Dog Parenting: Understanding Your Dog’s Submissiveness


Dog Parenting: Understanding Your Dog’s Submissiveness

Pet discipline can be confusing. You might be wondering if having a submissive dog is fine. As a parent, you want the best for your fur baby without spoiling them. With your interests in mind, you may have already read countless blogs on how to train your dog.

In the past, dog owners looked up to concepts like pack mentality and being submissive or dominant. But recently, dog trainers have refrained from these terms because these are general behaviors and not personal traits. Note that dominance cannot exist without submission. Regarding your relationship with your pet, you can only be dominant if your dog submits voluntarily.

Most importantly, you must understand that submission is not the opposite of aggression. Most handlers in dog training classes agree that dog hostility is a sign of fear and has nothing to do with dominance. Generally, a submissive dog indicates they are not a threat. 

With that said, if your fur baby is displaying submissive behavior towards you, they want you to know they respect and love you. If they exhibit this demeanor to other dogs, they might only be trying to deescalate a frightening or tense situation. You can learn of other submissive behaviors and what they probably mean below.

Submissive Urination

Some handlers in dog training classes also call submissive urination as excitement urination. Although it usually happens to puppies, it can also occur to adult dogs. Note that it is different from inappropriate peeing. But the former often occurs when a person or animal approaches the dog.

Dogs might do this as a sign of reverence to you (or another person) or even to another dog. But it can also be due to fear or insecurity. Puppies can grow out of this, but you can reduce submissive urination by boosting your dog’s confidence. As a rule, you should not punish your dog for excitement urination.

Showing Their Belly

Many dogs would roll onto their side to expose their bellies when a person approaches them. As mentioned earlier, submissive behavior might be their way of saying they are not a threat. Many handlers in dog training classes consider this as such.

This sign of submission might also be an invitation to play or a request for belly rubs. If your fur baby exposes their abdomen to you, look for other submissive behaviors or playfulness. On the other hand, if you do not know the dog well, you might want to be cautious in approaching the dog to avoid intimidating them. If you can see signs of nervousness, you should stop immediately.

Turning Away from Your Gaze

Handlers in dog training classes would recommend avoiding direct eye contact with dogs. They consider this as a sign of confrontation, especially between two dogs. If they avert their eyes and look away, it means that they are not a threat.


As mentioned earlier, submissive behavior is your dog’s way of saying that they are not threatening you in any way. It can also occur before playtime or as their reaction to perceived danger. You must look at the entire situation to understand your beloved pet’s message.

If you see more problematic behaviors, you can enroll your fur baby in dog training classes. There is no better way to rectify their issues than learning more about them in Dog Obedience Training. With our help, you will be astounded at their change, so browse our blog now for more information!

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