What is the definition of a submissive dog?
The submissive dog readily surrenders authority and control to the leader. She easily accepts human leadership, tending to be meek and mild and non-threatening. With no desire to be in charge, she readily does what is asked.
Some prefer a submissive dog, rather than a dominant one, but that decision isn’t a black-and-white issue, because you also have to look at the dog’s mental balance. If it’s sound, she’ll be calm, confident, self-assertive and non-fearful. If she’s unsound, she’ll have none of those traits—and, remember, a submissive dog can also bite out of fear and there will be all kinds of house-breaking, socialization and training problems.
The more signs of submissiveness include:
• Rolling over onto her back with the belly showing when another dog or person walks up to her.
• Urinating, especially when meeting new people or animals.
• Keep tail ducked or at a low sway,
• Keep the head down and ears flat.
• The dog may avert her eyes so as not to look at you or another animal.
• Lick other dogs or people to show she is passive and means no harm.They’ll usually lick in the face.
• Lick their lips frequently.
• When playing, they will usually lower the front of their body, stretch out their paws, and raise their butt high, in a play bow.
If you have a submissive dog, you can help her gain confidence in these ways:
• Don’t baby her. It’s natural to want to comfort your dog, but sometimes you’re unwittingly reinforcing her feelings and behavior. Stay calm, confident and assertive—she’ll pick up on that,
• Don’t immediately rub the dog’s belly when she rolls over. If you rub it immediately, you’re telling her to roll over and be submissive.
• Use praise and positive reinforcement when she obeys.
• Try confidence building games such as tug of war, letting her win once in a while (but NEVER let a dominant dog win!)
• Grooming and exercise can build confidence.
• Socialize the dog more with other people, animals, and experiences.