Does my doggie need a belly rub?
Updated: Apr 2, 2020
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.
Excerpt from article by Kayla Fratt