Most pet owners feel that they know their dogs fairly well—they can read their facial cues, understand their barks and sounds, and interpret their body language. But when it comes to submissive behavior, some dog owners miss signs that your dog is acknowledging your dominance.
Submissive Behavior in Dogs
Sometimes your dog will show submissive behavior when he or she needs extra reassurances or wants to try to please you. Look out for these tell-tale signs that your dog is submitting.
1. Belly Up
If your dog rolls over or shows you his or her belly, this is a classic sign of submission. The belly is a vulnerable area that dogs won't show to anyone they don't trust or submit to, so you can be sure this is an act of submission.
Does your dog piddle a little when you walk in the door? This is often submissive urination, and although it can be a little frustrating, you should acknowledge that this is your dog's way of saying you're in charge. Puppies are most likely to urinate submissively, although some dogs keep the habit later. The best way to eliminate this behavior is by acknowledging your dog kindly and not punishing the urination.
3. Flattened Ears
If your dog is afraid or submitting, she may put her ears flat against her head. Look for this subtle sign and be sure to give your dog some reassurance if need be.
4. Avoiding Eye Contact
Often a submissive dog will avoid your direct eye contact or that of another dog. This can be a behavior that may be hard to spot, especially with more active dogs whose eyes you maybe never get a good look at.