We’ve all scratched that oh-so-good spot on our dog’s back and seen them kick their leg with glee. But what exactly is happening there? Is it a reflex, or is your dog ticklish?
Well, that depends on how we define ticklish. Dogs respond to scratches behind their ears, on their chest, along their belly, and at the base of their tail. But oftentimes, a “tickle” is nothing more than an involuntary movement as a response to touch. Read on to find out which spots you can find at all.
What are the tickle sweet spots ?
Like their human counterparts, the belly is a go-to spot for a quality tickle. Other spots include the chest, right between the front legs; the belly; and on the back legs near the base of the tail. Keep scratching away until you’ve hit a spot that garners a positive response, like a grin and a thumping foot. That’s how you know you’ve found it.
That response is called the “scratch reflex,” which is an involuntary reaction to an irritant, like a bug. The scratching actives under the skin, which are connected to the spinal cord and send a message to the muscles to fire. In fact, this is how veterinarians diagnose neurological issues. If there is no muscle movement when prompted, that could signal nerve damage or neurological trauma.
Why does my dog ?? roll on his back when he’s tickled ?
It depends – sometimes it’s a move of submission. Other times, you’re playing and tickling, your dog is comfortable with you, and he rolls on his back because a belly rub sounds so good. If you’re giving him lots of good pets and he wants that belly rub, he’ll often drop to the floor and roll over for prime access. It’s a feel-good spot for your dog, and it’s not shy about letting you know.
Do dogs like being tickled ?
For humans, tickling is not always that much fun. In fact, in some cases it is also used as a form of torture. How do we make sure our dogs are enjoying it and not in distress? Keep an eye on the dog’s body language. The big ol ‘stretch and side smile is generally a pretty good sign that your pooch is all about the serious scratching going on.
If he shows any signs of being upset-raised hair, snarling, snapping-recognizing that the touch makes him uncomfortable, and respect his boundaries. It’s just like humans, really. Tickling might be funny and tolerable for a minute, but it can get painful quickly.