Why does the dog swing on its back? And what to do with it?
Ekaterina Kastritskaya, psychologist, specialist in animal therapy, consultant on animal behavior and well-being
Surely every dog owner has ever seen his pet swinging on his back. Why do dogs swing on their backs and what to do about it?
Why do dogs like to swing on their backs?
Researchers still have not agreed on why dogs so love to swing on their backs. There are several hypotheses that offer an explanation for this habit.
- Pleasure. When the dog is lying on its back, it stimulates the nerve endings that are connected to the hair follicles, so this is a kind of massage. Some dogs especially like to swing in the snow and grass, and it is obvious that the process gives them a lot of pleasure. Sometimes in this way dogs try to deal with stress.
- Itching. The dog itches its back, and it does not work to reach the itchy place with the teeth or the hind paw. And what remains, except to roll on your back to relieve itching? If this happens rarely, there is probably no cause for concern. But if the dog often sways on its back and whines or squeaks at the same time, itch may be painful for it and it is associated with the presence of parasites or a dermatological disease.
- Hygiene. It is believed that, while riding in the snow or grass, the dog removes dead hair or simply cleans the coat.
- New smell. Do not feed some dogs with bread - let them wallow in rotten meat or feces! Of course, this does not please the owners at all, although such behavior is quite natural for a dog. However, its cause is also not yet precisely established.Some believe that dogs mask their smell in this way. Others - what a dog does to enjoy a new smell - is similar to how people use perfumes. There is also a hypothesis that dogs swing on their backs to convey their own smell and thus “note”: “I was here.”
What if the dog sways on his back?
The owner’s actions depend on the reason the dog is riding on his back.
- If the dog swings on his back often, and even squeaks or whines, it is worth consulting with a veterinarian. Perhaps the cause is parasites or skin disease, and the sooner treatment begins, the better.
- If the dog rolls on his back after swimming, the smell of shampoo or balm may be too harsh for her.
- If the cause of wallowing on your back is stress or boredom, this is an occasion to reconsider the dog's living conditions. Perhaps it is worth enriching the environment in which she lives and adding diversity?