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  #21  
Old 03-31-2008, 02:02 PM
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SarahFair SarahFair is offline
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Oh yes, and if he tries to establish some kind of dominance thing with mary should I try to show Im 'leader' (better word?)
Or will there still be a pecking order?
She is a very submissive dog..
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Old 03-31-2008, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanL View Post
Some people might not agree, but this is how I'd approach a strange dog whose background I was not familiar with. Stand straight and tall and ignore him at first. Don't look him directly the eyes, that is a challenge. Allow him to approach you and sniff. After a few minutes when he's comfortable with you, offer him a treat and pet him. Don't pet him on top of the head, show him the back of your hand from in front of him, let him sniff, and then pet him under the chin and on the front of his chest. If he's got any kind of hand fear (from being hit) you don't want to have your open palm over the top of him. If he sits and lets you pet him, great.
Dan I absolutey agree with you, eye contact means too things depending on the dog.......a challenge or a threat and making that eye contact and then reaching for that dog, regardless of how the dog views that eye contact can get you bit.......fast lol.
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  #23  
Old 03-31-2008, 02:04 PM
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But is there a diff in just taking a look? Like I understand glaring at it...lol
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  #24  
Old 03-31-2008, 02:12 PM
Gempress Gempress is offline
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Originally Posted by SarahFair View Post
Oh yes, and if he tries to establish some kind of dominance thing with mary should I try to show Im 'leader' (better word?)
Or will there still be a pecking order?
She is a very submissive dog..
If she is a very submissive dog, you should have no problems establishing yourself as a leader--regardless what you do. I'd be much more concerned with building her confidence. If anything, approaching an overly submissive dog is the opposite of dealing with an overly confident dog.

Let her approach you, like Dan suggested. Don't try to awe her, work within her comfort zone. I don't know exactly how submissive she is, but one thing to do is get down on her level instead of standing over her. It generally makes a submissive dog feel much more comfortable. If necessary, gently encourage her to approach you and praise her for making the first overtures.
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  #25  
Old 03-31-2008, 02:30 PM
Sch3Dana Sch3Dana is offline
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I worked as a dog trainer for 8 years, going into people's houses, meeting new dogs, plenty with fear and aggression problems. I agree that you should not rush over to pet them, let them come to you. But if you stand there looking away from him without saying hello, many dogs are going to think there is something wrong, bc they are used to being greeted by friendly people who call out to them in an inviting, friendly voice and attempt to make contact. Watch two dogs meet on the street. If they are friendly they look towards each other (without making a hard glare) and approach with tail wagging loosely and loose body language in general. As they get closer, they circle behind each other, avoiding direct nose to nose and eye to eye contract.

Try to do the human equivalent of this. Smile, turn your body slightly to the side in a relaxed posture and call him. He should reciprocate with loose muscles and a slow easy wag to his tail. When he comes over, pet him under the head (never over the top til he trusts you) and talk nicely to him. You don't need to establish your dominance within 2 minutes of meeting a dog. Establish your good intentions and build a relationship built on trust, not fear.

And, if you have to be super careful about avoiding eye contact or if he is stiff, afraid, growls, etc., I wouldn't adopt him anyway. You want a dog with good social skills so adopt a pet that is nice, social, open and friendly. Let the macho people who want a protection dog adopt the distrusting GSDs of this world. It wouldn't be unusual for him to feel a little nervous, but a dog inclined to be a good pet will resolve this nervousness with submission, appeasement, calming signals, etc. not avoidance or aggression or hyper-activity.

When you introduce him to Mary I would make sure that they like each other. If she is very submissive you certainly don't want to bring a bully into the house- that won't be any fun for her. Better to pick the right dog than to try to change the wrong one.
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  #26  
Old 03-31-2008, 02:39 PM
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So I should bring Mary also?
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  #27  
Old 03-31-2008, 02:55 PM
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Primates look each other in the eyes, dogs do not (I like training a dog to though as a "focus" command). If you see two socialized dogs approach they approach in an indirect, from the side way; not straight at each others faces. They make no eye contact with each other because it's threatening. When I meet new dogs I squat or sit somewhat sideways so I do not face them straight and they are not next to me but somewhere in between. Then I look at them usually to the side of their head or around their mouth with the happy dog face on. The happy dog face is the face a content dog makes. This means a loose jaw (open smile not closed moth or tight smile) and squinted eyes and a full genuinely happy face, often with a slight cock in my head and always a loose body:




Then I say something to the affect of "hey buddy" in a calm but interested tone (like how you would say to someone you haven't seen in a long while "hey how are ya?"). If they are very friendly and happy to meet me I'll hold my hand out to him lower than his head so he can choose to sniff me. If he is not too interested in me but clearly comfortable I'll put my hand out but not very far so I am giving him a clear choice of whether or not he wants to come sniff me or stay put. If he's not big on touching I'd toss him a ball or offer a treat. If he does not seem to be comfortable with you or is not really showing any reaction then I don't reach out my hand I just talk to him and hope he comes on over.

You don't need to be his boss right of the bat, you need to be someone he feels he can trust. I never dominate a dog, I give them reason to respect me because I'm in control, he can't get away with "bad" behaviors and I don't allow him to control things I want but I don't have to intimidate or scare the dog to do it, pain free (and hands/tool free) consequences that show the behaviors do not work and reinforcement/praise for making the right choices does fine. It seems people who feel the need to dominate or be the boss of their dogs are the ones who hurt or scare them to do so. You don't need to make your dog fear you in order to get him to listen to or respect you, in fact I'd say a dog who has never been physically corrected but obeys has more respect for their owner and sees them more as a leader/"alpha" figure than a dog who obeys after being hit, poked, leash "corrected" or yelled at. It's the difference between a dog who listens because he enjoys listening and wants to listen to you and a dog who listens because he's scared not to. Sorry about my need to state all that but talk of Caesar Millan gets me all worked up He's not very bright when it comes to dogs.


Quote:
Oh yes, and if he tries to establish some kind of dominance thing with mary should I try to show Im 'leader' (better word?)
Or will there still be a pecking order?
She is a very submissive dog..
If he seems to be hurting her then make a noise to interrupt him and remove him do not punish him anymore than simply removing him from play because he may start to associate being with her with you getting angry and may avoid her or dislike her. There is nothing wrong with him being higher up in relation to her, especially if she is submissive, it should work fine that way. There is a difference between him being dominant over her and bullying. If he bullies her it usually is because they have not settled on who is higher up and he's trying really hard. So long as he does not get harsh allow them to make that decision themselves. With a submissive and dominant dog everyone falls nicely into place, no fighting over position since it's clear who goes where soon after they interact for a while. Just my opinion though.

EDIT: I started writing before Gemp and Sch3 posted so they covered much of what I said, sorry for being repetitive!
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  #28  
Old 03-31-2008, 03:04 PM
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If he bullies her it usually is because they have not settled on who is higher up and he's trying really hard
Soo how long does it take to establish?

Im not sure how Mary does being submissive with other dogs. She does play, but its not too often
I know when my friends rather large pup came up being really rough while she was trying to watch me and sheturned around and let him have it. Not a fight but she did make aggresive moves and growled at him...
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  #29  
Old 03-31-2008, 03:49 PM
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I know when my friends rather large pup came up being really rough while she was trying to watch me and sheturned around and let him have it. Not a fight but she did make aggresive moves and growled at him...
Sounds like a normal correction, she is telling the other dog to behave himself, so long as she is not out to harm him it's usually all good. If the other dog fails to listen to her too many times it might escalate but a simple telling off from her to him is fine.

Quote:
Soo how long does it take to establish?
Depends on the two dogs. If they have trouble giving up the higher roll it will take longer, if one is fine being "lesser" in the hierarchy then it will not take much time at all. When it is established you can avoid confrontation by, if you feed them together, feeding the "higher up" dog first (just a few seconds), greeting first and stuff like that so the one who is higher up between them does not feel he needs to prove that any longer. There may not be any bullying at all, just displays with body language and some growling to settle who is more confident (not always the bigger dog either, confidence is often more important unless they really both want to be on top, age, health and sexual status (female/male neutered or intact) also play a role). Also keep in mind Mary may be very willing to take up a lower position on neutral territory but rule the roost in your home so it's important that they are not complete strangers when you bring the new dog home. I would either make two appointments, one for just you and then one for you and Mary or make one appointment but leave Mary separate from the GSD so you can meet him first and get to know him a bit (also make sure he is not stressed out) before brining her to meet him.

I'm sure it will all turn out fine, don't stress out about it too much be excited to meet your new family member!
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  #30  
Old 03-31-2008, 07:01 PM
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So I should bring Mary also?
YES.

If you had a husband/kid/roommate who met the new dog and REALLY didn't like him, would you still get the dog? Probably not, at least I hope. Same thing with Mary - she has at least as importnat, if not more important, opinion of the new dog, and believe me, if they're not going to get along the WHOLE house will be miserable.
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