Labradoodle Behaviour
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What Is a Submissive Labradoodle

Much like a fearful Labradoodle, a submissive Labradoodle will try to look smaller, but unlike a fearful dog it will only rarely raise its hackles.

A submissive dog will generally behave in one of two ways: while sitting, it will scoot along the ground toward the dominant person or dog; or it will show its vulnerability by rolling over and exposing its genitals and belly to the dominant person or dog. It might even "piddle" while doing so.

In addition, a submissive Labradoodle will often tip its head and try to "appease" the dominant person or dog by attempting to lick their facial area.

You might see the same licking gesture with the tongue darting in and out when a puppy sidles up to its mother.

A submissive Labradoodle may also try to lean against the dominant person or dog, probably to try to prevent being attacked (the dog's vulnerable areas are more difficult to reach when it's leaning against the dominant dog or person).

It's similar to the technique a person would use to avoid being injured by a horse that's kicking. Someone who steps closer as the horse starts kicking will probably not be hurt as badly as someone who is farther away and takes the full brunt of a kick.

Almost every submissive Labradoodle will attempt to avoid eye contact. It might even turn its head away, just to avoid visual contact. This behavior should not be interpreted as disregard for the dominant dog's or person's body language.

Far to the contrary, as a submissive Labradoodle will constantly monitor body language in an attempt to determine the proper ("safe") way to behave.

A submissive dog will sometimes bare its teeth. Some people interpret this as snarling, but the head is held differently and there is no growling when a submissive Labradoodle bares its teeth as a sign of submission.

The submissive dog will tip and lower its head and approach the dominant dog or person with its teeth exposed. Showing the teeth this way has been called "smiling." Generally speaking, a submissive dog makes no aggressive sounds while approaching the dominant person or dog.

Some experts believe the exposure of the teeth is intended to convey the dog's strength (or lack thereof). Theoretically, a combatant has a significant advantage in a fight if he knows his opponent's strengths.

These experts believe the submissive dog is trying to prevent an attack by showing the size of its teeth to its potential opponent. By showing its teeth, it's trying to demonstrate that it presents no threat to the dominant person or dog.

The dog's body and head posture, together with showing the teeth, are intended to resemble the greeting a puppy would make. Of course, the submissive dog's body language doesn't always prevent an attack.

It's easy to confuse submissive behavior with aggression or fearful behavior. If you correct a Labradoodle for being aggressive but it turns out to actually be submissive behavior, the dog will become even more submissive.

The situation is made even more complicated by the fact that not every submissive dog will exhibit all the classic submissive behaviors.


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