Is your dog a fan of belly rubs? Almost all dogs like belly rubs, and some (especially the female dogs) are so fond of them that they will even demand them.
So what exactly is it that dogs like about belly rubs? Let’s find out in this post.
Emotional Bonds With Their Owners
Let’s start with the most obvious reason, your dog’s emotional connection with you. Dogs like belly rubs because it gives them a feeling of bonding with their owners.
This bonding is especially important for a female dog who has just given birth. This is because she will likely be nervous after the delivery, especially if it is her first litter.
She may growl and shudder if someone comes near her puppies, and even become attached to you, her primary caregiver. Her reliance upon you for protection comes from her view of you as her Alpha.
It shows her trust in you as her pack leader and that you will take care of her. She is therefore drawn to you and would like a belly rub from you.
She feels closer to you when you touch her and care for her.
This Reinforces Their Sense of Belonging to the Pack
Your dog wants to ensure that she is still a member of your pack, and she does it by inviting you to give her a belly rub.
This helps to reinforce her sense of belonging to a group which plays a vital role in how she feels about herself.
By rubbing your dog’s belly, you are telling her that you love and accept her as a member of your pack and that she deserves your affection.
This constant reassurance is something all dogs crave as it makes them feel like they are a part of the pack.
The proper way to give your dog a belly rub is to lay her down on her back, and rub the front of her body, including her belly, with both hands.
The rubbing motion should be light and rhythmic, moving up and down as well as side to side.
You can also see this behavior when she turns over her body to show her belly when she is playing with other dogs.
She is showing her submissiveness to the other dogs and her desire to be a part of the group.
They Enjoy Grooming from Their Owners
When it comes to making your dog feel good, nothing beats a belly rub. A pleasure response is triggered in their brains when their hair follicles are stimulated during the belly rub.
It is because of this that dogs enjoy petting, especially belly rubs, since stroking their hair is correlated with pleasure grooming experience.
This is especially true for dogs such as the Poodle, Bichon Frise, Bedlington Terrier, and Portuguese Water Dog who are known for having soft, curly coats.
Rubbing Their Bellies Relieves Their Stress
The act of giving a dog a belly rub calms them down and helps them relax. If you have a female dog who always wants a belly rub whenever she sees you, it may be because she is feeling stressed out or anxious.
It is especially true if you have been away from her for a long time, and she is missing you so much.
You see, an hour of your day is equivalent to 7 hours of your dog’s time. Therefore, it is no surprise that she will miss you so much when you are away for a few hours.
You can also tell if she has an anxiety disorder from her body language, such as if she is constantly licking her paws, appears restless, whines or growls, shivers, digs, or chews excessively.
Rubbing her belly gives her comfort and calms her down because her body will release a chemical known as endorphin that helps to make her feel relaxed and at ease.
If your dog is exhibiting any of the above anxiety symptoms, you should work on treating her separation anxiety condition.
Find out what is triggering her anxiety and work on eliminating the causes.
A Rewarding Experience They Enjoy
When your dog learns what is going to be a pleasant experience for her, guess what she will do?
She is likely to keep repeating that act in order to get the same rewarding experience over and over again.
This is exactly what your dog is thinking when she tries to get you to rub her belly. She’s just trying to get you to do what she enjoys.
Over time, she will develop a strong association between your rubbing her belly and her getting your love and affection.
She will love this belly rubbing activity because it helps her feel loved and cared for and also makes her feel comfortable and relaxed.
The experience is similar to when someone gives you a message on your shoulder. That pleasure experience will certainly not be forgotten, and you’ll look forward to another one.
She Wants to Let You Know That She Trusts You
When your dog rolls over her back and offers her belly to you, it’s a sign that she trusts you.
To your dog, the belly is the most vulnerable part of her body and if she is willing to expose that to you, she is handing her safety over to you!
If she performs this repeatedly, this shows that she regards you as her pack leader and trusts you with her safety.
This is a sign of a very close bond between you and your dog. She wants to let you know that she has accepted your leadership and that you are a trustworthy person to her!