Why Do Dogs Roll on Their Back?

Why Do Dogs Roll on Their Back?

If you are a pet parent you already know that your dog does a lot of cute and weird things to get your attention.

Rolling on their back and exposing their bellies to you is one such thing. We all have seen our dogs rolling themselves on the grass or the carpet and going bananas.

Whether that belly is skinny, pudgy, furry, or hairless, you simply can’t refuse to rub it. Dogs love getting their bellies rubbed. But have you ever wondered why do dogs roll on their back?

Dogs rub their back for a number of different reasons.

But there’s so much more to that behavior of a dog which we are going to uncover in this guide. Let’s get started…

Why Do Dogs Roll on Their Back?

Your dog rolls on its back to show submissiveness, trust, happiness, scratch an itch, mask their scent, cool down, ask for a belly rub, and more. 

Reasons Why Dogs Roll on Their Backs

You might find it a bit strange but dogs roll on their backs for many different reasons. Some are just the behavioral cues and quirks while some of the reasons could be a sign of something more.

Here are some reasons why your dog roll over grass or carpet.

To Scratch an Itch

More often or not, dogs roll on their back to scratch an itch on the parts of their body that are difficult for them to reach. Though this can be completely normal behavior, if your dog is scratching more often it’s worth investing further.

Check their skin and fur carefully for the presence of something that could irritate them. Your dog could have ticks or fleas, or perhaps have some kind of skin allergy or infection. 

If you are concerned that your dog may have a skin infection or something that is causing itchy skin, it is better to call a veterinarian.

There are medications that can soothe your dog’s itchy skin and can help with the allergy. 

To Mask Their Scent

Another possible reason why your dog scratches its back is to cover up its scent. Whether it’s a bath in cow manure, some dead animal, or just poop — dogs wear foul smells like humans wear perfume. 

Something that smells nice to you might not to your dog — most especially your dog’s shampoo. As a result your freshly bathed dogs as soon as gets the chance and find something that is acceptable — roll themselves around it. And it could even be poop.

Many believe that this behavior goes back to when dogs’ ancestors would mask their scent to sneak up on their prey. Wolves have also been observed to roll their bodies to cover their scent. 

They’re Being Submissive

The reason why your dog might roll on its back could be that it is being submissive. This does not mean that they are afraid of you but it could mean they’re not 100% comfortable with you.

If they lick their lips, tuck their tail, and roll on their back, it means they’re being submissive. If they do this, patting or rubbing their belly is the best course of action. 

This is the instinct that your dog inherited from its ancestors. This actually makes more sense when your dog’s ancestors were living in the pack. This is the behavior that shows that the dog poses no risk to the pack. 

This is quite common when a dog enters into the territory of another predator by accident and simply doesn’t want to start a fight. 

But when a dog does this behavior to you, they’re showing you that they trust you as a leader. Some owners take this behavior further and train their dog to roll its back on their command. 

They’re Happy

Rolling on the back can be a joyous moment for dogs. We all know dogs love to spend time with their owners. Your dog might be just rolling on its back because he is happy to see you. When your dog does this, it means they’re in the happiest state.

This is a sign of trust and confidence that your dog has in you as its leader. We can see this behavior when they’re sleeping. Dogs who sleep on their backs are the total ease when they’re at their home. They know that no predator can attract them as you as their alpha is there to protect them. 

A dog that rolls its back is at total confidence and relaxation. Certainly, this is a sign that they’re happy. 

To Cool Down

Another reason why your dog might be rolling its back on the grass is that it is trying to cool down.  If your dog is rolling on a hot and humid day, it could be its way of cooling itself down. In that case, make sure your pooch is drinking enough water.

You need to take some measures to ensure that your dog stays cool especially during the summer months. You can do this by making sure that your dog stays in shaded areas, grooming it more often, and keeping it in an air-conditioned room. 

The best way to understand your dog’s behavior is by spending time. This is a great way to get on his good side and strengthen your relationship. 

Should I Encourage This Behavior?

It is completely normal for dogs to roll their backs, even though they do it for many different reasons. 

And the answer to the question, if you should stop your dog from rolling, is it depends. If your dog is happy and rolling in the grass, you need not stop the behavior.

On the other hand, if your dog seeks out dead animals or poops to roll in, you should discourage this behavior.

The most effective way to stop this behavior is to direct your dog to do something else. And if you notice any kind of allergy or infection on your pooch’s skin, you may need to call the veterinarian. A vet might be better able to examine your dog and recommend some medications. 

About the author

Johnny is dedicated to providing useful information on commonly asked questions on the internet. He is thankful for your support ♥

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