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What is it about the belly rub? Whenever I try to pet my dog Yankee, he immediately rolls over and wants a belly rub. Why is that? Do all dogs want belly rubs? Why does it feel so good? When I scratch his belly in just the right way, Yankee will fall asleep. If I don’t do it just right, it sends his back leg into motion, trying to scratch away at what seems to be tickling him.
Although I had my ideas, I wasn’t sure I knew the answer. I didn’t know what I would find, but I figured I’d do some internet searching anyway. One thing that was repeated over and over was something I already knew: any dog who lets you rub his belly feels very comfortable with you. Exposing the belly voluntarily is a sign of submission and trust. It’s also a way of asking for your love and attention. Once you start with the belly rub, your dog will ask for it again and again! And in my opinion, it’s OK to give it!
So regardless of the reason my dog and so many others love a good belly rub, I recommend we keep doing it! I’ll start to pet Yankee on the top of his head and he immediately turns over and wants his belly rubbed. OK I give! I’ll get down on the floor, put his head on my lap and spend the next 20 minutes or so slowly and softly rubbing his belly. There aren’t too many better ways to spend my time, and there’s not a better way to bond with my dog!