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Discussion Starter #1
some of you may know that we have done a lot of work to help build iorek's confidence since we got him last june. iorek was very un-socialized when we got him. he is great now, hardly ever has nervous times :D he is good with meeting strangers and will even go up to them for cuddles when we are walking.

my question has to do with his behaviour with me and my husband. i may have completely out dated ideas here... i read that licking the lips is an appeasing signal and iorek does this to us sometimes when we are petting him. he will also roll over and show his belly nearly every time i pet him when he is laying down. this is usually accompanied with some lip licking. is this submissive? :( i feel so sad that he might feel that he needs to keep sending me these signals. does it just mean that he wants belly rubs? am i being paranoid?

what do you think?
 

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Lip licking is usually a sign of nervousness but, it has to be put in context. For example, my Shelties will start lip licking and pawing me just before dinner time...telling me they're hungry.
 

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Rolling over and exposing his belly is a submissive position but why is this a problem? Its a good thing. Submission does not equal fear. This is good, its what you want.
 

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I think it's a good sign. It takes a lot for a dog to expose their belly because it's one of their most vulnerable spots. Just keep talking to him in a soft voice when you pet him. It sounds like you made some great progress!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
maybe i am just putting words in his mouth? i keep thinking that he feels that he has to keep up the appeasing/submissive stuff because who knows what mommy will do if he stops! we will have him for a year on june 14th and i don't even know if i have ever raised my voice to him! he is a great doggy and he probably isn't thinking that way i just feel sad sometimes. he is definitely still coming out of his shell so that makes me happy.
 

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I think the rolling over and belly rubbing is a good sign.

He's saying "See, this is how much I trust you."
 
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