 2006, 11:58 PM
Thanks guys....I found out what my husbands problem kind of bothers me too so I was hoping someone can tell me how to stop it. One day last week Mushu and the others were playing chasing games and some wrestling as usual, but then the cockapoo went to Mushu to start humping we both know that this is not a homosexual act and is nothing more than dominant behavior...but Mushu didn't move. If the owner didn't intervene I hate to think what would have happend. Why would he just lie there and take it. How can I get Mushu to get up off the ground without making it sound like he did something wrong? We've never even had to yell at Mushu it was always soft training and it always worked. He heels. stays sits anything we ask without I don't want to start saying NO Mushu thats bad or Mushu Stop. What the heck to do. All joking aside no one would like their dog to be this submissive.

January 18th, 2006, 09:57 AM
It simply dosen't offend Mushu the way it does you. He does not think of it as socially unacceptable. If it bothers you then I would pressure the other dog to get off of your dog - you don't have to be mean about it just be clear and consistent in your pressure. It's rather like shooing a fly off of someone. You could also try calling Mushu to 'come' in a very happy tone and that should disengage the other dog and Mushu won't think he's in trouble.
As much as humping is either sexual or dominant it is also just about being happy and excited. Some dogs get 'humpy' just from too much excitement (not sexually) and will hump anything in site.