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My dog shows both dominant and submissive behaviours.

(16 Posts)
colditz Tue 11-Dec-12 20:11:41

Wtf is going on?

So, submissively, she

Stands in a submissive way when I look at her
Rolls on her back if I approach her
Puddles when I scold her

But on the other hand, she also

Tries to hump my sons leg
Treads all over me if I sit on the sofa
Paws at me for attention

Any ideas?

Cuebill Tue 11-Dec-12 20:28:29

None of those behaviours are dominant.

Rolls on her back when you approach her is fear as is weeing on the floor
Humping leg is again either a sign of insecurity or general emotion/excitement.

Paws for attention is just that - she wants your attention.
Walks on you on the sofa - she just wants to get somewhere else and you are in the way.

Not sure what stands in a submissive way is

colditz Tue 11-Dec-12 20:35:44

No, she's not trying to get anywhere else, she is sometimes literally trying to stand on my head. If she's scared of me, why would she do that? When I sit on the sofa, the quickest way to anywhere else is straight off the sofa.

Apparently she's always had a problem with piddling, she does it with visitors, she does it if the door goes especially. It's not a bladder control issue, her control is solid, apparently it's more common in small dogs. I have to be very careful to not excite her if I've just come downstairs, or in from school run, or she wees herself.

I don't do anything that would frighten her. I don't yell or smack. She vacillates wildly between treating me like I beat her and treating me like furniture.

Cuebill Tue 11-Dec-12 20:38:17

You said she "puddles when you scold her" confused

It sounds like she needs to learn some manners re head sitting but I can assure you that she is not being dominant

colditz Tue 11-Dec-12 20:40:31

Stands in submissive way

Look under "active submission" at the jack Russell. That's how my dog starts if I look at her, or call her into the kitchen, BUT in the living room she looks very bouncy, ears pricked, tail up etc.

Nothing bad has ever happened to her, she was my mums dog until she was mine!

colditz Tue 11-Dec-12 20:41:21

Scolding is not smacking or yelling, that's not how I treat my kids, and that's not how I treat my dog.

colditz Tue 11-Dec-12 20:42:58

I've been trying to teach her good sofa manners for a year but she goes straight from ignoring me to piddling herself, with no obedience in between. I don't want her to be frightened. She's not at all food driven so treat training doesn't work, and unfortunately she's so bloody dog aggressive that puppy classes are out.

Cuebill Tue 11-Dec-12 20:48:51

Standing in a submissive way as illustrated is a dog giving off calming signals to cool down the situation. A clear way for the dog to show that it is not a threat.

I would worry why my dog felt it needed to show such calming signals with an owner and would work on making the situation more relaxing for my dog.

I totally disagree with the commentary that it is "generally good to have submissive dog" It is good to have a calm dog that shows clear calming signals but I would never ever want to put my dog in a situation where they had to be giving such calming signals.

colditz Tue 11-Dec-12 20:54:09

Right, okay. Something is obviously frightening my dog and making her want to piss herself and be all submissive.

It's not me. Trust me, I do not want her to wee on the floor and then grovel at me. Neither do I want her to hump my sons leg or trample me on the sofa. I'd rather not have her on the sofa at all, but when I got her, she'd always been allowed on furniture, and I decided to crack the submissive piddling first, so as long as she doesn't directly tread on me, I've ignored her sofa sitting. I've trained her to get down with a click of my fingers, but she gets straight back up again, despite praise etc.

She's not an easily trained dog, tbh. She certainly doesn't learn anything from scolding and seemingly won't learn anything from treats and praise.

My dog jumps all over me on the sofa, I assume it's just because I'm a bit shit at training him not to blush. He regularly attempts to sit on my shoulder like a frigging parrot if the other pesky humans are taking up sofa space <selfish homo sapiens>

D0oinMeCleanin Tue 11-Dec-12 21:12:44

Clicker training! It is magic. And brilliant for fearful dogs.

digerd Tue 11-Dec-12 21:20:33

I have had many female dogs, and never had one hump, only when in season and then only with eachother, or we had a single dog who humped a cushion, but never us. Some males so that. We did not have small children though.

We had a small Dachshund, who when as a young adult, would wee from excitement, but grew out of it. How old is she?

digerd Tue 11-Dec-12 21:37:20

ps many dogs paw for attention, that's the way they communicate.

D0oinMeCleanin Tue 11-Dec-12 21:42:43

I had a female jrt who would regularly hump my tom cat when she got over excited. She was spayed.

Most of the behaviours in the OP sound like fear or lack of general training.

Switching between using treats and using punishment is frightening and confusing for a dog.

Clicker training is the way forward and stop shouting or punishing.

poachedeggs Tue 11-Dec-12 22:52:39

Agree with Dooin. I suspect a combination of fear, confusion and excitement/high arousal. Clicker train her to 'watch me' then once she's learned to focus, and that good things come from paying you attention, she'll be way easier to train.

To successfully train a dog like this you just need to make it want to do stuff. Youneed motivate gether which is easy once you have her attention.

I prescribe ham and hot dogs: )

poachedeggs Tue 11-Dec-12 22:53:27

My phone ate my post. It was a rushed job anyway but you get the gist!

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