Why Do Dogs Like Their Bellies Rubbed?

Why do dogs like their bellies rubbedAll these years I thought I was training my dog, I had it all wrong. I mean, I did teach him all the right stuff; great tricks, good manners, appropriate behavior…..but one day it dawned on me that my dog had a few of his own training tricks up his sleeve.

Ever so sneaky, he had learned to covertly train ME! Did you ever wonder why dogs like their bellies rubbed? Well, I can tell you all about it because I have readily fallen prey to my dog’s overindulgent, daily belly rubbing demands!

How My Dog Trained Me To Give Him Belly Rubs

It started when he was just a puppy. He would come frolicking over, cute as can be, and roll over to expose that irresistible puppy belly. Unable to resist, of course, I would rub away. Being the smart puppy he was, over time he learned that he could roll over at any given moment, give a slight whine, an attention getting kick or two, eyes wide open for theatrical effect, and viola……belly rubs are granted by the bamboozled human.

The Facts About Why Dogs Like Their Bellies Rubbed

There is a theory that supports why a belly rub is such a pleasurable sensation for dogs. Dogs have a brain neuron that has been shown to respond positively to the stimulation of the hair follicles that occurs while petting a dog’s belly. But, the simple reason is, it just feels good! And, if we’re dishing out belly rubs, they are more than willing to accept!

Do All Dogs Love Belly Rubs?

There are dogs, however, that do not enjoy belly rubs, which happens to be the case with my current foster dog. When attempting to rub his belly I am presented with a look of dissension, as if to say, “What the heck do you think you’re doing lady!?” He’s living proof that belly rubs aren’t the end-all, be-all for all dogs as some just don’t like it. It is a matter of preference. Just as people have variances in places they like, or dislike being touched, such is the case with dogs.

Is Rolling Over ALWAYS An Invitation To Rub A Dog’s Belly?

It can be important to note that just because a dog rolls over to expose his belly doesn’t necessarily mean he is asking for a belly rub. Some dogs roll over to show submission, which can be identified when you notice a dog immediately rolling over upon another dog or person approaching him. He may also look nervous, or uncomfortable, perhaps with tense legs and a tucked tail. This is a dog that is not asking for his belly to be rubbed. A dog who is inviting you to touch him should look completely relaxed, and may even prompt you with a nudge, whine, or other overt action.

If a dog rolls over to ask you for a belly rub, you can feel privileged! Exposing the belly is a very vulnerable position for a dog so they will only roll over to ask for a belly rub when they are feeling comfortable, and trust the person they are with.

do all dogs like their bellies rubbed


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