Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from user_4420744. Show user_4420744's posts

    Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog

    We recently (about 3 weeks ago) adopted a 2 year old pittie mix from Texas. She is having submissive urination issues, almost exclusively with my husband. For example, he sitting on the couch reading and she comes up to him, but when he tries to pet her she urinates and then cowers and runs away. She also get very scared sometimes when he brushes against her (he will barely touch her and she squeals). It does not happen all the time, probably three to four times a week.

    It looks obvious to us that she suffered some kind of trauma from a man, but we do not know what or how or how to help her heal emotionally. What can we do to stop this behavior??
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from dog-lady. Show dog-lady's posts

    Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog

    .

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from lukeseri58. Show lukeseri58's posts

    Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog

    that is so sad -- i would do as dog lady suggested and have your husband feed her, give her treats, lie on the floor and let her approach him -- it think it will take some time to get her to trust him and men in general but she should evetually come around -- do you know any history on her? 
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Novembride. Show Novembride's posts

    Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog

    Good for you for rescuing a pit mix, null. 

    It does sound like she was hurt by a man. Is she like this around other men, or just your husband?  DL makes a good point to have any medical issue ruled out, but it doesn't sound like uncontrolled incidents as much a s behavioral response. 

    Has your husband tried any positive reinforcment/desensitizeing with her?  For example, from a distance (like when he is reading on the couch) have him toss her treats without looking at her or trying to pet her.  Same when he walks by her - have him walk at a distance, not touch her, but toss her a little something.  She'll come to associate him with something good, and will (hopefully) let him get closer and closer until they can touch without her fearing him.

    Good luck - let us know how she does!
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from dog-lady. Show dog-lady's posts

    Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog

    .

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from ruthcatrin. Show ruthcatrin's posts

    Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog

    Definetly have her checked by a vet if you haven't already, but it does sound like submissive urination from what you're describing.  Assuming there aren't any medical issues that resolve the problem, if possible see if your vet can recommend a trainer who can help you.  If they can't, or  you can't afford one, not all is lost though.

    Since it seems to be limited to your husband (or possibly other males?), he's going to have to be VERY involved with the retraining of her.  First off when she approaches he needs to NOT reach out to pet her.  I know its hard, she's approaching and he wants to show her he approves, but she's not taking it that way.  Have him keep a baggie of peices of treats on him, something she really really likes (cheese would get messy, but maybe some bits of cooked, shredded chicken or turkey? but it has to be something REALLY NICE that she doesn't usually get otherwise), and when she approaches instead of petting her, he offers her a treat.  He might have to just place it on the couch next to him at first if she won't take it from his hand, but whatever he does he should NOT do anything that reaches towards her or bends him over her.  If he's willing to do this while sitting on the floor that would be even better.  This'll need to be repeated till she's comfortable taking that treat from his hand. Its probly going to take a LONG time.

    I also suggest you read here.  Its a run down of how to work a truely feral dog to allow human contact.  You're already starting out ahead as she'll allow basic contact, but the techniques should be a good basis for you to start from.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog

    Good answers here, and I'll just add that maybe when he goes to pet her he could try starting low and going high.  Start the pat at her chest and move his hand up her fur to her chin, not down from above, head to neck.  If she was struck, it was from above so slowly putting his hand down in front of her won't be as fear-invoking as raising it above her head to pat her.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from miscricket. Show miscricket's posts

    Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog

    I agree to get her checked out by a vet..which I am sure you've already done...but it definitely sounds like a behavorial issue. I have a friend who fosters for a pit bull rescue and she gets a lot of dogs who have issues with fear and abuse.
    Some tips..besides seeking the help of a trainer..are this..let your dog approach your husband. If she comes to him, he should not try to pat her. He can offer her a treat..but it sounds like she has been conditioned to associate the motion of his hand coming towards her to mean something unpleasant. It will take patience to undo this. He should be the one to feed her...but I would never advise with any dog that your husband assume a submissive position. With dogs..especially the stronger breeds..the human always needs to be the dominant member of the pack. He can still be this and earn her trust.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog

    It is just unfathomable that people hit their pets...why do they DO that?!

    Anyway...

    I agree that the husband should remain the dominent one in the pack because it will, somewhat ironically, encourage her trust more than his submitting to her would.  Her having to take over the pack leadership role would cause more anxiety than she already has.

    Gracie's extremely high value treat was poached liver.  Messy, smelly liver.  If there are a few pieces of that by his feet I can only imagine she'd go get it even if at first she does a quick grab and run.


     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from miscricket. Show miscricket's posts

    Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog

    Kar..as usual..your advice is great...good idea about leaving the irresistable treat nearby!
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from miscricket. Show miscricket's posts

    Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog

    In Response to Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog:
    [QUOTE]Kar..as usual..your advice is great...good idea about leaving the irresistable treat nearby!
    I cannot imagine how a person can strike a defenseless animal. I fostered cats and kittens for a while and had one pregnant female cat who had been abused. It took considerable effort on my part to win her trust and when she came looking for me as she was about to give birth..I can't tell you how that made me feel( even though it was at 1am). It was worth every minute..let me tell you.
    Posted by miscricket[/QUOTE]
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog

    In Response to Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog:
    [QUOTE]Kar..as usual..your advice is great...good idea about leaving the irresistable treat nearby!
    Posted by miscricket[/QUOTE]

    Thanks, and good to see you, mc, but I have to admit I was really just adding to Ruth's great idea about a "special treat" that only the husband gives her by saying that Gracie's "irrestible" treat was yucky, smelly, gooey, poached liver in case they were looking for ideas for what that special treat could be. :)
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from ruthcatrin. Show ruthcatrin's posts

    Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog

    For my pup its peperoni, we buy the sticks and chop them up into little easily managed bits, but not everyone is comfortable giving it to dogs.  Have to admit we've not tried liver though.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog

    Gracie would love pepperoni, I'm sure, and it's much less messy and stinky.  And, I admit, I'm probably far too cautious about restricting her salt.  It makes her so thirsty, though, and then she has to pee a lot.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from miscricket. Show miscricket's posts

    Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog

    In Response to Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog : Thanks, and good to see you, mc, but I have to admit I was really just adding to Ruth's great idea about a "special treat" that only the husband gives her by saying that Gracie's "irrestible" treat was yucky, smelly, gooey, poached liver in case they were looking for ideas for what that special treat could be. :)
    Posted by kargiver[/QUOTE]
    Hi Kar...oops I guess I should have read the other comments more carefully :-)
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from ruthcatrin. Show ruthcatrin's posts

    Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog

    In Response to Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog:
    [QUOTE]Gracie would love pepperoni, I'm sure, and it's much less messy and stinky.  And, I admit, I'm probably far too cautious about restricting her salt.  It makes her so thirsty, though, and then she has to pee a lot.
    Posted by kargiver[/QUOTE]


    He doesn't get tons, we try to save it for special, but when we have to work on something new peperoni's the best thing we've found.  (nothing foodwise works perfectly to get his attention when he's locked in on something though, those guardian instincts)
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog

    I'm sure a little bit here and there is totally fine.  If I had pepperoni on hand, though, Gracie wouldn't be the only one eating it, lol.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from dog-lady. Show dog-lady's posts

    Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog

    .

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog

    The OP's dog only urinates in the house when the husband tries to pet her so while it could be incontinence, my bet is that it's fear.

    Regardless, it's good information.  I didn't really do my research before Gracie was spayed about the possibility of this happening - I had no idea it could be a side effect.  And, she does leak a little bit when she sits because she's spayed.  I noticed that it caused inflammation "down there," too; she was cleaning herself obsessively.  She was only 1 when I noticed it so I was pretty upset that she'd have problems her whole life with that.  But, I found a "miracle" product that stopped her problem!

    According to the dosing instructions she should take 3 of these for her weight (77 lbs), but we have 100% success stopping the leakage with 1 pill a day of this:  ONP Canine Bladder Control

    To test if we really needed it, I didn't reorder when we ran out, and she leaked a few drips every time she was in a seated position until we started it up, again.  It's expensive so I was hoping her problem had just gone away, but, alas, we won't run out, again.  I can't comment on how it works for full blown accidents, though - I'm guessing you'd at least need the whole dose if it's going to work at all.

    Oh, yeah, she hates the taste/smell.  I have to grind it in a mortar and pestle and stir it in well to her food or she spits it out when she finds the pill (even if it's covered in peanut butter).
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from ruthcatrin. Show ruthcatrin's posts

    Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog

    In Response to Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog:
    [QUOTE]I'm sure a little bit here and there is totally fine.  If I had pepperoni on hand, though, Gracie wouldn't be the only one eating it, lol.
    Posted by kargiver[/QUOTE]

    Yah, thats why I buy it in stick form, I find it much less tempting personally, but he doesn't care. But I can understand the temptation!
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from user_4420744. Show user_4420744's posts

    Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog

    Thanks everyone for your suggestions. We did have her checked at the vet and she has no medical issues. 

    Ginger otherwise loves to be with my husband (sometimes they snuggle on the couch and it is beyond cute!), and is not afraid to come near him. It's so obvious that she just wants to please us that it is very, very hard to ignore her, especially when my husband has to take her out to potty when I am not at home (just this evening he went to  put her collar on and she piddled when he was doing it).

    We have tried using treats and doing basic commands (and that works for a time and then all of a sudden she relapses). We have decided to go have Ginger and my husband go through some obediance training together and hope for the best!
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog

    Great idea to have him go with her (without you) to obedience training - those classes are all about building trust.  And, with abused pets (and people) improvement is hardly ever all linear and upward.  It's a 2 steps forward, one step back process until the past is overcome.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from miscricket. Show miscricket's posts

    Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog

    In Response to Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog:
    [QUOTE]Great idea to have him go with her (without you) to obedience training - those classes are all about building trust.  And, with abused pets (and people) improvement is hardly ever all linear and upward.  It's a 2 steps forward, one step back process until the past is overcome.
    Posted by kargiver[/QUOTE]
    Kar..very well said....I think it takes an amazingly special person to deal with either. I admire the OP and her husband for hanging in there...especially when it's easier to just give up. I am sure the reward will be worth it.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog

    Thanks, Ruth.  I believe that success depends on having reasonable expectations, celebrating the forward steps, and accepting back steps as an inevitable part of the healing process (they are not indicative of failure or a "mistake").  

    It also helps to define what each family member thinks behavioral success will look like.  As "obvious" to each of us as it might seem, success is often not defined the same way for everyone.  And, if there is any hidden/unknown disparity regarding the ultimate goal for the dog's behavioral changes you'll be unknowingly thwarting positive progress.   A mission statement that everyone can agree on must be worked out in a concrete way so everyone will be working toward the same thing.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from user_4420744. Show user_4420744's posts

    Re: Help with Submissive Behavior Issue in Newly Rescued Dog

    Daddy-doggie training starts next week, and I feel much better now that we have a plan of action.

    Thanks again, everyone. (and here's a few photos of our little girl)

    http://petfinder.com/petdetail/20538323?rvp=1

     
Sections
Shortcuts

Share