Understanding submissive behavior in dogs

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Understanding submissive behavior in dogs

Most dog owners wonder why some dogs display overly submissive behavior and other dogs display dominant behavior. Submissive dogs don’t have aggression issues however, they have a low self-esteem issue which the pack leader should consider treating otherwise his dog will become a fearful dog.

Just like a dominant dog needs proper training to get his behavior filtered, a submissive dog also requires proper training to boost up his confidence & self-esteem. Submissive dogs can become highly fearful if the dog owner doesn’t take appropriate steps in time. There is a misconception in people’s minds that if a dog is showing submissive behavior then he is probably showing respect to them but on a contrary, dogs tend to become submissive when they are feeling scared of something.

The dog owner should never overlook if he notices submissive behavior in dogs as encouraging such behavior can overly damage your dog’s confidence. The dog owner should consider taking ample steps to make his furry companion comfortable around other dogs and humans. Some dogs feel shy to get along with others so the dog owner should never force his dog to meet new people. All he should do is create a comfortable space around his pooch so that he doesn’t feel scared.

To know whether your dog has a submissive behavior problem or not, you should look for the various signs of submissive behavior.

submissive behavior in dogLet’s consider some common signs that your furry companion will display on having a submissive behavior:

  • Tucked-In tail: If your furry companion tucks his tail lowly then it implies that he has submissive behavior. Generally, dogs tuck their tail between their legs when they feel shy or stressed.
  • Avoiding eye contact: In a dog’s world, avoiding eye contact with other dogs and humans is considered a sign of submissive behavior.
  • Submissive peeing: Another major sign of submissive behavior is spontaneous urination. To rule out this issue, the dog owners should consider training him to build confidence in him.
  • Lying belly up: In a dog’s world, lying belly up implies that the dog is displaying submission to your authority.
  • Submissive grin: Submissive grin implies when your furry companion displays a toothy smile combined with other signs like tucked in the tail, no eye contact, etc.
  • Peeing while greeting: If your dog pees while greeting you then he is probably conveying the fact that he is not a threat and he submits to your authority.

Understanding the root of submissive behavior in dogs

We all are aware of the fact that dogs & wolf share a common ancestry. Both are pack animals which implies that there is always a leader & the low ranking dogs in the pack. After domestication of the dogs, the dog owner took the role of leader which makes the dog submit to them. When a dog submits, it implies that he trusts you completely but the problem occurs when the dog starts showing submissive behavior. Submissive behavior should not be linked with a sign of respect as a dog who shows submissive behavior is probably fearful. A good pack leader should always ensure that his dog doesn’t obey him out of fear. The dog owners should not be overly dominated towards his dog as it can result in making him timid or scared. The submissive behavior of a dog should be acceptable only to an extent as displaying overly submissive behavior indicates other underlying issues.

submissive bahevior in dogsSo, these are the signs that a dog will display on having a submissive behavioral problem. Sometimes, the dog owners perceived this submissive behavior as manipulative behavior and often end up punishing their furry companion. The dog owner should avoid punishing his dog as then he can result in making him more fearful. The dog owner should keep his dog away from things that frighten his furry companion. Sometimes, all a dog needs is his owner’s moral support and love to get rid of his submissive behavior. Also, you need to provide him proper training to let go of his submissiveness.

If your dog is displaying submissive behavior then you should avoid exposing him to aggressive dogs as it can make him more stressed or anxious. To build up confidence in him, you should expose him to friendly dogs. Also, Never confuse a submissive grin with snarling, if your dog is greeting people with big toothy smile then he is exhibiting submissive behavior.

Submissive grinning or smiling in dogs

Just like any other body gesture, submissive grinning or smiling is a way of communication in canine world. It is their way of saying that they humbly respect you and want to be friendly. Many people misinterpret submissive grin as an aggressive behavior but it is actually not so. Also, most dog owners wonder why do dogs smile when guilty? Submissive smiling is not like other guilty looks as while submissively smiling, the dog smile showing his front teeth & looks directly to the person so it is not like any guilty look.

How to change your dog’s submissive behavior?

To bring change in this behavior, the dog owner should consider making him comfortable around humans and other animals by the way of communication and training. While training him, the dog owner should try to build confidence in submissve dog. The dog owner should consider socializing his furry companion but should never force him to interact with other dogs. Your shy dog will probably take some time to gel up with other dogs. Whenever your dog shows confidence while meeting other dogs then you should consider praising or rewarding him, it will help in boosting up his confidence. So, follow this guide to deal with submissive behavior in dogs.

Final Thoughts

In the canine world, having a hierarchy system is quite common. Submissive behavior in dogs should be acceptable to an extent as it shows that your dog respects you and take you as his leader but when he becomes overly submissive then the dog owner should take proper steps to correct this behavior otherwise it can result in transforming him into a fearful dog.

2019-10-17T07:29:20+00:00 August 4th, 2018|Dog Training|