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URGENT-Submissive trait question

Lili
May 28th, 2008, 04:13 PM
Hello!

I'll cut to the chase! I met a 2 year-old dog yesterday (on which I put a deposit!) and overall, I think it could be a wonderful dog for me... BUT... At some point when I was talking with the breeder, the dog started to do a "dance" of some sort, in front of a crate, in which its sister was being kept (she's pregnant). The dog was leaning the front of his body to the ground, turning its head to the right, then to the left... I asked what was that all about, and the breeder said that the dog was basically telling the other one in the crate that it was its friend and confirming its hierarchy level (which one could deduct to be at the lower end of the scale in this case). Then, it did the same thing in front of an 8-week old puppy, and proceeded to turn completely on its back!

I know those are submissive behaviors... but what I'd like to know is if this entails limitations to the dog's ability to do obedience or agility for instance?

It didn't seem to be submissive towards me, but it was reserved at first, which is normal for the breed (Australian Shepherd). This dog is a few points short to obtaining its Canadian title and lives with close to 15 other dogs with no problems.

Should I worry about this side of its personality, if the rest seems pretty stable and suited to my lifestyle?

Thanks a lot!

Lili :)

Ford Girl
May 28th, 2008, 04:40 PM
I would say absolutly not! Being submissive and friendly to other dogs is a good thing, no matter what the situation is. Sometimes they can be silly or hyper, which means they need a bit of exercise before a training class so they can focus better, but as far as learning obedience it can only help you.

The way they act with dogs is different then how they act with their handlers, so if you take the time to build a good leadership/relationship with your dog you shouldnt have any problems. Now if you are more submissive then your dog as in let them run crazy, and do not enforce rules, routines, behavior expectations they will step up and do it for you.

From what I know the lowering of the front of the body is an invitation to play, letting the other dog know he's friendly and inviting him to play, all normal behavior something you want to see your dog do.

Their ability to do obedience and agility will come from their relationship with the handler, not their personality. Especially the breed you got, easy cheesey, they love it and are very good at it. :crazy:

Have fun, and post some pics when you get your poochie!! :thumbs up

Longblades
May 28th, 2008, 04:50 PM
I wish I had not lost the questionnaire we had to fill in during my first obedience class with my first puppy. We had homework every week and this time it was designed to discover how submissive or confident your dog was. With every answer I could tell my girl was coming out overwhelmingly on the submissive side. Not till we got back to class the next week did I find out what it really meant. A submissive dog can be the easiest to train and control because they basically ask permission before doing anything.

My girl was urged to trial in obedience, she was the best in her class. I wasn't interested in that though. We were told she might get more confidence if she went into agility so we did. Guess what? It's just you and your dog in the ring, no one to be submissive to. Assuming, as I think you have, that your own relationship with the dog develops from trust. Training is usually one on one during actual rounds of the ring too, at least it was for us. She did so well that we were the only pair allowed to advance to the next level. We did a bit of competing and we have a few ribbons.

I say give him a try. Submission does not mean lack of spirit or ability.

Ford Girl
May 28th, 2008, 05:15 PM
I say give him a try. Submission does not mean lack of spirit or ability.

Awww, thats a cute little story. And you are right, it means they look to you more for guidence and this these classes really bring them out of their shell.

My dog on the other hand isn't submissive at all to other dogs, humans she is, but can be aggressive towards other dogs, it played no role what so ever when we did obedience (2 levels) or agility, she was just happy to be by my side and do as I ask...they aim to please, they really do. :angel:

Lili
June 2nd, 2008, 03:07 PM
I would say absolutly not! Being submissive and friendly to other dogs is a good thing, no matter what the situation is. Sometimes they can be silly or hyper, which means they need a bit of exercise before a training class so they can focus better, but as far as learning obedience it can only help you.

The way they act with dogs is different then how they act with their handlers, so if you take the time to build a good leadership/relationship with your dog you shouldnt have any problems. Now if you are more submissive then your dog as in let them run crazy, and do not enforce rules, routines, behavior expectations they will step up and do it for you.

From what I know the lowering of the front of the body is an invitation to play, letting the other dog know he's friendly and inviting him to play, all normal behavior something you want to see your dog do.

Their ability to do obedience and agility will come from their relationship with the handler, not their personality. Especially the breed you got, easy cheesey, they love it and are very good at it. :crazy:

Have fun, and post some pics when you get your poochie!! :thumbs up

Thanks so much for your input! I'm really happy to better understand what surrounds this type of behaviour. I know Aussies are supposed to be great at agility, etc... Can't wait to form a special bond with this dog... Oh and I'm no submissive dog-owner... If I were, my last dog (Doberman) would have teached me very painful lessons! :D I will gladly post pics when I get her in a few weeks!

Lili
June 2nd, 2008, 03:12 PM
I wish I had not lost the questionnaire we had to fill in during my first obedience class with my first puppy. We had homework every week and this time it was designed to discover how submissive or confident your dog was. With every answer I could tell my girl was coming out overwhelmingly on the submissive side. Not till we got back to class the next week did I find out what it really meant. A submissive dog can be the easiest to train and control because they basically ask permission before doing anything.

My girl was urged to trial in obedience, she was the best in her class. I wasn't interested in that though. We were told she might get more confidence if she went into agility so we did. Guess what? It's just you and your dog in the ring, no one to be submissive to. Assuming, as I think you have, that your own relationship with the dog develops from trust. Training is usually one on one during actual rounds of the ring too, at least it was for us. She did so well that we were the only pair allowed to advance to the next level. We did a bit of competing and we have a few ribbons.

I say give him a try. Submission does not mean lack of spirit or ability.

That questionnaire must have been very useful indeed! But the more I learn on the "issue", if we can call it that, the more I think it will come with positive rather than negative aspects... Your last sentence is very well said and even inspiring! :thumbs up Thanks for your help!