Dogs enjoy being petted and when you scratch the fur of your dog’s ears, he will usually make a soft groan. This is his way to express his pleasure.
Dogs are genetically predisposed to enjoy these actions. But it’s not just about getting petted and scratched; they enjoy the feel of your touch and affection.
But is that the only reason why your dog enjoys being scratched? Let’s find out in this post.
Dogs often groan with pleasure when their ears are scratched, thanks to sensitive nerve endings and the release of endorphins. But not all groans are positive; they can signify discomfort or a plea for space, especially if the dog resists contact or shows signs of ear issues.
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He Is Expressing His Pleasure
Dogs love the feeling of your fingers running along their fur. They like to be stroked and pampered. This is just another way of them feeling being cared for.
And a dog’s ears are certainly more sensitive than other parts of their body.
The nerve endings in a dog’s ear are more sensitive to touch than the rest of his body, which means he feels pleasure when it’s being scratched.
A dog’s ears contain a nerve, called the auricle. When the dog receives a massage, the nerves relax and endorphins are released.
Endorphins are the same chemicals released during exercise and sex.
The endorphins make your dog feel relaxed, happy, and content and groaning is his way of expressing his pleasure.
That is why you will see some dog trainers rubbing the dog’s ears when the dogs are getting nervous.
By rubbing their ears, the trainers are essentially giving them a massage and a bit of a thrill.
A dog’s brain is wired to respond to this type of stimulation, and they get to feel pleasure and calm down.
He Feels Bothered by Your Actions
Moaning and groaning isn’t always a sign that your dog is enjoying what you are doing to his ears. Sometimes he may just be telling you to stop pestering him.
It’s often a way of saying, “Stop doing that.”
If your dog pulls away when you try to touch his ears, it means that he doesn’t want you to touch him. He could be feeling anxious, stressed out or in pain.
This is especially so if your dog is suffering from some ears related infection.
Excessively scratching your dog’s ears might also make him feel uncomfortable as his ears are highly sensitive to touch, and he may be bothered by the sensation of being rubbed or scratched.
You could perform an inspection on his ears to check if there is any visible swelling, inflammation or discharge.
Bring him to see a vet immediately if there is any swelling or discharge observed.
There’s More Your Dog Needs Than Just Attention
Dogs can communicate with us using their body language, facial expressions, and even vocal sounds.
In fact, one of the most common sounds dogs make is groaning. They do so to express their happiness, their displeasure, or to communicate to their owners that something is wrong or when they need help.
So there is a possibility that when your dog groans, he could be seeking your help with his needs. He could be feeling hungry, thirsty, in pain or needs a potty break.
By equipping yourself with the knowledge to understand what your dog is trying to communicate, it will help you to provide the care and attention that he needs.
For example, if your dog needs to go to the potty, he will probably exhibit signs such as scratching at doors, squatting, pacing, sniffing, groaning or circling. These are signs to watch for to determine if your dog needs a potty break.
A scheduled routine will help you to reduce the chance of failing to meet your dog’s basic needs. This will ensure that he eats and goes potty on time every day.
Additionally, you should always provide him with plenty of water and toys to keep him from becoming bored.
Also, don’t forget to provide your dog with adequate exercise. Your dog needs to have the opportunity to get out in the open and run around, so make sure that there are areas where he can do this.
He Is Telling You “Please Continue Petting Me!”
When you are feeling pleasure, what is the very first thing that comes to your mind?
The normal course of action is to encourage whoever is giving you pleasure to continue to do so, right?
Dogs are no different from us in wanting to feel the delightful sensations as much as possible.
When your dog feels delighted by your ear rubbing, he may groan to tell you that you should keep doing what you are doing.
This is a natural reaction to feelings of happiness.
So it is normal for your dog to groan and ask for more petting when you rub his ears.
Something Is Upsetting Him at the Moment
Using moans and groans is a way for your dog to convey his feelings to you. The reason behind his groans may be that he feels a bit upset about something.
This can be the case if your dog knows that after this rubbing, you will be leaving him alone for quite a while and that makes him associate this rubbing with being an unpleasant event.
You will observe this behavior from your dog if you have the habit of rubbing his ears before you leave for work. He knows that you will be gone after the rubbing and that will make him feel stressed out.
In response to these, he will moan when you rub his ears to express his separation anxiety.
He Is Tired and Needs Some Rest
It is very common for dogs to groan when you touch their ears. This is because when you rub on his ears, it releases endorphins in his body and that makes him feel relaxed.
With his body starting to relax, he will begin to breathe more slowly and that will put him to sleep.
This is especially true if your dog has just finished some physical activity and his body requires a much-needed rest.
Just a bit of petting will be enough to make him settle down for a good sleep.