I adopted my boy Jace three weeks ago from a local rescue, he was 13 weeks at the time. He's a (suspected) Border Collie x Great Pyrenees and such a sweet and smart dog to work with. He looks a whole lot more like a BC than a Pyr - but who knows what he'll grow into!
Now I know quite a lot about dog behavior and training - it's my passion and I really enjoy training dogs, however I have mostly experience with Dominant/Aggressive types. Jace on the other hand is overly submissive and scared - and I'm having a hard time trying to figure out how to work with that.
Like I said, he's extremely submissive, mostly to other people but not with me. When he sees people or dogs from a distance his hackles will go up and he will bark at whatever he is seeing. (mostly just one or two barks) but what confuses me about this behavior is that immediately after that he will want to approach said subject. My puppy class trainer tells me that he feels insecure and if he barks those people/dogs are already too close, but what I don't understand is how he moves TOWARDS the thing that supposedly creeps him out. Puppy Trainer also told me to feed him treats at that time, but isn't that reinforcing the barking/being scared? I'm very confused.
That's what happens from a distance - now when people are too close to bark at he will go into super submissive mode, hiding his tail under him, sitting right at their feet, wagging his tail, excessive licking and I try to tell people to not look him in the eyes and or pet him on his head (I tried telling them to IGNORE him and they will just not do it!
) but no-one seems to listen because
'he's so CUTE'
And of course people will be super excited which just feeds into his behavior more .. very frustrating.
Then at home.. He does above scenario with my husband. Now we practice the ignoring and not looking in the eyes and it has already gotten a lot better, he used to pee submissively and that has stopped because I told my husband he had to IGNORE him until he was calm (Hubby did not like that one bit) but he's seeing it's working now... We have been doing this for 2,5 weeks now and he still gets into ultra submissive mode every time he sees my husband.
As for strange dogs I always ask if the dog is friendly (and I look at the dogs body language) before I let him meet the dogs. Big dogs he does the same: Hackles up but does approach, although not nearly as submissively as to people. Every time he has a successful encounter he gets a treat. He used to be very scared with all small dogs too, but we've worked on that and now he plays nicely and gently with small dogs
Now can I get some pointers, please let me know if I'm doing anything wrong or if I can change something - I'm here to learn, I want what's best for Jace.
That's all the negative stuff - besides those things he's doing amazing. Taught him Sit, Down, Come (50ft leash is so useful!) "up" walks great on a leash, doesn't chase the cats...(most of the time
) doing great with potty training
Also if you have some tips of things you do differently in regards to a dominant dog/ Submissive dog? I read somewhere that having dogs like him win at tug games is a GOOD thing, while I know you should never let a dominant dog win...
Thanks in Advance!!