How can I get my dog to stop flipping over once you walk up to her?

My dog is a rescue. If you walk up to her to pet her or anything she bends in half and flips over onto her back. She doesn't like tummy rubs so not sure what she's doing and it's frustrating.

Asked by sarah

1 Answer

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From your description it sounds like your dog might be showing extreme submissive behaviour. This probably relates to things that have happened in the past to make her nervous in the company of people and other dogs.

My advice would be to work on building up her confidence and helping her to understand that when someone approaches her, this isn’t scary but a good thing!

For starters, work on general training. Dogs gain a huge amount of satisfaction and self-confidence from being able to carry out commands and gain praise from doing what they are told. Start with the simple tricks, just sit, stay and come. She may even be able to do these already but make a point of asking her and then rewarding with treats and praise when she does them.

Once she is able to do these things easily, move on to more complex tasks. There is plenty advice online and some great videos on YouTube to help you. Not only will she learn to really enjoy working with you, it will strengthen your relationship and keep her mind on fun things and she will forget to worry!

Also, when she does flip over and prostrate herself on the floor, stay by her but ignore her. Wait until she sits up and voluntarily comes to you or seeks attention and THEN praise her. You may need to hold back a little and not be too effusive as this may scare her again but she needs to learn that not only is you approaching not a time to be concerned but that you actively want her to stay sat up and be confident and friendly.

She sounds like a lovely dog who has had a hard start in life and some unpleasant experiences. Stay calm, praise the good, confident behaviour, work with her and build your relationship into something really special! | 07.27.16 @ 08:52
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$commenter.renderDisplayableName() — {comment} | 11.22.17 @ 23:37
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