How to Train a Submissive Dog? Building Confidence Strategies


Training a submissive dog can be a delicate process that requires patience, consistency, and understanding. If your dog lacks confidence, it can lead to various behavioral issues that could pose dangerous situations for both your pet and others. Fortunately, there are strategies you can implement to help your submissive dog build confidence and become a well-adjusted, well-behaved companion. In this guide, you will learn effective techniques to train a submissive dog and help them gain the confidence they need to thrive.

Key Takeaways:

  • Consistency is Key: When training a submissive dog, it’s essential to establish and maintain consistent rules and routines to build their confidence and trust.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Using positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, treats, and playtime can help boost a submissive dog’s confidence and encourage desirable behaviors.
  • Gradual Exposure: Gradually exposing a submissive dog to new environments, people, and experiences can help build their confidence over time, reducing anxiety and fear-based behaviors.

Preparing for Training

Some important steps to take before training a submissive dog include understanding the underlying causes of their behavior and assessing their current environment. If you’re looking for more resources on how to train a submissive dog, you can also check out this helpful article on How to Train Your Dog to Stop Being Submissive.

Factors Influencing a Dog’s Submissiveness

In order to effectively train a submissive dog, it’s important to consider the various factors that may be influencing their behavior. Some factors that can contribute to a dog’s submissiveness include

  • Genetics: Genetic predisposition
  • Early socialization: Lack of exposure and socialization to different people and environments
  • Past experiences: Negative experiences or abuse in the past

Any training approach should take these factors into consideration to effectively address the issue.

Establishing a Trusting Relationship

Building a trusting relationship with your dog is crucial in training a submissive dog. You should focus on positive reinforcement techniques, such as rewarding good behavior with treats, praise, and affection. By creating a positive and supportive environment, you can help your dog build confidence and feel more secure in their interactions with you.

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Step-by-Step Training Strategies

Even though training a submissive dog can be challenging, there are specific strategies you can use to build confidence and establish a healthy relationship with your pet. Here are some step-by-step training strategies:

Step 1 Start with basic obedience training, such as sit, stay, and come commands.
Step 2 Use positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise, to encourage desired behaviors.
Step 3 Gradually expose your dog to new experiences and environments to build their confidence.
Step 4 Be patient and consistent with your training, and always remain calm and assertive.

How-To Establish Your Role as a Leader

To establish your role as a leader in your dog’s eyes, you need to demonstrate confidence and assertiveness in your interactions. Use strong body language, a firm but calm tone of voice, and consistent rules and boundaries. This will help your dog feel secure and understand their place in the pack hierarchy.

Tips for Creating Positive Experiences

When training a submissive dog, it’s essential to create positive experiences that build their confidence. Use reward-based training methods to reinforce good behavior, and avoid punishment or harsh corrections. Provide plenty of socialization opportunities, and expose your dog to a variety of people, animals, and environments. By doing so, you’ll help them overcome their fears and develop a more balanced temperament. Recognizing the progress your dog makes, no matter how small, is crucial for their confidence-building journey.

  • Reward-based training
  • Socialization opportunities
  • Balanced temperament

Advanced Confidence Building Techniques

Despite successfully implementing some basic confidence building techniques, you may find that your submissive dog requires additional strategies to continue their progress. Here are some advanced techniques for building confidence in your dog:

  1. Implement slow desensitization exercises to gradually expose your dog to new and potentially scary stimuli, such as loud noises or unfamiliar environments.
  2. Engage in confidence-building activities, such as agility training or interactive play, to challenge your dog in a positive way and help them develop a sense of accomplishment.
  3. Seek professional guidance and support from a qualified dog behaviorist or trainer who specializes in building confidence in submissive dogs. They can provide personalized strategies and techniques tailored to your dog’s specific needs.

If you want to learn more about building confidence in your dog, check out this informative post on How to build confidence in a dog? : r/reactivedogs for additional insights and tips.

How-To Incorporate Socialization

Socialization plays a crucial role in building confidence in your submissive dog. Exposing them to new experiences, people, and other animals in a controlled and positive manner can help them develop trust and build their confidence. Gradually introduce your dog to new environments and situations, always ensuring their safety and comfort throughout the process.

Tips for Managing Setbacks

While building confidence in your submissive dog, it’s important to recognize that setbacks may occur. If you encounter challenges, remember to remain patient and consistent in your approach. Use positive reinforcement and reassurance to help your dog overcome their fears and regain their confidence. Seek support from professionals or online communities if needed. After addressing setbacks, continue to focus on gradually building your dog’s confidence and trust.

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Maintaining Progress

After successfully building confidence in your submissive dog, the next step is to maintain the progress you’ve made. Consistency and routine are key factors in keeping your dog confident and submissive.

How-To Keep Your Dog Confident in the Long-Term

Make sure to continue practicing the confidence-building exercises you’ve been doing with your dog. Keep challenging them with new tasks and experiences to reinforce their confidence. Regular positive reinforcement, such as praise and treats, will help solidify their confidence in the long run.

Tips for Routine Reinforcement

Set a daily routine for your dog that includes regular exercise, mental stimulation, and training sessions. Consistency in your expectations and rewards is crucial. Use positive reinforcement techniques such as rewarding good behavior and ignoring undesirable behavior to maintain the progress you’ve achieved. Vary your training methods and exercises to keep your dog engaged and to prevent them from becoming bored or complacent. Regularly assess your dog’s progress and adjust your training regimen as needed.

  • Establish a consistent daily routine for your dog
  • Use positive reinforcement techniques
  • Vary training methods and exercises
  • Regularly assess your dog’s progress

Perceiving changes in your dog’s behavior and confidence levels will allow you to address any issues before they escalate.

How to Train a Submissive Dog? Building Confidence Strategies

Drawing together all the information discussed in this article, it is clear that building confidence in a submissive dog requires patient, consistent, and positive reinforcement. By incorporating training exercises that focus on building self-assurance, setting clear boundaries, and providing plenty of love and praise, you can help your submissive dog become more confident and well-adjusted. Remember that each dog is different, so it’s important to tailor your training approach to their individual needs. With dedication and a positive attitude, you can help your submissive dog gain confidence and become a happy, well-behaved member of your family.


Q: What are some strategies for building confidence in a submissive dog?

A: One effective strategy for building confidence in a submissive dog is through positive reinforcement training. This involves rewarding the dog with treats, praise, and affection when they display confident behavior. Additionally, providing regular socialization opportunities and engaging in confidence-building activities such as agility training can help boost the dog’s self-assurance.

Q: How can I establish myself as a confident leader for my submissive dog?

A: It is important to establish clear and consistent leadership with a submissive dog. This can be achieved through assertive body language and vocal cues. Setting boundaries and providing structure in the form of a consistent routine can also help the dog feel secure and more confident in their environment.

Q: What are some common mistakes to avoid when training a submissive dog to build confidence?

A: One common mistake is coddling the dog when they display submissive behavior. This can reinforce their insecurity rather than building confidence. It is important to avoid punishment or harsh training methods, as this can further diminish the dog’s confidence. Consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are key in training a submissive dog to be more confident.

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