Recognize These Submissive Dog Behaviors

Recognize These Submissive Dog Behaviors

Here we can see, “Recognize These Submissive Dog Behaviors”

You’ve probably heard that a dog is being subservient, but do you know what it means? Dogs exhibit a variety of submissive behaviors. These are examples of canine communication. In addition, dogs frequently use submissive conduct to demonstrate that they are friendly and accessible.

Why Do Some Dogs Show Submissive Behavior?

Many people misinterpret the significance of submissive and dominant dog behavior. The phrases “submissive” and “dominant” are pretty broad and should not be oversimplified. Indeed, many behaviorists and trainers attempt to avoid using this terminology since they are associated with outdated, erroneous beliefs about canine hierarchy and “pack mentality.”

Submission and dominance are everyday actions in dogs, not personality qualities. These actions are types of communication through body language. The behavior displayed is about the dog’s relationship with the other person or animal. Dominance cannot exist in the absence of submission; in a relationship with a dog, one partner is only dominant when the dog willingly submits.

It is equally critical to recognize that submission is not the inverse of violence. On the contrary, aggressive behavior is often motivated by fear and has nothing to do with dominance.

A submissive dog involves creating or reinforcing a relationship with a specific person or animal. In another partnership, the same dog may be the dominant one. Certain dogs tend to be on the same side in many interactions, but this does not imply that you have a “dominant dog” or a “submissive dog.”

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In general, a dog exhibiting submissive behavior attempts to communicate that he is not a threat. This remark could be directed at humans, dogs, or other animals. Sometimes, the dog attempts to play and wishes for the other party to be aware of this. Alternatively, a dog may be suspicious of the other party’s motives. Therefore, he makes an effort to calm himself and the other person or animal. As a result, many ostensibly “submissive” acts are soothing signals or appeasing gestures. Many canines utilize these signals to calm down in a fearful or anxious circumstance.

When your dog is subservient to you, he usually attempts to demonstrate respect and devotion. It could also indicate that he trusts you and feels safe being vulnerable in your presence. He may perceive you as the dominant member of the relationship, but this does not imply that you should alter your behavior.

Dogs Submissive Behaviors

Specific dog actions are commonly regarded as submissive. However, most of these acts are similar to appeasement gestures and playfulness.

Submissive Urination

Excitement urination is another term for submissive urination. This is a relatively frequent behavior in pups, but it can also occur in older dogs. Submissive or excited urination is distinct from improper peeing and frequently occurs when a person or animal approaches or stands over the dog. Dogs may do this to demonstrate respect to another party, but it could also be due to fear or uncertainty. Many puppies naturally grow out of this tendency. By enhancing your dog’s confidence, you can assist prevent submissive urinating. Scolding or punishing your dog for submissive or excited urinating might exacerbate the problem.

Exposing the Abdomen

Many dogs reveal their bellies or roll onto their side or back when approached by a person or another animal. This is frequently interpreted as a gesture of submission, although it could also be an invitation to play or a request for belly rubs. Look for other indicators of submission or playfulness if a dog has exposed his abdomen to you. If you don’t know the dog well, be kind and stroll, so you don’t scare it. If you wish to rub his tummy, go slowly and gently at first. If the dog appears scared or uncomfortable, come to a halt.

Averting the gaze

Direct eye contact may be regarded as a danger to dogs, particularly in the case of a bond between two canines. The dog demonstrates that he is not attempting to challenge or threaten the other party by averting his gaze and looking away. Our dogs may look at us for numerous reasons, but this should not be interpreted as an act of dominance.

Ears pushed back or flattened

Every dog is unique, although most dogs keep their ears relatively upright when they are at peace or comfortable. This may not be easy to discern in floppy-eared dogs, but you can tell by looking at the position of the ear base. When a dog pulls his ears back or flattens them, he sends a message. It could indicate that the dog is worried or afraid. On the other hand, it is sometimes an act of submission. The best method to tell is to look at the eyes and overall body language.

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Tail was lowered

Another sign of submission is when a dog’s tail is wagging low or somewhat tucked. However, it could also indicate that the dog is afraid or uneasy.

Body Posture Reduction

When a dog lowers his body, he may be attempting to seem minor and non-threatening. Although this posture is frequently a reaction to a stressful circumstance, it may be unrelated to anxiety. The dog could simply be attempting to demonstrate submission to the other person or animal.

Licking the Muzzle of Another Dog

A dog can express respect by gently licking another dog’s muzzle. It can also help another dog settle down in a stressful circumstance. Muzzle licking can happen when two dogs meet for the first time or when they have known each other for years. This behavior does not necessitate human involvement unless the dogs quit getting along.

Lip Licking

Lip licking is a typical appeasement gesture that conveys a relaxing, non-threatening message. It is sometimes done to demonstrate submission to humans or other animals. It usually happens when the dog is scared or afraid.

Grinning or Smiling

Some dogs smile or grin while exposing their teeth. This may appear to be an aggressive threat at first glance. Grinning with exposed teeth is not the same as bared teeth, a warning sign and sometimes a precursor to aggression. When a dog smiles or grins while the rest of his body is relaxed or in a submissive position, he is not threatening. This is known as a subservient grin. The action is typically intended to convey friendliness and approachability.

How to React to Dogs Exhibiting Submissive Behaviors

Remember that a dog exhibiting submissive behavior is attempting to demonstrate that he is not a threat. Submissive actions might occur before play or as a response to perceived risk. To evaluate the conduct correctly, you must consider the whole situation.

Consider taking your dog to a dog park. After the dogs meet and sniff each other’s rear ends, you notice your dog lower his stance and look away. This is most likely your dog’s way of expressing his want to play. A play bow could then follow it. Your dog acts in this manner to send a peaceful and playful message to the other dog. This is a positive sign that the dogs are getting along (so far). Continue to observe the dogs as they play in case the dynamics alter.

When a dog exhibits submissive behaviors toward you, he may express respect and recognize your position of authority. It is not necessary to behave differently to assert “dominance.” In reality, this may frighten the dog and result in self-defensive aggressiveness. To reinforce the behavior, it is best to remain confident while remaining calm. This shows the dog that you are trustworthy.

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User Questions

What is submissive behavior?

To be submissive means to obey or yield to another person. When submissive, you surrender to someone else’s will, putting your desires second to theirs.

Can a submissive dog become aggressive?

Submissive cues are frequently missed by viewers unfamiliar with canine body language. As a result, when more subtle indications of submission are overlooked, dogs may be forced to resort to aggressiveness.

How do you handle a submissive dog?

Greet him briefly in a calm, quiet voice, so he knows he’s been noticed. Walking over to the dog has the potential to frighten a submissive person. Instead of approaching the dog, sit on the floor and wait for him to approach you. Reward him by tossing a treat or softly complimenting brave action.

Are submissive dogs happy?

Remember that a happy, safe, obedient dog is calm and lowers itself, not one that is bouncing around like a crazy puppy. Confusion between a dog’s respect and its upset can lead to many issues.

When does submissive urination end?

Even if their pet parents do nothing, dogs typically grow out of submissive urinating by one year. Many humans, however, find it untidy and unpleasant, and some dogs never grow out of it.


I hope you find this advice to be helpful. Please use the form below if you have any queries or comments.


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