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Does my dog think she is in charge?

asked 2017-07-16 18:47:10 -0500

Hi, we have just adopted a three year old dog, four days ago; I know adopted dogs may not fully show their personality the first few days. She obeys basic instructions like getting off the bed and couch and knows not to put her paws up on the table. The main problem is during walks, i have taught her not to pull and she doesn't anymore, when she is unsure where we are going she looks at me for guidance, she tends to bark at other dogs and im correcting that, i do a "shhhht" sound (cesar milan style) and tug the leash and she gets distracted, now when other dogs bark at her she is able to ignore them (with my corrections), today i let her near a dog, because she did not bark and was calm, (although she pulled a little) they smelled each other, but they were both very edgy and scaredy and when they put each other face to face and the excitement levels raised to much i ended the interaction ( i read face to face is not good) neither dog barked or growled and i believe my girl just wanted to play as she did the thing where she bends the front legs when she was face to face with the other dog.

Then i started noticing her tail during the walk is upward and curved and i read this is her saying she is in charge, im not sure now if im walking her properly, at home she is submissive i can touch and move the food bowl at will, she often offers her belly, she no longer "jumps at me" and just sits when she wants my affection and respects the no-dog spaces.

I was gonna give her a treat today after the interaction with the other dog but a loose dog showed up and went up at the other dog (while we were leaving) and the owner was scared while the second owner came running saying his dog was ok, all this commotion scared my dog and i was unable to give her a treat at the proper time, so i did not as i didn't want to feed the scared mentality.

So is the tail thing just a thing i shouldn't care about? And about the interactions with other dogs any other tips?

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answered 2017-07-19 22:31:34 -0500

Tail up and curved simply means she's confident. you can't just take one piece of the dog and "read it".

For example a dog barking: if it is barking and wagging its tail while jumping around it means that it's excited and playful BUT if it's barking and stiff leg and lunging at a person it means that is trying to protect its territory or the dog barking could simply see a squirrel.

Look at the overall picture the dog presents. Don't be overly worried if you weren't able to treat or reward at the proper time ...there will be other opportunities.

Many times letting dogs meet through a baby gate or fence is very good. You can go to a local dog park and walk around the outside of the fence guage your dog's reaction. Many times I don't even enter the dog park itself because the other dogs are too excited and out of control however it does provide socialization and an opportunity for her to meet dogs in a low-pressure situation. Definitely keep reading up on different types of training and you will improve

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Ditto with the tail posture meaning confidence. Plus, you mentioned the dog looking back at you when it's unsure where to go. That's a tell tale sign the dog knows you're in charge.

Tori C.'s profile image Tori C.  ( 2017-07-20 21:31:09 -0500 ) edit

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