I watched a dog programme where they said this meant the dog was feeling threatened and was saying it's ok I don't want any trouble...my dog does this sometimes when we are waiting at the school gates and people come to fuss her.she seems very happy ,jumping up and keen for a fuss...so is the programme right ? Is she feeling threatened in that situation? Thanks in advance x
They do it for lots of reasons. Kind of like humans lick their lips because: a) they have dry lips or b) they are nervous or c) they are hungry/salivating
Dogs are the same. They have a behaviour of rolling over that originates in puppyhood as a way of appeasing a bigger or older dog to reduce the chances of being scolded or attacked. However, as they grow up in human households this behaviour often earns them nice things like attention, sympathy, fuss and belly rubs.
Dogs like belly rubs (bitches tend to like belly rubs lower down where it feels a bit like puppies feeding and dogs tend to prefer chest rubs that feel a bit like mating). Over time they learnt his is a great way to get a belly rub.
Alternatively, they learn it is a nice way to greet people because humans tend to go a bit soppy to a dog that has rolled over and so yours may have learned that a greeting on her back is more fun than a greeting standing up.
I think it can be a sign of feeling very relaxed and safe, and wanted belly rubs. I used to have a dog (very friendly, very relaxed, toy breed) who would roll over if you so much as tickled his ear at home, and sometimes when we were out too.
cornflake that's a fantastic link! I didn't used to get what was meant by lip licking being a submissive, don't touch/hurt me gesture, as mine did it when I had nice smelling food (sausages, bacon, etc). Then I saw pictures similar to on that link and it was suddenly so obvious, once I'd seen it side by side - I'd now say I'm fairly good at reading dogs body language. Which enabled me to work on desensitizing my brother's rescue dog to other dogs (she was severely dog aggressive and the stupidly expensive behaviourist had got no-where).
Agree with Cornflake that it can mean very different things. I can't find it ATM but there is a famous video on YouTube where a man badly misinterprets the signals a golden labrador is giving out when lying on his back. He thinks he is being friendly and goes straight up to him to stroke his stomach, and gets badly bitten, as the dog was feeling extremely threatened and not at all relaxed.
Just mentioning this because your dog is doing this at the school gate with DC around, so you are right to ask the question and perhaps be cautious. He could be fine but difficult to tell without seeing your dog in RL.