Why do dogs like to have their bellies scratched?

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We melt with tenderness when our dog shows us his tummy, and we immediately throw our hands to rub it, because it is what it touches. Is a connection moment between our pet and us.

But ¿why do dogs like to have their bellies scratched?? ¿Whenever they turn on their back, does it mean that they want us to caress them? In this AnimalWised article, we are going to find out what they are trying to tell us with this gesture..

You may also be interested: Why do dogs show their belly? Index
  1. What does it mean for a dog to show its belly?
  2. The caresses in the belly give them security
  3. What does your dog feel when you pet him?
  4. How to stroke a dog's belly?

What does it mean for a dog to show its belly?

You have surely observed several situations in which your dog rolls over on the ground and shows his belly. Sometimes he will curl you up on the sofa and stretch his legs up so that you can better access his belly. At that moment the thing is clear: she wants you to caress her. But ¿what happens if you see an unfamiliar dog doing this gesture? ¿It is always a request for caresses?

That the dog shows the belly can be for several reasons related to psychological issues, as we explain in this other article about ¿Why do dogs show their bellies? Teaching the belly is one sign of submission and confidence. Whether it is because he is afraid and submissive or if he asks you to scratch your belly for vice, this is the most vulnerable posture that the dog can give you.

If you find yourself on the street with a dog that shows you its belly, it is advisable to walk away slowly to see that you are not a threat. You could detect other signs of appeasement, such as tucking the tail between the legs, turning the head away, and licking the muzzle.

If you notice your dog nervous in new situations or with strange people and it shows them the belly, it is better not to scratch the animal. We will explain to strangers that it is not a sign that you want to be scratched, but that it takes a little getting used to. It would be best to leave him alone and wait until he feels more comfortable and approaches with only his ears and tail raised.

Of course, he can also show his belly for you to stroke him. But... ¿Why do they like to have their tummies scratched? We will see it next.

The caresses in the belly give them security

Now that we have seen that dogs show their bellies as a gesture of submission and respect, it remains to be seen what they feel when we pet them, that is, why dogs like to have their bellies scratched.

It is clear that scratching our dog's belly can be a tender moment, an act that reassures and provides security. When he turns on his back and asks for pampering, it is time to bond with his tutor. They like it because they feel safe and loved, a childhood memory when they slept with their siblings. In fact, lying on your back is clearly one of the poses of a happy dog..

If you want to let your dog know that you love him, you can read this other article about ¿How does my dog ​​know that I love him ?, where we talk in more depth about the subject.

What does your dog feel when you pet him?

Dogs do not always interpret caresses as signs of affection. In his world, that depends on the area of ​​the body in question and the situation. That comes from the world of wolves, when the alpha places a paw on the body to show who is the leader. Now that we have seen what a dog feels when you stroke its belly, let's see what it means to him. caresses in other areas of the body:

Head caresses

This is one very delicate area, so it is not advisable to stroke the head of an unfamiliar dog. It could be interpreted as a threat, because this gesture is very authoritative. If it is the guardian who caresses this area, for your pet it means that it is happy and satisfied with its behavior.

Caresses on the back

When the dogs place one paw on the other's back, it is very likely that they are friends and that they are playing. So they kindly show that they would like to be the dominant one during the game. Therefore, caresses in this area are taken as a kind gesture which means: "we are friends ".

Caresses on the side

When dogs are comfortable with one of their own, they rub side to side. It is taken as a friendly greeting. Therefore, if you pet your dog on the side, it will interpret it as a gesture of trust and friendship.

Caresses on the neck

With the caresses on the neck you have won the puppy, because it is for them the show of maximum confidence and affection. He feels protected and loved due to the memory of his mother licking him when he was a puppy with his brothers in the litter. If he extends and moves his neck so that you can caress him better, you have managed to recreate that tender memory in him.

If you want your dog to trust you more or if you feel that he is afraid of you, we encourage you to read this other AnimalWised article on Tips to gain a dog's trust.

How to stroke a dog's belly?

First you have to find out if the dog really asks for pampering or is actually submissive out of fear. If it is an unfamiliar dog or it is a strange situation for him, in a new place, better wait for a calmer moment to pet him. Let it get closer to you and let him smell your hand to gain confidence.

Both on the belly and on the rest of the body, always caress the animal with consideration and affection. To make it feel comfortable, start with less delicate areas, such as the loin. Many dog ​​guardians have become accustomed to slapping, albeit affectionate, on the back of their furry dog, but it is not something they like, as it is a threatening movement. The animal could be scared and react to the respect in an unexpected way.

On the other hand, all dogs are different, therefore, they have different tastes and characters. Sometimes they don't like having their belly scratched, their head scratched, or their tail touched. Never forget that your pet is a living being, that it has the right to be treated with respect and that it deserves love and affection. In any case, the best way to pet a dog is get down to his height, squat down and if you detect that he refuses petting, leave him alone.

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