Dogs and Belly Rubs

Posted on Aug 20, 2009
Adopt a Shelter Dog, Behavioral Modification, Dog Psychology, Dog Training, Dominant Dog, Rehoming a Dog, Socialization

Very few dogs won’t find enjoyment in a belly rub or any rub for that matter. They are also very smart. They learn quickly that if you ask them to do something - sit, stay, down, etc., and they choose to roll over for a belly rub, we fall for it. “Ah, they’re being submissive.” Maybe not. Why wouldn’t they drop and roll over for a belly rub if it means they don’t have to do as asked?

I do laugh when my dogs are resting and they will start to show me their belly when I’m only walking by to close the blinds or do something else. They don’t want to miss the chance that I will give them a pet so if I’m anywhere within sight, there’s a good chance I’ll see their movement and stop by for a rub.

I have met some dogs who will not show you their belly because they can’t risk making themselves too vulnerable. Is this action something they need to do or have to do for you to feel they are submissive? Absolutely not! Their touch of choice may be a scratch on the neck.

Just as a pat on the head or a rub of the ears is affection, remember that a belly rub is too. You decide when it is appropriate to respond. If not, your day will be filled with a dog’s nose lifting up your hand or arm for your affection. Begging for affection may be cute, but that’s about all. It is still begging.

Our dogs deserve our affection, it’s up to us to decide when!

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