How well do you know your dog’s body language?

Dogs communicate primarily through body language in the wild; vocalizations comprise a relatively small percentage of a dog’s communication toolbox. Understanding canine body language will provide you with lots of useful insight into the dog’s world; it could even prevent you from getting bitten!

Today, we’ll explore what it means when a dog rolls over and shows her belly.

Most people believe that when a dog shows her belly, it’s an act of submission; others even believe it’s an invitation for a belly rub. But this isn’t always the case.
When it’s your own dog who rolls over to show you her belly, then it is, in fact, an act of submission and/or an invitation for a belly rub. It shows that your dog views you as the alpha, the pack leader.

But when an unknown dog shows you her belly, it’s not an invitation for a belly rub. This too is an act of submission, but often, it’s because the dog feels threatened. So it’s best to back off a bit; give the dog a bit of space. An attempt to rub the dog’s belly can result in a nip!