Thanks Matt.Another great read Lou….
I've seen this too. I've also seen dogs that had been repeatedly physically dominated by their handlers try to crawl underneath them, to re–achieve that submissive position when they saw themselves standing over the handler.I especially enjoyed the part about the submissive dog “rolling” himself. I’ve noticed a variant of this many times when doing “tactics training” with new teams and crawling prone.
I noticed a number of dogs become confused when their handlers got down to the dogs level and started to crawl on the ground. The dog would become so uncomfortable with the handler being now “equal” in height and would put themselves in a “T” position in front of the handler to show submissiveness.
The problem I noticed was that handlers and trainers didn’t understand what the dog was telling them… would become frustrated….and would start to correct the dog…. Ultimately hurting their bond.
I know of many handlers who refuse to get down on the ground with their dog standing over them. They're afraid of getting bitten as the dog tries to assume the dominant role. I like to remind those handlers that most fights with suspects end up on the ground and if the dog comes upon that scene, it's best if they've prepared for it.