Thanks for the replies guys.
So basically you feel as I do that lifting the tail out from between the legs may at best mask her fear for a while. I did feel it was a bit "suck it up and get over it" ...tough love over a situation that was in no way her fault!
I would never have placed her in this pressure position if I had the choice. But this was organised by the people arranging her adoption by me, as a final health check before allowing me to finalise the takeover. The vet happened to be packed.
Couple of things. Firstly this is not about the dog between my legs, but about the dog having her tail beetween her legs.
Secondly, it's sort of irrelevent, but this is not a pup! She is 6 yo. However she was a working dog on a farm, kept caged unless working and associating only with cattle and other dogs her size. So I guess something that _smelt_ like a dog but looked like a cow spooked her. So yeah in many ways I have a pup to deal with: socially inept and shy and having to learn. I will say that with all the other dogs at the vet, she just wanted to sniff...excpet that alsatian pup, but that was in no way her problem. I agree that lunging (the pup also barked at and wanted to chase several children who ran past!!!) even in play, should be firmly and uergently dealt with. The owner did very little, just pulled the ndog back, then took it a bit further away. Problem NOT solved.
She is a Border Collie Kelpie cross, so very bright, but a bit timid. Add to that being taken from a farm where she was very much "a working dog" and I think had little affection (they had 10 working dogs) and then going to a foster home then to us, and she has an emotional load beyond belief.
As to the other advice, yeah ignoring it and not fussing I realise is the best way (but jeeze it can be hard). I did just walk into the Vet. She dragged a bit, but she is SO polite on lead that she followed. I will add that she had been neutered only 10 days before: so full op, anaesthetic, the works. Scary load to add to her confusion.
In all other situations she is showing huge, almost unbelievable bounds towards conming completely out of her shell, in just the 5 days I have had her.
Thank you very much for all your input.
Nick Peg n Benny (or is it Peg n Benny n Nick?)
(nTess, forever in my heart)