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Submission in a social animal means deference to a higher ranking or more dominant individual. Commonly recognised signs of submission include the flattening of ears against the head, aversion of the eyes, tail down, curving of the body or rolling over into a “belly up” posture, and sometimes dribbling of urine. The belly up posture and urination are thought to be based on the pup’s early experience of being turned over and licked by the mother. Pups and adolescent young dogs will often display these behaviours when meeting adult dogs. Jumping up and attempting to lick the older dog’s lips is known as “active submission” while rolling over is known as “passive submission”.


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