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Dog Facts

Are dogs ticklish?

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Dogs may not be ticklish in the same ways people are, but just like humans, it varies; Some dogs are highly ticklish; some not at all; the spots that tickle vary too.

Many dogs have an intense physical reaction to certain kinds of petting; Pet a dog’s stomach in the right spot and their leg will twitch uncontrollably. Some dogs respond this way to a specific spot, while others respond to multiple spots.

Some dog owners reported dogs responding as if they’re being tickled when the hairs between their paw pads are gently stroked; What exactly is happening in these cases? Is it a reflex, or is your dog ticklish?

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. Oftentimes, a “tickle” is nothing more than an involuntary movement as a response to touch.

That response is called the “scratch reflex”, which is an involuntary reaction to an irritant; The scratching activates nerves under the skin, which are connected to the spinal cord and send a message to the muscles to fire.