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Teaching Tia the Elkhound Being Submissive is Rewarding

A blonde-haired girl is sitting on a blacktop surface and in front of her is a black, grey and white Norwegian Elkhound dog that is laying and looking at her hand. Walking towards her is a brindle Boxer. Across from them is a brown haired girl kneeling on the blacktop surface.

Part of Tia's problem with her former owners was Tia believed she was top dog. This was very apparent from the first time I saw her. She believed she was the boss. She was used to wanting things her way. I could see this not only in the way she carried herself, but when she was taken off lead she did not follow. When doors were opened she wanted to bolt through them.

We needed to teach Tia she was no longer the boss and for her to see this as a positive thing. The most submissive position a dog can be in is to expose its belly. Amie teaches Tia the "Dead Dog" trick.

Amie explains to Allison how the trick is done so she can practice with Tia when she goes home. Tia had already been taught to sit and lie down from her prior owners.

Video of Tia the Elkhound first learning the Dead Dog Trick—In the video, notice how Amie uses the food in her hand to guide Tia into the position she wants her in. Tia can smell the food. Amie throws in a "roll over" trick as well.

Video of Tia the Elkhound after working with her for a few minutes—In this second clip, notice how much easier it is for Amie to get Tia to roll onto her back. By the end of the clip she does not even touch her, she simply points and Tia rolls to her back. Look at Tia's mannerism. She is very much enjoying this. She gets a belly rub and food!

Video of Amie Teaching Allison how to work with Tia—Notice how Allison first tries to get Tia to roll to one side, however that is not the side Tia was able to easily roll on to. When teaching a dog how to roll you should go with the side that the dog is more willing to give you. Tia and Allison both are having fun with this trick and Tia is learning that being submissive to a human has its rewards.

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