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Ruby is about 1.5 and is up to now has been really submissive and sweet (we had her since she was 8 weeks). Other than a few growling instances with food when she was a young pup - no issues

Every night we put her in her crate, however last night I fell asleep on the coach with her next to me (on the floor). When I woke up in the middle of the night I was petting her and then when I reached under her to make her stand up she kind of snapped at me.

I was shocked and yelled no at her. Then I made her come to me. I pet her a few times and put her in the crate. Did I react correctly? What should I do the next time to show dominance over her?

FYI what I mean by making her stand up is that sometimes I reach underneath her belly and make her stand up. Sometimes when she is sleepy I can't get her up. She also has a habit of rolling on her back to make it more difficult for me.

any advice would be great -thanks. Also just wanted to mention that we have her under a boarding contract with the breeder. She is due to go into heat anytime now (not sure if that has to do with anything)
 

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Well apparently she doesn't like that. Maybe she was sleeping and didn't realize it was you - just that something was touching her where she doesn't like it. I'd stop doing that and use your voice to get her moving. It may take a bit longer but you shouldn't keep doing something that brought out a negative reaction once or you're just setting her up for failure.

Also all that owner dominance, alpha roll crap is just that IMO. You don't have to show your dog your cojones to get him/her to respect you. It should be a mutual thing. A lot of times when owners try to assert their "dominance" they end up scaring and scarring their dogs mentally. It's just really not necessary to think that way. Forget the dominance and replace it with respect. How do you get your dog to respect you should be the question.
 

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I totally agree with MomtoMax, if you get too aggressive, you might just create fear and get a worse reaction. 1.5 years is when dogs start to reach their sexual/social maturity, so that's also when you start to see personality traits that you might not have seen before. Have you taken her to classes or worked with a trainer? If it were my dog rolling over on its' back when I am trying to move her, I'd try several things: one would be to have a treat or a favorite toy and throw it, to make it less of a confrontation OR what I have do when my boys don't want to come to the grooming table, throw a a slip leash on and say,"hey let's go." Some dogs are not "good" at being startled. I generally talk to mine first as I had a client years ago that got bitten on the face kissing her sleepy golden goodnight. None of my intact girls ever get snappy coming into heat.
 
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And I had one dog as a pup that would make a noise when I picked her up. Her daddy's owner told me to "get after her." Her mommy's breeder and my trainer friend told me to ignore it and keep picking her up. If I had made something of the noise that she made, I could've turned her into something she wasn't: fearful. And she was also nasty as a pup to her littermates. I am here to say that 9.5 years later, she is completely trustworthy with dogs, cats, and humans alike. But I do spend a lot of time, taking my dogs to classes and having them out in social situations (shows, kid's games,etc).
 

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Pay attention! Rolling on her back is not to 'make it more difficult' for you to move her, it is a signal of submission - she feels threatened! You ignored her signals previously (and regularly) and she just told you, in a way that you hopefully understand, that she is uncomfortable with what you are doing, perhaps it hurts. Find a non-contact way of getting her up, IF you really need her to. Teach her to 'come', verbally wake her up (if you must) by calling her name and reward her big time, when she gets to you.
There is some truth to 'Let sleeping dogs lie', they need their sleep too!
 

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You've gotten good advice so far. The "make her stand" thing you're doing must feel pretty threatening to her. She's been trying to tell you that by showing submission, but it hasn't been working, so she's feeling desperate and trying something new.

DON'T TRY TO SHOW "DOMINANCE." With a fearful dog, that's just asking for a bite and a lifelong habit of fear aggression. Your dog is not dominant and does not need to be taught who's boss. Right now she lacks trust, and you're showing her that she's right not to trust you. You need to shift towards rewarding her for doing what you want rather than compelling it by manhandling her.

BTW - I'm not sure exactly where you put your hands to make her stand up, but putting your hands on a dog's belly and pulling them up can feel very, very threatening to some dogs.
 

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This "dominance" you guys are dogging on (no pun intended) is when an ignorant owner uses anger or frustration to assert themselves... Being the dog's alpha is about calm, assertive behavior... Don't correct in anger, do it in a matter of fact way... They are right tho that if done incorrectly it will break the trust your dog has in you and that can be very hard to get back... Dogs need an alpha (that doesn't mean you go asserting your "dominance" every chance you get)... Many ppl are alphas without trying because they supply the food etc, but some dogs assert themselves more... It doesn't sound like this is the case at all... Just surprised and uncomfortable and I'm sure she immediately felt really guilty so I'm glad you had a moment with her afterwards because that's what she'll remember since that's how you resolved it...
 

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"I reached under her to make her stand up she kind of snapped at me."

Since you stated that you had already been petting her I don't know if you startled her or not. Even so she may have shown her displeasure with what you did but she actually showed great restraint. If she had wanted to that snap would have actually been a bite. Don't think you reacted quickly enough to only make that a snap. She chose to only snap.
At this point you want to stop doing anything that encourages her to feel discomfort. So that she doesn't feel the need to growl, snap or bite.

It is time to re-evaluate your training techniques and possibly change things up. You want to build her up and make her a confident dog not a submissive dog. You want a dog that won't feel threatened when touched.
Take it slow....
Go back and revisit all the basics. Practice sits, downs, recalls, leave it, drop it, give. Not all at the same time. But make sure she can do them with voice commands. With no touching involved. Practice sits at 2 feet from the dog. 4 feet, 8 feet, ten feet, do this slow, only move up when you have at least an 80% or more.
A sit is more than the dog just sitting when you say to.... the rest of the story is the dog does not get up or move until you give the release word. So work on duration first then work on each distance.
Do this with your downs also.

Once her confidence is being built up with tons of success then revisit touching the dog and giving great rewards for each touch. You want her to think your hands on her is the best thing that ever happened to her.

At this point the only type of correction I would put on her is to (totally ignore her) if she doesn't listen in any way. With a submissive dog that feels the need to snap at you even a corrective no can take you down the wrong path toward failure instead of building her up for success.

This will all build on your relationship.
 

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"I reached under her to make her stand up she kind of snapped at me."

Since you stated that you had already been petting her I don't know if you startled her or not. Even so she may have shown her displeasure with what you did but she actually showed great restraint. If she had wanted to that snap would have actually been a bite. Don't think you reacted quickly enough to only make that a snap. She chose to only snap.
At this point you want to stop doing anything that encourages her to feel discomfort. So that she doesn't feel the need to growl, snap or bite.

It is time to re-evaluate your training techniques and possibly change things up. You want to build her up and make her a confident dog not a submissive dog. You want a dog that won't feel threatened when touched.
Take it slow....
Go back and revisit all the basics. Practice sits, downs, recalls, leave it, drop it, give. Not all at the same time. But make sure she can do them with voice commands. With no touching involved. Practice sits at 2 feet from the dog. 4 feet, 8 feet, ten feet, do this slow, only move up when you have at least an 80% or more.
A sit is more than the dog just sitting when you say to.... the rest of the story is the dog does not get up or move until you give the release word. So work on duration first then work on each distance.
Do this with your downs also.

Once her confidence is being built up with tons of success then revisit touching the dog and giving great rewards for each touch. You want her to think your hands on her is the best thing that ever happened to her.

At this point the only type of correction I would put on her is to (totally ignore her) if she doesn't listen in any way. With a submissive dog that feels the need to snap at you even a corrective no can take you down the wrong path toward failure instead of building her up for success.

This will all build on your relationship.

I think the advice to ignore is the best... It's a natural behavior that she will recognize as punishment without being damaged by reprimands
 

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i think a vet visit might be in order.... If this is a common behavior for her... to sleep and you have to get her up... then why when you put pressure on her belly did she snap when she has never done that before....

makes me wonder if her belly is tender.....

if you go to the vet and there is nothing going on then I agree with the others and their training insights but I do think that a vet visit is in order... petting is not putting pressure ... trying to lift is and that makes me wonder if she is sore.
 

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Good point, Shalva. I had assumed the dog was simply sensitive about the region since I've known other dogs who were. But it's definitely worth thinking about potential physical problems if the dog is acting out of character.

Ruby is spayed, right?
 

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Ruby is spayed, right?
thats where my brain was going but then I thought well she is probably spayed... but if she isn't then pyo is a real possibility ... if she is spayed then certainly there are other things that could make her abdomen sore as well....

but absolutely right

whenever your dog acts out of character a vet visit is in order...
 

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Actually, she is not spayed... The OP said she was due to come into heat.
 

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I know of dogs have pyo'd at the first heat cycle.... and if she is due... then this may be her second season ..just that she is due to come back in . that pups needs a vet visit
 

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Dogs with pyos usually drink excessively and pee excessively.... And while it is not unheard of, it is rare to have a pyo that young....and if she is due in heat soon, it's probably not the right timing.
 

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It's funny, I sometimes do this to Flora to get her to stand up, and I never once thought it was a threatening behavior. I do it to get her to stand so I can pick her up and place her on the floor, rather than have her jump off of my bed. She's never ever acted like it was scary or offensive to her.

Isn't it possible that the dog snapped at her because she didn't want to get off the couch and not that she was fearful or in pain?
 

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Isn't it possible that the dog snapped at her because she didn't want to get off the couch and not that she was fearful or in pain?

of course it is possible.... but you have to rule out a medical issue before you work on training issues and with this behavior being out of character for the dog I think it is worth having a vet look her over and again if there is nothing wrong then you can start addressing it from a training standpoint... if there is something medically wrong then all the training in the world won't change that
 

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of course it is possible.... but you have to rule out a medical issue before you work on training issues and with this behavior being out of character for the dog I think it is worth having a vet look her over and again if there is nothing wrong then you can start addressing it from a training standpoint... if there is something medically wrong then all the training in the world won't change that
Oh yeah, totally I agree, but it just seemed like everyone immediately assumed it was a fear issue, when there's a good possibility it's more of a territorial/guarding issue. But definitely, when a dog displays tenderness in its belly for sure have it checked out.
 
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