Submissive Dog Behaviors to Be Aware Of

submissive behaviors

You’ve probably heard someone claim that a dog is being submissive, but do you really know what they’re talking about? There are various submissive behaviors that may be seen in canines. Canine communication manifests itself in a variety of ways. Submissive behavior is often shown by dogs as a method of demonstrating that they are kind and accessible.

What causes certain dogs to exhibit (submissive dog) behaviors?

How do you know if your dog is submissive to you?
Many individuals have a misunderstanding of what submissive and dominant behaviors in dogs are all about. Generally speaking, the phrases “submissive” and “dominant” are fairly broad and should not be interpreted too narrowly. As a matter of fact, many behaviorists and trainers strive to avoid using these terminology since they are associated with outdated and erroneous beliefs about canine hierarchy and “pack mentality.”

Many individuals are misinformed about the significance of submission and dominant behavior in dogs. Here are some examples. Generally speaking, the phrases “submissive” and “dominant” are fairly broad and should not be too scrutinized. These terminology are really avoided by a lot of behaviorists and dog trainers because they are associated with outdated and erroneous beliefs about canine hierarchy and “pack mentality.”

It’s also vital to remember that submission is not the polar opposite of violence in this context. Aggressive conduct is most commonly motivated by fear and has nothing to do with a desire to be in a position of power.

Submissive conduct in a dog indicates that it is attempting to develop or reinforce a bond with a certain human or animal. Various dogs may have different dominating behaviors in different relationships. In many partnerships, some dogs prefer to be on the same side as their owners, but this does not always imply that you have a “dominant dog” or a “submissive dog.”

In general, a dog demonstrating submissive behavior is attempting to communicate to his owner that he is not a danger to the household. Depending on the message, it might be directed towards people, other dogs, or other animals. Occasionally, the dog is attempting to play and wants the other person to be aware of this. Alternatively, a dog may be unsure about the intentions of the other participant in the situation. He makes an effort to calm himself as well as the other person or animal. It’s for this reason that many so-called “submissive” acts are more appropriately referred to as soothing signals or appeasing gestures. This is a common signal used by many dogs to de-escalate a threatening or uncomfortable environment.

When your dog demonstrates submissive behavior toward you, he is often attempting to show you respect and appreciation via his actions. It might also indicate that he has faith in you and feels comfortable being vulnerable in your presence. Although he may see you as the more dominating member of the relationship, this does not imply that you should alter your conduct in any manner.

Dogs that exhibit submissive behavior

What is an example of submissive behavior?

Certain canine actions are often regarded as submissive in nature. The majority of these actions are interchangeable with appeasement gestures and fun conduct.

Submissive dog Urination is a term that refers to the act of urinating in a submissive manner.

Submissive urination is often referred to as “excitement urination” in certain circles. Puppy dogs are more prone to this behavior, but it may also occur in older canines and even humans. Submissive or excitement urination is distinct from inappropriate peeing in that it happens when a human or animal approaches or stands over the dog, rather than when the dog is in pain. 

Dogs may do this to show respect to another person, but it may also occur as a result of fear or insecurity in the dog’s environment. Many pups are able to grow out of this tendency by themselves. You may aid in the reduction of submissive urinating by increasing your dog’s self-confidence. It is important not to chastise or penalize your dog for submissive or excited urinating since this might exacerbate the issue.

Bringing the Abdomen to Light

When approached by a human or another animal, many dogs may reveal their bellies or roll onto their side or back to protect themselves. This is often seen as a gesture of surrender, although it might also be an invitation to play or a request for belly rubs. Consider looking for additional indicators of submission or playfulness in a dog that has exposed his abdomen to you. You should be nice and walk gently around the dog if you don’t know him well. This will prevent the dog from feeling threatened. When rubbing his tummy, start slowly and softly to avoid hurting him. If the dog seems scared or uneasy, come to a complete stop.

Averting One’s Eyes

For dogs, direct eye contact may be regarded threatening, particularly when it occurs in the context of a partnership between two canines. The dog is demonstrating to the other person that he is not attempting to confront or threaten them by avoiding his or her gaze and looking aside. Our dogs may look at us for a variety of reasons other than dominance, but this should not be interpreted as an act of dominance.

Ears pressed together or held back

Even though every dog is unique, most dogs keep their ears fairly upright when they are at peace or comfortable. It may be difficult to detect this in floppy-eared dogs, but the location of the ear base may be able to provide clues as to their condition. When a dog puts his ears back or flattens them, he is sending a message to the human world. It might indicate that the dog is anxious or afraid. It may also be a sign of surrender in certain cases. In order to make this determination, it is important to glance at their eyes and their general body language.

Tail has been lowered

It is also acceptable for a dog’s tail to be wagging low or somewhat tucked in as another form of submission. However, it is possible that the dog feels afraid or uneasy in this situation.

Body Posture Has Been Reduced

When a dog lowers his body, he may be attempting to make himself look smaller and less intimidating to his surroundings. Despite the fact that this stance is often a response to a frightening scenario, it may have nothing to do with fear at all. It’s possible that the dog is merely attempting to demonstrate submission to the other person or animal.

Licking the Muzzle of Another Dog

A dog’s respect for another dog may be shown by gently licking the muzzle of the other dog. It may also be used to calm down another dog that is in a stressful scenario with you. Muzzle licking may occur when two dogs meet for the first time or when two dogs have known one another for a long time, depending on the circumstances. This behavior is typical and does not need the assistance of a person, unless the dogs begin to act aggressively against one another.

The act of licking one’s lips

A typical appeasement gesture, licking the inside of one’s lips is intended to communicate a relaxing, non-threatening message. It is occasionally done in order to demonstrate submission to humans or other creatures. The majority of the time, it happens when the dog is scared or fearful.

Having a smile or a grin on your face

The teeth of certain dogs are visible when they smile or grin. When you first look at this, it seems to be an aggressive threat. When someone smiles with their teeth displayed, it should not be mistaken with bared teeth, which is a warning and often a prelude to hostility. Dogs that smile or grin when the rest of their body is calm or in a submissive stance are not attempting to intimidate or threaten their owners. This is referred to be a subservient smile in certain circles. Most of the time, the motion is intended to convey friendliness and approachability.

Is submissive behavior in dogs bad ?
Is submissive behavior in dogs bad ?

What to Do When Your Dog Displays (Submissive Dog) Behavior

Is submissive behavior in dogs bad ?
It’s important to remember that a dog demonstrating submissive behavior is attempting to demonstrate that he is not a danger. Submissive actions may occur prior to play or as a response to perceived risk in the environment. You must consider the complete scenario in order to make an accurate interpretation of the conduct.

Consider the following scenario: you take your dog to a dog park. After the dogs have met and sniffed each other’s back ends, you see that your dog has lowered his stance and turned away. The majority of the time, this is your dog’s way of communicating that he just wants to play. It may be followed by a play bow if the situation calls for it.

In order to communicate with the other dog in a pleasant and fun manner, your dog is displaying these behaviors. This is a positive indicator, since it indicates that the dogs are getting along (so far). Continue to keep an eye on the dogs’ antics in case the dynamics shift.

When a dog exhibits submissive behaviors toward you, he may be expressing respect for you and acknowledging that you are in a position of power. It is not necessary to behave in a distinct manner in order to demonstrate “dominance.” In reality, this may generate dread in the dog, which may then respond with self-defensive aggressiveness. It is preferable to have a confident yet calm demeanor in order to encourage the desired behavior. This communicates to the dog that you can be relied upon.

How to Stop Dogs From Peeing When They Are Excited or Submissive?

A submissive or excited urination problem in your new housebroken puppy or rescued dog may be the cause of his or her occasional peeing on the floor for no apparent reason. A dog’s incontinence or excitement urinating may be indicative of more significant health problems, so it’s important to understand what submissive or excitement urination looks like and when something more serious may be going on with your dog.

Even though occasional incontinence in older dogs is not uncommon, you should still get your dog assessed by your veterinarian in case there is a health concern with your dog. When it comes to housebroken pups, it frequently takes some real detective work to figure out what is causing the issue.

We’re here to assist you understand why your dog is urinating inappropriately and how to stop it.

What Causes Dogs to Urinate When They Are Submissive?

Dogs who urinate submissively are attempting to placate someone they perceive to be “socially dominant” while also attempting to avoid punishment. A submissive dog will pee when they are approached by another dog or if there is a history of hard treatment or punishment after improper urination. This is frequent in rescued dogs, as well as in dogs that are shy, apprehensive, or timid.

You may have a problem with your dog not urinating while you’re in a dominating posture (e.g., gazing your dog squarely in its eyes while bending from the waist, greeting your dog face on), which indicates that your dog is experiencing an excitement issue. A submissive problem is most likely present when your dog urinates on the floor when you come home or when you are in the dominant position or when the dog is being scolded.

The Best Way to Get Rid of Submissive dog Urination

If you want to correct submissive peeing, avoid hitting, scolding, or yelling at your dog after it has peed. Instead, make an effort to increase its confidence by giving it basic orders (such as sit, remain, and come), and rewarding it after each successful command execution. When teaching basic tricks, utilize the same reward-and-praise procedure that you used when teaching the first trick (roll over, fetch). You’ll also want to engage with your dog using non-dominant positions such as the ones listed below:

  • Try to avoid making direct eye contact with your dog and instead approach him from the side, crouching down to his level.
  • Instead of patting your dog on the top of the head, petting him beneath the chin is a better option.
  • As soon as you reach home, take your dog outdoors to relieve itself and keep the rest of your pleasantries understated.
  • Simply clean up after your dog pees in the home and leave without making a big deal out of it. Reward and praise your dog whenever it pees in the proper location.

What Causes Dogs to Urinate When They Are Excited?

Fortunately, excitement peeing is most often seen in pups under one year of age, and they normally outgrow it within a few of months. The bad news is that they will not be able to break their habit overnight. These are the dogs who pee while playing, when you get home, or when strange visitors come to the house with you. Patience and empathy will go a long way toward helping you train your puppy out of this undesirable habit.

How to Stop Urinating During Excitement

Maintaining a calm, quiet manner and being consistent can assist your puppy in dealing with excited urinating.

  • Try to keep all playing outdoors or on a specifically prepared area of newspapers and puppy pads to keep the kids safe. A little mishap caused by overexcitement will not be a major issue in this situation.
  • It is important not to scold or discipline your dog when he has an accident, just as you would with submissive peeing. Leave the puppy or dog alone while you discreetly clean up after yourself. Please be sure to completely wipe up any spills, ideally with an enzyme cleanser, to ensure that the dog does not pick up on the urine aroma and decide it’s okay to pee in the same spot again.
  • When your puppy pees in the proper location, reward it with goodies, and limit all other greetings to a bare minimum. When you go home, you may even want to ignore the dog for a while. Does this strike you as cruel? It isn’t actually because it gives your dog a chance to settle down on its own that it is harmful. Instruct your visitors to do the same.
  • When your dog pees while you’re out on a walk, shower it with affection and goodies. Peeing in authorized locations is treated in the same way. All of these things should not only assist you in breaking your puppy’s habit of peeing while aroused, but they should also assist you in developing a calmer, more confident dog.

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