The following list is supposed to give you an idea about the most common signs of submission in dogs. A submissive dog will usually exhibit some of these signs. Extremely submissive and usually fearful dog will often show most of them.
  • Submissive dogs will usually break eye contact with their owner and other dogs first. Extremely submissive dogs will try to completely avoid eye contact.
  • Lowering its head and holding the ears flat.
  • Rolling onto its side or back and exposing its belly.
  • Eyes partly closed. Don't confuse this sign with situations when the dog is sleepy.
  • A submissive dog will lick the chin and corners of the mouth of the dog or person it's submitting to.
  • Allowing another dog to put a paw or mouth on its shoulder. Obviously, the dog that is putting its paw or mouth on another dog's shoulder is showing dominance.
  • The tail held low or tucked between the back legs. This is also a sign of fear.
  • An extremely submissive dog can sprinkle a few drops of urine. A roll on the back or side will usually follow.
  • A submissive dog may whine or squeal a little if it feels highly threatened or is in pain.
  • Standing still with one back leg relaxed (foot almost off the floor) so that a more dominant dog may gain access to sniff the genitalia.
  • A submissive dog will often try to make itself smaller by crouching low to the ground.

Read also: Signs of Dominance in Dogs