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  • Writer's pictureMarina Veronica

Reading your Dog's Body Language: Belly Rubs

Updated: Apr 27, 2023


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Dogs who actually want a belly rub will generally show the following body language signals:

Overall: loose, wiggly body postures

Mouth: relaxed, open mouth—you might see their tongue flopping around

Eyes: Open or squinty, bright and not necessarily staring at anything

Tail: relaxed, wagging tail

Vocalizations: quiet ha-ha sound as they "laugh," or a light panting sound, or silent

In contrast, a dog who is showing submissive or appeasing behavior will look like this:

Overall: tense, low body postures—they may crouch, freeze, or tense up

Mouth: lips pulled far back in a "fear grimace" or lips and mouth closed, may see lots of lip-licking and tongue-flicking

Eyes: wide open and staring into the distance, or showing the whites of their eyes as they look at you, without turning their head, or eyes will be squinty and tense

Tail: may be still or wagging, but will have tension in the base of the tail and the tail may be tucked.

Vocalizations: quiet or soft whining.

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