There’s no one way to explain it, but there are a few hypotheses that offer an explanation of this habit.

1️⃣ Just for pleasure. When dogs roll on their backs, they stimulate the nervous endings that are connected to hair follicles, which creates a massage effect.

Some dogs especially enjoy rolling in the snow or in the grass, and it’s obvious that this process brings them a lot of joy.

Sometimes it can also be a way to battle stress.

2️⃣ Itching. When the back is itching, but it’s impossible to reach and scratch it with teeth or paws.

What else is there to do except roll on the back in order to scratch that spot? If this doesn’t happen often, there’s most probably no need to worry.

However, if your dog tends to roll on his/her back and also whimpers or whistles while doing that, there is a chance that the itching is painful and caused by parasites or a dermatological issue.

3️⃣ Hygiene. Dogs might roll on their backs in order to remove all dead hairs or just clean their fur.

4️⃣ A new smell. Some dogs adore rolling in some quite horribly-smelling things or in feces!

Dog parents do not particularly enjoy such behavior, but it is completely natural.

However, the reason dog do it is not yet known. Some say that that’s how they disguise their own smell, others – that this helps them enjoy new smells to the fullest, like humans do with perfume.

There’s also a hypothesis that states that dogs roll on their backs in order to transfer their smell to the spot and mark it: “I was here”.

So, what do we do as dog parents?

Your actions will depend on the reason your dog rolls on his/her back.

1️⃣ If this behavior happens often and is accompanied by whining and whistling, it’s better to see a veterinarian about it. This might have to do with parasites or skin condition, and the earlier you start treating the problem, the better.

2️⃣ If your dog does it after a bath, this might be a sign that the shampoo or conditioner you are using have an overly intense smell.

3️⃣ If the reason for rolling is stress or boredom, the answer to that would be enrichment of environment and more diversity.