How to create more confidence with a submissive dog

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How to create more confidence with a submissive dog

Post by jason_g7 on Tue Apr 03 2018, 22:20

Hi all,

It's been a while since I've posted..mainly because everything is going great with Doug the American X English Bull Terrier. Doug turns one next week and we've had the pleasure of his companionship since he was 12 weeks old, we couldn't ask for a nicer dog.
Since he got his last vaccination he has been going to the dog park just down the street from us at least 5 times a week so he has been socialised as much as possible, as well as puppy preschool prevaccines. He mostly gets on really well with other dogs. He has a few best friends who he loves to wrestle and have rough play with..he's naturally very strong for his size and loves taking on older and bigger dogs but only plays and never takes it too far. All the other dog owners in the park always compliment on what a great nature he has, he always looks for a human pat and rub from everyone when he first enters the park. He has never showed any aggression to another dog, even when playing if another dog not involved barks he immediately cowers and runs to me for a time out. It seems other dogs barking at him doesn't go down well.
Here stems my question and I want to point out first that I DO NOT want to create any aggression in my dog, as I said I love his temperment and wouldnt change it for the world, however he is always immediately submissive to other dogs, both older and younger, bigger and smaller than him. I would have no issue with this but lately he has been attacked twice for no reason. Once at the dog park a dog just seemed to not like him and had a go and last weekend while walking another staffy, who was wrongly off their lead, came out of no where and started a fight. Both instances Doug didn't fight back, I was there the first time and just pulled the other dog away and then their owner took over and scolded him and we both created some space between our dogs. The second time my wife was walking him and was just able to pick him up to stop the fight.
This has just had me thinking that with more confidence would I be able to prevent 'some' future attacks, is he giving off the wrong signals or have we just been unfortunate to meet two dogs with bad attitudes. Given Doug obviously has the body to overpower dogs when he wants to while playing, he's obviously not lacking in physical attributes but his mentality is once any dog decides to bully him, he submits. This just seems to give the signal to the other dog...I'm the boss, time to bully some more.
As I said I have no intention of encouraging aggression but would like some tips to create more confidence. If I'm doing something wrong please let me know also. Thanks in advance.

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Re: How to create more confidence with a submissive dog

Post by gillybrent on Wed Apr 04 2018, 09:16

I don't think you're doing anything wrong at all. It's just his nature, and the one thing you don't want to muck about with is temperament.

With Staffords it's often all or nothing & if you try to get him to become more assertive you may be responsible for a fight during which both dogs will be hurt.

Dogs have several aspects to temperament - aloof, friendly, nervous, aggressive plus a whole lot in between. I would say that your boy is somewhere between friendly & apprehensive and because of that I would be very loath to tamper. You risk turning the apprehension into nervous aggression.

I don't think there's much you can do anyway, other than be there for him when he feels apprehensive.

Personally, I find it easier to deal with an apprehensive dog, or even an aggressive dog, than than a nervous aggressive dog! Nervous aggression can manifest itself randomly.

Be happy that he's a great ambassador for a breed that is becoming more & more vilified - at least you have a chance to change some people's perception of Staffords.

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Re: How to create more confidence with a submissive dog

Post by -Ian- on Wed Apr 04 2018, 18:41

Yup totally agree with the above post


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Re: How to create more confidence with a submissive dog

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