Whenever I return home from work, the first thing my Neo always does is flopping on his back and revealing his belly to me. After 7 years of pet parenting, I clearly understand this gesture of seeking some good belly scratch, and of course, attention.
But the new pet owners may not be well familiar with such adorable doggy stuff. So, there is a chance of misinterpreting the behavior and triggering the dog instead of giving him a deeper type of love and intimacy, which he asked for. But why do dogs like belly rubs so much? What makes them choose to be vulnerable by showing off their belly?
Well, the bond between you and your dog might have begun with a little kiss, but it becomes stronger as you pet him continuously. Your pup knows when you're about to spend time with him and give him complete attention.
So, they just reciprocate by opening their soft belly and asking for good rubs. Yet, not all pets love their tummy being rubbed.
So, you must understand the actions, reactions of your pup and get an idea of what he actually desires. Only then you can take good care of your fur-bud, and your pet-parenting will be successful.
Understanding your dog's 'scratch-my-tummy' behavior is not rocket science. There are a few things that clearly reflect his actual wish.
I have prepared a guide here to let you know about all the nitty-gritty of this behavior of your dog.
So go through, and you'll learn why do dogs like being pet and how to understand when they want that affection. Have a look.
Do Really Dogs Like Tummy Rubs or It's a Submissive Behaviour?
Dogs tend to expose their belly for two reasons. Either this is a submissive behavior, or they are requesting for belly rubs.
But it’s important for you to understand the reason for such actions before you go for petting. Even if you are a new pet parent, nothing to worry; I’ve got you covered.
When a dog shows a submissive or appeasement display, he tries to diffuse social tension by conveying that he is not a threat at all.
If your pup is putting on a submissive display, don't go for petting him at that time. Because this may result in triggering your dog as you will be touching the vulnerable part, belly, which makes the dog more nervous.
If your dog wants a belly rub, he'll simply show the below-listed body language-
- His overall body language will be loose, and body postures will be wiggly
- The mouth will be relaxed and opened as his tongue will flop around
- Eyes will be squinty and bright
- Either he will be wagging his tail, or it will be relaxed
- He will be making that ha-ha sound as if he is laughing or a light panting sound
If all these boxes ticked, the next thing you must do is cuddling your dog along with giving him a good belly-scratch.
On the other hand, if your dog shows the below-listed behaviors, then you must be sure it's his submissive display.
- His overall body will be tensed, and he'll make low body postures like crouching, or freezing
- Lips will be pulled back in a fear grimace, or mouth will be closed, or you may often see lip-licking or tongue-flicking
- Wide-open eyes may stare into the distance or get filled with tense
- The tail will be tucked, or maybe still wagging but with tension
- He may stay quite or make soft whining
Often people think a wagging tail implies a happy dog. But that's not always correct. A stiff tucked, and fast tail wag is way more different than the wag of a loose tail. So, pay attention to as many body parts as you can and understand what your pup actually wants.
Why Do Dogs Like Their Belly Rubbed?
Your dog certainly knows when you're treating him with the greatest form of love- petting. And their body reacts in exactly that way.
But why do dogs like being pet? Well, the reason is, the movement of your dog's hair follicles stimulates a certain neuron of his brain, and that makes the petting more enjoyable for him.
When he is at his back, the short hairs on his tummy makes the stimulation more effective. If your dog kicks legs while petting, then take it as a sure indication that he is loving whatever you're doing. It's kind of an automatic response like a reflex response.
However, when your dog is exposing his belly, make sure you don't overdo the rubbing. Else, it may be a thing of utter discomfort for your dog, and he may get irked in no time. So make sure you do it gently, with care.
Dogs Like Tummy Rubs- How to Give Them a Good One?
Now you clearly know why do dogs like belly rubs; now it's time to know how to give them a good one. Well, many dogs enjoy too much of belly rubs, whereas many are there who like to keep it low. It solely depends on the nature of your dog. So, check out the basic steps to give your dog a good tummy scratch and make him happy.
- First things first, watch your dog carefully and decide whether he really wants to get a belly rub or not. You can check his body language like the way we have mentioned.
- If, for the time being, he doesn't want it, that's not an issue. You must scrap the idea. This is the way to make him trust you more.
- Now, if your furry friend really wants the belly rub, then kneel down. Ensure your body language is loose, and you are relaxed.
- Then, gently rub the belly. Try to be open-palmed, fingernails-in. You can try even patting motions.
- Now, after a few seconds, stop petting and check what your dog does next.
- If you find him pawing at you or staying put or shows some other signs that he is really into it, you must do it more.
- But, if he gets up and leaves, then that's it. Enough of belly rubbing for the time!
That’s all! Now you know why do dogs like their belly rubbed, right? In case you still have further queries, drop a comment in the below box. Stay connected for more pet-guides. Adios!