Why Do Dogs Roll On Their Backs and Wiggle? (2023) 7 Reasons I PETSHORT


Dogs could be funny creatures. Their behavior is designed to confound us or no less than make us laugh. One in all those behaviors is the seemingly random act of rolling over on its back and wiggling. Why do dogs roll on their backs and wiggle?

It’s as in the event that they have an itch to scratch, and sometimes, that is, actually, the case. But that’s not the one reason a dog might suddenly flop over and make an imaginary snow angel (snow or not). 

On the whole terms, your dog uses body language to speak with you, other dogs, and absolutely anything else. Many house owners learn to know much of their pet’s behavior and may tell when a dog is joyful or in distress. 

Within the case of rolling over and wiggling, which of those is it? It may well be either. Let’s dig into this behavior and discover the possible reasons dogs roll within the grass, dirt, floor, park, or simply about anywhere.

Here is why dogs roll on their backs and wiggle. 

Why Do Dogs Roll On Their Backs and Wiggle? (2023) 7 Reasons 1
Image by Pinpals from Pixabay 

First: Should You Be Concerned?

Firstly, it’s value knowing that just as with all dog behaviors, rolling on its back is neither good nor bad in and of itself. Most times, this can be a behavior habit and never a medical condition in any respect. Whether or not the behavior is healthy could also be a matter at times, but often not on this case. 

happy-rolling-dog.Photo by Valeria Boltneva from Pexels

Why Do Dogs Roll On Their Backs and Wiggle?

1. Your Dog Is Itchy and Scratchy

The primary possible reason mentioned above, and the seemingly most blatant, is that your dog has an itch to scratch. In spite of everything, humans do it when the itch is unreachable — we search for a pointy wall end or door frame to wiggle on. 

Nevertheless, suppose it’s doing this much more often than what is cheap. In that case, it’s possible you’ll be inside reason to research whether your pup is affected by an allergy or other form of skin irritation. Allergies and irritations could cause additional complications that will grow to be more unpleasant for the dog and also you as time goes on. 

An excellent scratch at times is okay. Scratching several times a day over an prolonged period may indicate other issues. Canine allergies can stem from the environment, just like the ground, grass, parasites obtained from the soil within the yard, and so forth. Dogs can also suffer from food allergies. Dust, pollen, and mold are also known to be allergens for dogs.

dalmation rolling in the grass

For those who suspect an allergy or skin infection, speak along with your vet to have it treated immediately. 

2. Your Dog Is Attempting to Be Cool

Most individuals know that dogs will pant or expose their tongues to chill off after they are hot. The belly, which often has lighter fur, may also be exposed to supply additional relief. Also, dogs will expose their paws, as some breeds also can cool off this fashion. 

asphalt-pupImage by Liselotte Brunner from Pixabay

3. Your Dog Is Greeting You (Or Others)

Some dogs love their humans. Once they see you, they incline to indicate you that they welcome your presence and aren’t any threat to you. So that they roll over onto their backs, wag their tails, and squirm and wiggle. Normally, that is accompanied by enthusiastic licking and lightweight yelping. 

It also pertains to exposing its belly to indicate you that it offers vulnerability and trust. Sometimes, it could exhibit this behavior when in an odd place or meeting latest people and dogs. This is just to say, “I’m not a threat.” Let’s have a good time as a substitute. 

howling-roll-dogImage by Anja Schröder from Pixabay 

4. Your Dog Wants Attention

Similar in function to greeting you, your dog can also ask for some attention. Rolling over sometimes invites a play session. Exposure to its belly almost compels us to go and scratch it, and a dog is more prone to tolerate this than, say, a cat. 

Dogs may learn this from puppies, as everyone seems to like giving them tummy rubs. Once they want some attention as adults, it seems logical to supply the one thing humans can’t resist. 

Spending time along with your dog can tremendously profit your relationship and health. Your dog loves you and needs to be a component of your day by day life. Why not engage in kind?

Caution: Dogs may tolerate tummy rubbing greater than cats, but some can suddenly determine to not prefer it anymore. An excellent approach is to a pet in brief bursts (two or three rubs), then stop, and see in case your dog is inviting more of the identical. That ought to be the beginning of a superb play session. 


Image by Michael Treu from Pixabay 

5. Your Dog Desires to Be a Secret Agent

The heading here is just tongue-in-cheek. It means a dog may roll on its back to obscure its scent in a specific environment. That is instinctive behavior, likely handed down genetically, particularly in hunting dogs. 

When a dog hunts within the wild, it sometimes must mask its scent in an effort to stalk prey. It will subsequently roll around in anything that had a stronger smell. Pups today might simply engage on this behavior as an inherited habit.

So, once you’re walking your retriever or shepherd, and it decides to “engage” within the local swamp or goose-poop midden, you possibly can blame its ancestors for “dirty tactics,” so to talk. 

If, then again, you’re feeling your dog generally smells like fish, it’s possible you’ll wish to look elsewhere for answers.

A note on grass: Many dogs love the feel of grass. It smells significant (to them), it’s rough in texture, and it probably feels great on their backs. Rolling within the grass is a superbly natural behavior, too. 

Take note, nonetheless, if the grass creates any allergic reactions. Ensure that the grass is free from other stinky detritus before you welcome the pooch back on the couch or bed. 

dog rolling grass why do dogs roll in the grass

A Few Suggestions: Stop Your Dog From Rolling within the Deep

For those who’re fed up with cleansing your dog and residential from the odors and debris of the not-so-desirables, listed below are a number of things to curb the behavior.

  • The primary objective is to interrupt or distract from the behavior. Call it over or distract it by moving on as soon because it is down within the muck. 
  • Walk a brief way away with the dog (if possible) and call it again. If it comes, reward it with a treat or petting. It will reinforce the response for the longer term. You possibly can even add a prerequisite trick, like sitting before the treat.
  • In case your dog is just not on a leash, leash it. Then lead it away from the offending pile or area.
  • Once clear of the “danger,” engage them with a game or dog toy. 

two-playing-dogsImage by Mariusz from Pixabay 

6. Your Dog Is Playing a Trick

Some dogs could be tricky, creating certainly one of the concerning behaviors on this list. They’ve learned that lying on their backs can effectively lure innocent “prey” to the “kill.” This kind of behavior is normally not desired and displayed by typically anxious dogs.

The thought is that they may lie still, on their backs, and await an approach. Nevertheless, they should not relaxed and roll around with a joyful disposition. They may often appear tense and fix their gaze with eye contact. Approaching such a dog is just not a superb idea.

Greater than likely, they may begin to growl or possibly snap at you. It’s best to provide this particular example of dog-on-back behavior some consideration. The very best advice is to seek the advice of a behaviorist or no less than a vet for advice.

dogs tummy rolling in the grass

Other Cues to Be Aware Of

Hard eye contact might not be the one telltale behavior of a dog to avoid. This also applies once you witness one other dog interact with yours, even whether it is on its back on the time. 

  • A dog that stiffens up and avoids explicitly taking a look at you or the opposite dog it engages with might not be thrilled with the situation.
  • The jaws close or stiffen up, indicating tension.

tricky dogImage by Melanie Thomas from Pixabay 

7. Your Dog May Be Obsessive

A less-frequent but serious possibility is that your dog is displaying obsessive-compulsive behavior. The explanations for this compulsive and obsessive behavior might not be that obvious. Over again, it’s best to seek the advice of a behaviorist on such a matter. They could often recommend a redirection technique to curb the behavior. 

OCD in Dogs

OCD in dogs is just not entirely rare and may encompass a variety of activities besides obsessively rolling on the bottom. Other behaviors include chasing their tails, and pica, biting the partitions or thin air, and even simply barking and yelping.

happy dog rolling in the grass

More serious occurrences may result in injury, sometimes even self-harm, as pups chew or scratch uncontrollably.   
The critical aspect is that there isn’t any apparent reason for the given behavior, and it serves no purpose, happening often and without the trigger. Studies have shown that signs of such behavior often manifest before three years old and sometime after the primary 12 months.

Some studies suggest that OCD is initially brought on by a triggering incident or possibly hereditary aspects. 

Because the condition pertains to anxiety somewhat, vets may try medication-based treatment. Generally, if left untreated or undiagnosed, the behavior worsens because the dog ages. 

labrador rolling in the grass

A Note on “Alpha Rolling”

Something value noting, especially for those with puppies, is the negative impact of the “alpha roll.” That is once you, as a human, attempt to force your dog to roll over. When humans do that, they’re “forcing” their dogs to take a submissive position.

Because that is such a vulnerable position for a dog, it could grow to be related to fear and anxiety over time. As we all know, puppies are quick to learn, and training them out of this behavior could also be difficult once it’s ingrained. 

It’s also value noting that there are some advocates who support “alpha rolling.” They insist it’s an efficient technique for asserting dominance based on the idea that wolves within the wild appear to practice it.

sleeping-dogImage by Myléne from Pixabay 

Final Thoughts On Why Dogs Roll On Their Backs And Wiggle

Hopefully, this text has helped to demystify your pup’s strange habit of rolling on its back with a wiggle besides. It’s not all that mysterious, which is generally a superb thing.

The one concern you need to have is once you note a number of the problematic behavior mentioned above: doing it far too often or accompanying it with nervous, aggressive behavior. So, assuming none of those is an element, give that belly a rub. 

I covered all the costs related to writing this post on why do dogs roll on their backs and wiggle. Nevertheless, it does contain affiliate links. Meaning when you click through on a number of the links in this text and find yourself making a purchase order I could receive a small commission. It won’t affect the value that you simply pay. Just desired to let you recognize.

Have a look at this text when you’re excited about learning about more dog behaviors.


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