My dog shows her belly when corrected-problem? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 10-06-2010, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
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First off: We live in Japan, "get a trainer/behaviorist" is not an option.

Our dog Zoey was a rescue, she is 1 1/2 and we are her SIXTH owners (Just saw her vet records when we got her fixed). She came to us not potty trained (she did used pads), knew no commands and was an absolute freak when she saw any other people/dogs/cars... Most of those things have now drastically improved.

I have 3 kids, the youngest is just under two and my oldest is seven. My almost five is a problem with the dog as he just can't help but pull her hair, kick her, etc whenever anything is wrong with him. That is just the kind of kid he is, and I do not tolerate it, but I really do think he needs more time to grow/mature until he will be able to consistently self regulate.

For all of these reasons, my kids and the dog are never alone (unless someone runs into a room unexpectedly) I pee with the dog, take the garbage out with her and if I need to put the baby to bed and the other kids are here, dog goes in the kennel. Even with all of this prep, my middle child was being bitten on a fairly regular basis, and to a point I am ok with that, due to my child's behavior, but I would still like Zoey to have more restraint with him.

When I switched her to a raw diet, I met a dog who would bite ME when she thought I was thinking about her food! I guess kibble really does suck as she never even vaguely acted aggressive about that. The first time this happened it came out of the blue as we where 3 days into the switch and she hadn't acted different at all and I was not prepared and had WAY too many kids running around at the time to do anything about it. So we have worked at that and she sits, waits, eats out of my hand and eats at my feet willingly now without growly/trying to hide her food. I think that is going well and we will continue.

So enormous preamble later, we now have a dog who can sit, stay, potty, on command, and is generally a sweet fun dog. But lately when I correct her verbally, usually with a noise of "EEEh" b/c that just comes out that dog drops and shows me her belly and cowers. The only thing that has happened outside the norm, and this was after she started doing this, was that my husband swatted her for getting on the table. My DH and I talked about this and he won't do it again--somehow my saying "Zoey if you are trying to get on the table I will beat you to death" made him think her should swat her--clearly I need to clarify my humor. LOL

Any thoughts, is this a problem or just normal??? Zoe just seems to have gone from a very aggressive to a very submissive dog, but she still seems "overall" to be insecure. Any ideas for bonding/training?
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#2 of 3 Old 10-06-2010, 10:37 PM
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Isn't that their way of showing that they realize you are boss? Not sure, but since the belly is a vulnerable area and the dog willing showing it to you. . .

Anyways, those are my thoughts.


Mom to three very active girls Anna (15), Kayla (12), Maya (9).
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#3 of 3 Old 10-06-2010, 11:29 PM
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I'd be more worried about the resource guarding and how your son treats her than her going belly up at corrections. The belly up posture is a "I'm no threat, please don't hurt me" cue in dog language.

Resources that might be helpful:

APDT Trainer Search - use the International option and you'll find a number of trainers that specialize in aggression in Japan

"How to Speak Dog" - book on dog body language
"Mine" - book on resource guarding
"Click to Calm" - book on treating aggression
"Control Unleashed" - book on teaching self control in arousing situations

Yahoo Groups:
Agbeh - "aggressive beahviors in dogs" - the moderator is very nitpicky but they can give people a ton of help with various aggression problems
Pos-4-Reactive-Dogs - more informal list that could be helpful

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