Dr. James C. Ha, Ph.D., CAAB is a professor of applied animal behavior at the University of WA and a certified applied animal behavior with over 30 years of experience in animal behavior teaching, research, consulting, and expert witness services.
What is dog submission?
When you have these limited resources what dogs and many animals really need to work out is who gets the access to the resources and what order. Dominance is the dog trying to get first to the limited resources; the submissive behavior is basically another dog giving up and saying okay you are bigger than I am you are more aggressive than I am you are younger than I am whatever the factors are for the dogs, I am going to let you go first.
What does submissive behavior look like?
According to David Mech, submission itself may be as important as dominance regarding promoting friendly relations or reducing social distance. There are two different submissive behaviors: active and passive. David Mech believes active submission is indistinguishable from food begging. Passive submission is where the submissive wolf rolls over on the side or his back. He found that all members of the pack “submitted” to the breeding male. It was not a forced submission through aggression or force. It is a much gentler behavior of giving way to another member of the pack.