When you see a dog cower before you when you are going to pat it or if it rolls on it back urinating, it is showing signs of submissive behavior or avoidance.
Submissive behavior is common is all breeds. Even ordinarily submissive dogs can become extremely submissive if its owner misunderstands and unintentionally forces it to increase its submissiveness. Signs of submission is a dog with its tail between its legs and a dog that licks its lips during any contact or even one that licks you in the face upon greetings. Mistreated dogs may also become excessively submissive. A harsh voice may turn the submissive animal into a quivering mess.
There are many ways of treating submissive behavior, mainly be nice and friendly to your dog and never re-assure the canine with praise when it is going through its attack of anxiety. You should not be too hard on your dog at any time. If you have a submissive dog be calm and ignore submissive behavior. Allow the dog to settle before reassuring the dog otherwise the condition may worsen. Never use punishment on a submissive dog, even if the dog has done bad. A submissive dog is more likely to bite out of fear so keep this in mind when the dog is around different people and children.
Tone down your aversive behavior, with a submissive dog there is no real need to consciously dominate it. Examples of dominating behavior include:
- Direct eye contact
- Standing over the dog
- Walking towards the dog while looking at it.
- Never praise or reassure a doing being submissive, only praise when it is quiet and not being submissive.
When you arrive home say “Hi” and be verbally friendly, but don’t touch or pat it for about 5 minutes. When you greet it, get down on its level. This is a less dominant position, and is less likely to trigger a submissive posture. If the dog shows submission, stand up and walk away, come back again a few minutes later. Use food rewards to get the dog confident and sitting up straight, but don’t reward the dog with food if the dog is being submissive. Dogs are very loyal animals and they love to please their handler.
In general distract it with something else when this behavior occurs and don’t reward the dog for being submissive.