Hygiene aspects aside, this isn't nice for the dog, especially as this behavior is likely to be submissive and a glimpse into the dog's state of anxiety.
Indeed, a submissive dog is likely to spend a lot of his life feeling anxious or fearful. At best, this is unpleasant for the dog, and at worst it could lead to growling or biting if the dog feels sufficiently threatened to lash out. This is most commonly the case when a child doesn't understand that a dog rolled on their back isn't asking for a belly rub but is actually fearful. When that child then persists in stroking the dog, perhaps even a little roughly, the dog may be sufficiently anxious to bite.
No-one wants a dog to be distressed, especially when the solution often lies in our own hands.
A common mistake made by many owners of submissive dogs is to coo over their pet pal when he rolls into a submissive position. Unfortunately, attention is a highly prized commodity to a dog and making a fuss only reinforces the dog's submissiveness.
Instead, turn the problem on its head and ignore the dog when he shows anxiety, and praise him when he approaches you confidently. Then he will learn that boldness is a good thing and he doesn't need to be submissive.
It's also helpful to acquaint yourself with how to read dog body language so that you can recognize the subtle signs that indicate the dog is stressed or anxious. This will help you avoid accidentally rewarding submissive actions and build on the confident ones.
To help the process you will need:
Any time my fiance trys to put her leash on and take her outside or tries to brush her she pees excessively. She use to do it any time he touched her. She doesnt any more but still in the other two cases and he is getting discouraged and frustrated.
Hi Cassandra, Chloe might feel intimidated by the leash, brush, or your fiance reaching over to to access her collar. Reaching over a dog is a dominant act, and it's common for people to reach over their dogs to pet them or grab their collars. Being grabbed by the collar also feels a lot like being grabbed by the scruff of the neck to some puppies, so she might be acting submissive in response to what feels like a dominant action from him. Have him grab her as gently as possible and to reach under her chin instead of over her if he is not already. I would also advise him to work on getting her comfortable with the leash, brush, and being grabbed on the collar to build her confidence. Have him practice gently touching her collar with his hand, touching the leash to her, and touching the brush to her in different locations. Keep the touches very calm and minimal at first to prevent her from peeing, and gradually touch her more in those areas with those items as she improves. Very slowly up to brushing her on top of her head, on the back of the neck, and on her underbelly, since those are probably the hardest areas for her. Every time that he touches her with his hand, the leash, or brush while practicing with her, have him praise her in a calm and soft voice, and give her a treat. Giving her a treat every time that he touches her should help to build her confidence and remove some of the intimidation. Go slow at first, so that she does not pee even more when you do this. You also might want to start out by practicing this outside, in case she has any accidents during the training while learning. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Everytime she meets up with other dogs she is too submissive and is always being barked at and chased without her doing nothing other than running away or rolling on ground. She never barks back so she isxalways bullied by other dogs, even smaller dogs than her and this is making our outings quite stressful.
Hello Valentina, It sounds like Nanette is naturally very submissive. Since she is young, age is also part of the problem. To help build her confidence see if any of your friends have well socialized, friendly, easier going, more submissive dogs. Dogs that are more confident than Nanette but also submissive like her. Let her have a play date with one dog at a time. Whenever she becomes a little bit overwhelmed give the dogs a break and let them rest, then let her initiate the interaction again when she is ready. Moderate their play like you would with puppies. Be her advocate and set the rules for the interactions. Make sure that they are taking turns being on top and chasing during wrestling and chasing games, and giving each other breaks when one gets tired and is trying to take a break or get away, until both dogs show that they are ready to play again. As she plays with other, less pushy dogs, and learns how to interact with another dog properly, her confidence should grow. Age will also help with this if she continues to be around other dogs, as long as she is not being bullied. She should not be taken to the dog park when lots of dogs are there. She will just get bullied and the problem will get worse. If you go, only go when the dogs present are the type of dogs I described and the park is pretty empty. Bringing her to an obedience class, such as a CGC class, could help her get used to other dogs in a more structured setting. Praise her in a confident and excited tone of voice when she acts playful with another dog. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My 4yr old dog is extremely submissive to people and other animals. Even in his own home. He’s afraid of loud sounds and always flips belly up when anyone sees him. He appears to be happy wagging his tail laying on his back and whining or shaking with what we thought was excitement but now realizing is his anxiety or fear. He never growls or snaps at us, rarely if he has a bone or something he knows he shouldn’t have like a sock or piece of cardboard and we try to take it from him, he’ll growl and give us a side eye and run away from us. But other than that, he will never lay a tooth on anyone or another dog, even if it’s being aggressive to or challenging him.
We just got a puppy. Very sweet, watchful, playful but ignores Truitt for the most part. Not in a weird way, but she’s just focused on other things and let’s him have his space. However, Truitt appears as though he feels like he can not enter a room the puppy is in or play in the same room the puppy is in. She has done nothing to him, sniffed him a couple times briefly in passing but has been really good about giving him space and not nipping at him at all.
I want Truitt to still feel comfortable in his own home and be brave enough to play with th puppy and be comfortable around her. If he has a toy and she comes anywhere near him, he will drop it and walk away. I want him to be able to be the boss in his house and not feel like he can’t have anything that is his own.
Hello Haley, There are a couple of things that you can do to build Truitt's confidence. The first thing is, whenever the puppy enters the room where Truitt is and Truitt notices her, or whenever the puppy approaches Truitt, or you call the puppy over to yourself when you are petting Truitt, give Truitt several small, tasty treats, such as freeze dried meat or liver pieces. Try to sound excited to Truitt about the puppy's presence. Use an upbeat, confident, happy tone of voice and avoid speaking in a tone of voice that sounds like you feel sorry for him or are comforting him. The idea is to get him a little bit excited and to convey your own confidence to him. At the same time, continue to encourage calm behavior in the new puppy around Truitt. The second thing is to work on teaching Truitt obedience skills and other new training skills. Have a regular time every day most days where you teach Truitt obedience, tricks, or other mentally stimulating things and increase his focus in general, his respect for you, his success in life, and general bond with you. This should help his confidence in general. When he comes across almost anything that he is afraid of you can help him work through it by having him do obedience exercises in the same general area as the source of fear, with some distance between him and the fear source, and reward him heavily for obedience and calmness, and as he improves you can decrease the amount of distance between him and the item, letting him be the one to determine the pace. Always maintain a confident, upbeat attitude yourself while doing this with him. You can also reward him with treats and praise him in a happy tone of voice whenever he looks at something he finds scary and then looks to you for direction or remains calm. You can also place treats around a scary object and leave him alone to let him work up the courage to investigate and get the treats. Simply replace the treats that he eats, remain calm yourself, and praise him calmly and happily when he investigates. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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