Dog confused with other dogs?

If anyone is a behavior expert in dogs, I need some major help.

Alright, since we got into dog behavior in class today (Veterinary Technician) learning all of the body language and so on, I have come to realize that my dog is pretty messed up.

A little background on her: She is an almost 2 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback/Beagle mix. I got her from a rescue group in NC who rescued her from a puppy mill pet store in the mall. The store neglected her in a tiny crate living in her own feces, urine, no food or water and had ammonia burns on her pads and legs all because she was not "pure". She weighed a little over a pound when I got her at 10 weeks. Anyways, she has been to multiple puppy classes and loved other dogs until and older dog snapped at her around 6 months old. Since then, she has been afraid of other dogs and I had never been able to socialize her up until now because she would cower, pee herself, and whine the entire time.

We were told by our vet that the dog park would help her get used to other dogs, which it has. The problem is she never learned how to be a dog when she was a puppy. Being in the puppy store, she never learned her limits with her litter mates, so now she plays rough, she also never learned body language so she sends mixed signals to other dogs.

For example: When we go to the dog park, she walks in with her tail high, head up, chest out, and her ears forward. Basically a dominance stance telling others that she claims the park. When another dog in the same stance comes up to her, her head lowers, her tail drops, and she begins to whine, showing that she is being submissive. However, when another dog is chasing after a tennis ball, she will run after the dog with her tail down, body stiff, teeth bared, and growling. She backs off as soon as she gets to the other dog. I’m really not sure what she is showing. Dominance, fear, aggressiveness, fearful aggressiveness, submissiveness? I’m starting to think she is confused on her intentions, as well as the other dog’s which is causing her to just lash out. I’m going to take her this weekend and make a video for my class so maybe they can decide, but I would like to know how to act when she does this. Usually I just call her off and she runs back to me whining. Today she ran to another dog like that and the dog turned on her and asserted dominance and Nola peed and actually screamed and ran away with her tail tucked. Any idea what’s going on here?


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One Response to “Dog confused with other dogs?”

  1. Nesquick says:

    You need to invest in a dog behavior therapist to help you retrain your dog. They catch on pretty quickly once you understand what the dog needs.