Schenkel on Submission 5.0

Information based on this article:

Submission: Its Features and Function in the Wolf and Dog, Rudolph Schenkel 1967

Everyone should always read their own source material to make their own interpretations!!!  This is just my take away points:

What does this lecture cover?

  1. What Does Rudolph Schenkel say about submission and its FUNCTION?
  2. What are three different forms of conflict that are often associated with submission?
  3. What are the two main categories of submission?
  4. How does the behavior of the "dominant" canine affect the "submissive" canine?
  5. How does this relate to the professional dog trainer?

What does Rudolph Schenkel say about submission and its FUNCTION?

  • What is NOT:  It is not to be a synonym for inferior or defeated
  • Submission is an impulse and effort of the inferior toward friendly and harmonic social integration

Three different forms of conflict associated with a superior and inferior - but submission is only correct for one.

  1. Severe fight based on intolerance - Flight by the inferior or death is the outcome.  "Cut-off" signals have no effect.
  2. The ritualized fight over a privilege ends with the "giving-up-the-claim ritual" of the inferior, which automatically blocks the aggression by the superior.
  3. Minor conflict in closed groups, settled by submissive behavior of the inferior.


Claim for Privileges - Defeat without submission

time stamps: 25:00, 38:20, 59:00, 1:11

True Submission in Canines

Active Submission

Related to begging behavior of pups

Passive Submission

Related to maternal care

Intermediate between Active and Passive

Blurred lines between all conflict

Submission does not Trigger Automatic Responses

  1. Intolerance - submission will not persist
  2. Generosity

Why is this information important?

  • Understanding territorial aggression
  • Understanding different severities of dog-on-dog aggression
  • Understanding submission in proper relationship
    • You do not get "submission" and desire to interact simply by being "tougher" than the dog
  • Just because a dog acts submissive to another, does not mean it will be "tolerated".  Submission does not automatically trigger tolerance.
  • Obtrusive behavior is not necessarily "dominant" behavior.

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