how to fight back?

Posted by jsls
Jul 14, 2009
My lab of 17 months is very sweet natured and occasionally when we are at the off leash dog park she gets cornered and wont fight back. She just goes down into a submissive lie down. Whilst I dont want her to be overly aggressive how can i get her to stick up for herself more? She doesnt even growl back just cowers away. Many thanks.
Posted by kjd
Jul 14, 2009
You really want her to get into a dog fight? She considers herself the omega dog (lowest-ranking). If this is the only time she does this doesn't show fear of objects, for example you shouldn't worry: she knows how to protect herself and is doing it.
Posted by KOPsarah
Jul 15, 2009
Hi jsls, and thanks for your post.
Dogs do a lot of their communicating through body language. When a dog goes into a submissive position as your does she is simply saying let not fight I am happy for you to be in charge. This is good because it means she is unlikely to actually ever be in a proper fight. Having a submissive (but not fearful) dog is good because you are much less likely to have to deal with dominance and aggression areas.

Next time your dog sees another dog let your dog be submissive when they first interact and just ignore it. Once the dogs get used to each other and are wagging their tails and calm praise them warmly. Continue this every time your dog interacts with others to increase her confidence a little without discouraging her submissive behavior too much.

All the best,
Posted by jsls
Jul 22, 2009
thanks for the response. Glad i can just let her get on with at the park. Was worried she was always going to be singled out as an easy target but she plays so well with the other dogs and is starting to hold her own but not aggressively which is great. thanks again.