What dog breeds tend to be submissive?
Smaller dogs may tend to show submissive behavior more than other breeds. They will sometimes shake or hide to show their fear. The smaller dogs may run underneath a bed or an item to get away from whatever is causing them anxiety.
However, it’s important to understand that each dog may react differently, so you can also have a dominant teacup terrier and a submissive Rottweiler.
The most common signs of overly submissive behaviors include:
• Hiding. Your dog may suddenly run from something and hide in a room or under the bed.
• Wetting themselves. Dogs may spontaneously urinate on the floor or an item. You may find the wet area hidden in a corner because the dog may hide this behavior to not get into trouble.
• Body language. Another submissive behavior is when a dog hides the tail between the legs or lowers the head. A dog may show this when scolded verbally or by an aggressive thing they fear. The dog will normally bend down to show its fear and sometimes hide afterwards.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to dealing with dogs is confusing a submissive dog with an upset, depressed dog. Those mistakes can actually send the dog mixed messages—and every dog will mimic the behavior of those around her. For instance, if you are a submissive person yourself, or if you don’t train, your dog will try to dominate and won’t respect you as the leader. On the other hand, if you are a good leader and train and are consistent and firm with your rules, your dog will respect your confidence and authority.
What you probably want is a dog who can be easily trained, has good manners and is respectful and socialized. That means what you really want is a teachable, trainable and friendly dog who is not dominant or stubborn. You might want one of the more intelligent breeds (see our article on the 10 most intelligent), but they can often be a little hard to train—not because of stubbornness, but because of their acute intelligence that enables them to pick up the subtlest cues.