Why Dogs love Belly Rubs? – Know Reasons: Cuddling is a highlight of pet ownership. Many dogs enjoy belly rubs. They joyfully lie on their backs, tongue lolling and tail wagging, waiting for tummy scratches. Some dogs do this to communicate without wanting belly rubs. Discover why some dogs like belly rubs.
Why Dogs love Belly Rubs? – Know Reasons
Why do dogs bare their bellies?
In order to be appeased or to get a belly rub, dogs roll on their backs and expose their bellies. Know your dog’s cues before giving belly rubs. A dog’s appeasement gesture shows they’re not a threat to reduce social tension. Petting a submissive or appeasing dog can make him nervous because you’re touching his vulnerable areas.
Asking for Belly Rubs
Dogs who actually want belly rubs will generally show the following body language signals:
- Body is loose and wiggly
- Mouth is relaxed and open—you might see their tongue flopping around
- Eyes are open or squinty, bright and not necessarily staring at anything
- Tail is relaxed and may be wagging
- Vocalizations may occur, such as a “ha-ha” sound as they “laugh” or a light panting sound; silence is normal as well
In contrast, a dog who is showing submissive or appeasing behavior will look like this:
- Body is tense and low—they may crouch, freeze, or tense up
- Mouth is tense with lips pulled far back in a “fear grimace,” or lips and mouth may be closed, you may see lots of lip-licking and tongue-flicking
- Eyes are wide open and staring into the distance or squinty and tense; the dog may show the whites of their eyes as they look at you without turning their head
- Tail may be still or wagging, but will have tension in the base of the tail and the tail may be tucked
- Vocalizations may occur as soft whining, or the dog may be quiet
Why Do Dogs Love Belly Rubs?
Rubs and scratches in hard-to-reach areas probably feel great. Dogs can scratch their shoulders, necks, and heads with their hind feet, but not their tummies. Certain dogs will kick one or both legs during a belly rub, a normal scratch reflex.
Lots of dogs like rolling on carpet or grass to scratch their backs. Many dogs enjoy belly rubs and back scratches, according to anecdotes. Imagine how nice it is to have someone rub your back or scratch an itch you can’t reach. No wonder dogs love belly rubs with assistance.
An Excellent Dog Belly Rub
- Not all dogs like belly rubs. Many dogs don’t want belly rubs either. It’s okay if your dog doesn’t want belly rubs right now. Your dog may be in the mood or not into it.
- Many dogs only like belly rubs in the morning when serotonin levels are high or they’re relaxed.
- Learning how to give a good belly rub can make your dog love them more. How to give a great belly rub, modified from the pat-pet-pause protocol for petting dogs:
- Check if your dog wants a belly rub. Check the above body language. Don’t force a belly rub if your dog doesn’t want one. Respecting “No, thank you.” is the best way to teach your dog to trust you and love belly rubs.
Bend knees. Start with a relaxed body language.
- Rub belly! Try open-palmed, fingernails-in, circular, or patting. Stop petting after 3–5 seconds.
- Find out what your dog does next. Continue petting if he paws at you, stays put, or otherwise requests more. Belly rubs end if he leaves.
- Try different petting methods to see what works. You may discover a new belly rub your dog loves more.
- Respect your dog’s wishes and pet him as he prefers is most important. Read your dog’s body language to make him love belly rubs even more!
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