Pugs are the perfect companion dogs that love being around their human owner. They never get tired of being pet, rubbed, cuddling, sitting on your lap or being loved on. As an owner, you’ll never tire of giving your pooch the attention they desire but do Pugs like belly rubs?
Do Pugs Like Belly Rubs?
The short answer is “Yes” most Pugs will love having their belly rubbed and scratched. Some dogs can’t resist a good belly rub or scratch and the reasons are both neurological and behavioral reasons.
The behavior of dogs exposing their bellies is a trait that is an ancestral trait that is rooted in wolf pack behavior. Non-alpha pack members would roll over and expose their belly under a dominant wolf.
Let’s take a closer look at why Pugs are quick to roll over into a submissive position right in front of you.
Why Do Pugs Like Belly Rubs?
According to experts, canines have a specific brain neuron that is stimulated when the hair follicles on their tummy are rubbed.
This type of stimulation is only possible in the stroking motion, such as petting, and belly rubs.
Why Do Pugs Expose Their Bellies?
The reason your Pug rolls over and exposes his belly to you is actually very interesting. We’ve all seen those adorable videos on social media when a dog rolls over on his back when they are introduced to a newborn baby.
It doesn’t mean that the dog is waiting for a belly rub. Instead, it’s a sign of submission.
Maybe you’ve seen your Pug roll over on their back when they are playing with other dogs? This is actually a good sign most of the time and this is the reason why.
When Pugs roll over their back during playtime or any other time, they are being submissive.
Dogs will only expose their belly when they are comfortable and don’t feel threatened. If your Pug is rolling over and exposing his belly to you, it means they feel safe around you and trust you completely.
Should You Rub Their Belly?
Well, it really depends, does your dog want you to touch their belly? Not all dogs will want you to touch their belly. Just like some dogs don’t mind having their paws touched, others will cry out like you’re hurting them.
Your dog will let you know if they’re ready to have their belly rubbed. When your pup rolls over on their back and exposes their belly, then you can gently rub and scratch until either they get tired or you do. (you’ll probably tire out before they do)
You never want to force them to roll over so you can rub their belly. This will most likely create anxious behaviors and you’ll lose the trust of your pooch.
Some dogs may even attempt to bite you because they are being forced to do something they don’t feel comfortable doing.
Don’t worry if your dog doesn’t like belly rubs. There are plenty of other things you can do with your Pug to show them you love them (here are some fun activity ideas).
How To Tell If Your Dog Enjoys It
If you’ve never had a dog before, you might be thinking, how do I know if my dog actually enjoys it? After all, your dog can’t tell you they enjoy something as humans can.
Well, it’s not as hard as might think. That being said, you need to understand the difference between submissive behavior vs wanting a belly rub.
Signs Your Dog Wants A Belly Rub
- Their body is loose and floppy without any signs of tension.
- Your Pugs mouth looks relaxed and their tongue may even be hanging out.
- They may be wagging their tail from all the excitement.
- Your Pug will flop down right in front of you with their belly exposed.
Pug Displaying Submissive or Appeasing Behavior
When a dog rolls over onto their back, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an invitation for a belly rub. Here are some signs that your dog is just being submissive.
- Their body may tense or freeze as you approach them.
- Your dog may growl or snarl when she is approached while on her back.
- Some dogs will piddle when they are showing signs of submission.
- A Pug will avoid eye contact if they are not interested in a belly rub.
You know your furbaby better than anyone else. Pay attention to their body language while you’re rubbing their belly. If they are not enjoying it, then stop immediately.
Why Does My Pug Kick Their Legs When Getting A Belly Rub?
Many people think that their dog is kicking because they are enjoying the rubbing or it is ticklish. The truth is that it’s an involuntary response, kind of like when a doctor taps on your knee patellar, it causes an involuntary knee-jerk.
The involuntary leg kicking response on canines is called a “scratch reflex” or “tickle response.” Rubbing a dog’s belly activates nerves under the skin which are connected to the spinal cord.
This, in turn, relays a message to the brain to kick his leg to help keep your pooch away from danger. Basically, it is a self-preservation involuntary instinct.
Conclusion On Pugs And Belly Rubs
I’ve never met a Pug that didn’t love getting a good old fashioned belly rub. That being said, not all Pugs may want their belly rubbed.
If your Pug enjoys it and rolls over on their own, then reward them with one, if your dog doesn’t enjoy it, don’t force it.
References And Further Reading
VetStreet – Linda Fiorella – Why Does My Dog…Like to Have His Belly Rubbed?
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How To Tell If Your Pug Is Happy