Casey is a 15 month old Cardi who is very friendly and outgoing, but displays extremely submissive behaviours when greeting other dogs. It's sort of a weird combination: she absolutely loves to play with other dogs, and has no fear of them what so ever (she'll run up to a group of multiple dogs she's never met before, no problem) BUT, she will immediately display quite extreme submissive behaviour to about 90% of dogs when she initially greets them. She runs up to them, head low, tail wagging, ears back, crouched as low to the ground as physically possible, while still slinking towards them and proceeds to lick their lips, then will roll over with her tail between her legs to allow them to sniff her. At this point, they typically do one of two things: either walk away disinterested, or initiate play. If they walk away, fine, she goes about her business, if they want to play, then they play

However, there are some dogs that this submission really seems to set something off in them, where they become quite vocal, barking and growling, and start to pounce/bite at her. I don't know how to explain it, but they become very dominating and really take advantage of the fact that she's submitting to them. She's not "sensitive" as I've heard others mention about Corgi's, so she pretty much just let’s it roll off her back, but it bugs me and I don't like to see my dog get hurt. This happened this morning at the dog park, and there was a small tussle (a few bigger dogs ganged up on Casey), so hence my concern

Some background: Casey has always been very submissive with other dogs. For the first 2-3 months we had her as a puppy, she would submissive urinate every time she went near another dog (as well as do the above behaviours). Thankfully, the submissive urinating went away (I don't know if that was a result of taking two puppy obedience/socialization classes, or just maturing) so her submission is nothing new. She's really always been this way, but I'm wondering if there's anything I can do to give her a bit more confidence/authority around other dogs

I should mention that these types of submissive behaviours have never been a problem with people. We never had any submissive urination problems when she greeted people, and she doesn't roll over or anything with new people. She's very confident when it comes to greeting people; it’s really just always been with other dogs.

Again, it's hard to describe, because she's definitely NOT a shrinking violet - she's very bold and outgoing with other dogs, she runs with the big dogs no problem, has no fear about other dogs what-so-ever, but she has absolutely no dominate bone in her body when it comes to greeting new dogs, and I would like her to have a bit more confidence. At a minimum, it would be nice if she greeted other dogs like (most) other dogs do, by just politely walking up and sniffing each other, instead of rolling over immediately

Is there anything I can do about this? Some people at the dog park mentioned that she might simply become less submissive as she ages, and that when she's a full adult (around 2 or 3) she may simply grow out of the behaviour. Has anyone else experienced this at all?

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My previous corgi Buffy was similar to this. Unfortunately some other dogs will find this behavior unsettling and view it as a reason to attack. Consequently it is very important to protect her from dogs that are aggressive. I found that doing some agility and obedience classes with Buffy really helped make her more confident although she never was as out going as the two I have now.
I just found this post looking for an answer to the same question. Leia (8 months) has never submissively urinated, but she greats dogs just like Casey does. She gets very insecure at the dog park when there are big dogs there. I don't want to take her to the small dog area (we usually end up there at some point though) because there is never any dogs in there and we take her to the dog park to socialize. I would love to help her become more confident as well. Please post again if you have any progress/luck with this issue.
I think she's showing these dogs who she is. A wise move. My Lilliput is a fairly dominant dog, and greets dogs well. She corrects rude dogs and puppies. But sometimes she reads something in a dog that makes her either lower herself as she sniffs the mouth, or roll over. I don't know what those signals are, but she sure does. I don't think you should try to change her, as she is reading the dogs she meets, and reacting to them appropriate to her level of "dominance." She is probably reading the situation better than you are. If another dog, not so well socialized, takes that as an invitation to pick on her, or attack, it's time to move on quickly into the path to another part of the park.

I'm careful about taking my corgi's to a dog park.  My dogs are not submissive.  They run up to other dogs barking and sometimes nipping.  They try to control other dogs - doesn't matter how big the other dog is and that's what I am concerned about.  These just aren't "passive" dogs and they annoy passive dogs and passive dog owners.  On the other hand they lack "street smarts", ie - they aren't big enough and certainly aren't vicious enough to handle themselves around more aggressive dogs.  In fact, at times, I think they must have a death wish.  My daughters 6 year old female always was better adjusted around other dogs but even she had a bad problem with a border collie at a dog park she doesn't go to dog parks anymore.  Dog parks seem stressful for my dogs and are for me, so I rarely go and when I do it's for very short visits.  Be careful! 


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