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So, our puppy has been fine these past three weeks - we are amazed how well socialized she is interacting with people and other animals. She always greets humans/dogs in a friendly but submissive manner - doing what I call her "wiggle" dance (head down, tail & body wagging, paws flailing, eyes indirect) ... She's met all the dogs in the building and gets along great with everyone, no problems.

However, the other day I brought her into PetSmart to get an ID tag - and someone came in with a leashed 9 month old lab who approached curiously and directly, but friendly (from what I saw - I had my back turned to the tag ID machine) - when I looked over, Olive was lying on the floor and rolled over upon being approached, while the dog sniffed her -but she quickly became fearful (tail between the legs, ears back) and backed up in the corner; when the dog followed curiously, she let out a warning yelp and the dog backed off.

I'm wondering why my dog was showing signs of such high submission and fearful-aggression. It really worried me. She'd always been friendly to dogs of all sizes and breeds, but appeared totally afraid of this lab.

Was it the way the other dog approached? Do I need to socialize her more? I'm having a hard time finding other dogs she can run around with - I'm so worried about some crazy unvaccinated dog running around spreading disease in those "weekend puppy romps" at the pet store...
 

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I wouldnt worry about it. Sounds like a normal reaction based on the age difference. And not all dogs become best buddies, but that doesnt mean she's not well-socialized. How old is she? I think she's pretty young, right? I really really wouldnt take her to PetSmart. And esp not put her on the ground, due to parvo. I would avoid places where other dogs are, except for dogs that you personally know.

I just saw her age on your sig. Yeah, thats too young to be going to pet stores in my opinion. It's great to take her out, crucial actually (I think), but the pet store is super risky.
 

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She's had her shots though. She's going in for her rabies/follow up etc next week. This is her 3rd time in a pet store. I am confused by the research that says "socialization is key!" and "you need to protect your dog due to parvo!" ~ If she was completely unvaccinated or only had 1 round of shots I wouldn't do it but when we went to see the vet a few weeks ago she didn't even seem worried about parvo. I live in an apt building with lots of dogs and who knows what they have, and they all use the backyard as a toilet. I think the risk is everywhere.
 

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I know, it's so confusing, and ultimately, you just have to do what makes you comfortable. I mean, even if we avoid dog places, you might unkowingly walk through a patch of dirt that has parvo germs in it and bring it home on your shoes. Who knows? I'm not that paranoid anymore, though I used to be. I have known of 4 dogs that died from it; a puppy from a byb, a puppy that was adopted from a shelter, and 2 rotties that went off to professional training to be guard dogs. The rotties were older and vaccinated. I do bring my puppies out as soon as I get them, but I'm told (by the guide dog organization) to avoid 'dog places' for many months. Theres no magic age that it's safe, that I know of. I do think PetSmart is too risky though.
 

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I don't allow my dogs to meet others on leash for this reason. Especially dogs I don't know.

Sounds like she was cornered and had enough of the other dog. Dogs do this all the time to tell dogs to back off, and she did. This is what you WANT in dog behavior, whereas some dogs will get cornered/pestered, and launch a full out attack.

However, it's your job as the owner to make sure you're not setting her up to be in these situations with pesky dogs that can ruin her dog skills with others. This happens enough times and she may decide she's going to be the bully and attack before she's pestered, etc. I wouldn't worry about socializing any more than you already are.
 

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It may have been concern/fear, but I didn't read any aggression. Assuming that your female is 5 mos or under, and the Lab was 9 mos or larger, then he may have been a bit more 'forward' than she was interested in, and she did the correct thing .... ?
 
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