Canine Body Language: Some Dogs Don’t Want Belly Rubs!

Does your dog like belly rubs?

Many dogs really enjoy having their tummies scratched. However, if your dog routinely offers their belly up when approached, it could also have a very different meaning.

Which of the dogs below would welcome a belly rub, and which ones are asking you to leave them alone? Can you tell the difference?

Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa

Donovan

Donovan

199

Layla

Abraham

Abraham

Boomer

Boomer

Bob

Bob

Harry

Harry

Dogs who truly want their bellies rubbed will be loose and floppy, with soft eyes and wiggly bodies. If your dog appears tense, looks away from you, has wide eyes (or whale eyes), licks her lips, or shows other signs of stress, she’s probably asking you to back off. This body language is known as a “tap out” or “inguinal exposure,” and should be respected by giving the dog space to feel more comfortable.

How well do you speak dog? Let us know which dogs you would give belly rubs to and which you would leave alone in the comments section below!

56 responses to “Canine Body Language: Some Dogs Don’t Want Belly Rubs!

  1. Tina Wolverson

    From these photos…. Donovan, Boomer and Harry are all saying not comfortable. Keeping in mind I’m interpreting from a single snap shot and even though I can not see some of their faces ….to me all of the rest have soft relaxed bodies.

  2. I agree with Tina, with the added comment that Bob looks like he found something really interesting to roll in, LOL!

  3. umm,,, i think Layla might have fallen asleep? our 4 yr old Lab Mix looks like this all the time, and if we rub his tummy he dozes off :)

  4. Pingback: Is the dog really asking for a belly rub? | Theo Stewart – ‘The Dog Lady’

  5. Reblogged this on Wag it! and commented:
    Great article! It’s very important to read dog’s body language and not just assume they want to be touched (especially by strangers)

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