The belly is their softest, most vulnerable part. Dogs are naturally inclined to keep it protected and out of sight. So the mystery seems to be why my Dogue de Bordeaux lays on his back from time to time? Doesn’t that go against nature? Let’s find out.

Feels Safe & Secure

The only times dogs lie on their backs are when they’re trying to appease another dog (or a person) by showing submission, or when they’re feeling so safe and peaceful that they forget all about their instinctive trepidation.

“A dog who sleeps on his back is a dog who’s really comfortable and who feels very safe,” says Cynthia Jacobs, D.V.M.

Once Dogues de Bordeaux are sufficiently secure to lie on their backs-and in today’s pet-loving families, it usually doesn’t take very long-they find all kinds of good reasons to do it, says Dr. Jacobs.

Temperature Control

Dogues de Bordeaux curl up to keep warm and stretch out to cool off. All dogs have less hair and more nerve endings on their bellies than on their backs, so exposing their bellies to the air probably feels very good. The sparse fur allows the breeze to reach their skin more easily, thus cooling them off.

Catch Some Rays

Getting the sun is another reason Dogues de Bordeaux may lie on their backs in the yard. Apart from their noses, the belly is the only place that isn’t covered with thick fur. The sensation of direct sunlight is pleasant and beneficial for their health. Dogs do not think about sunburns, although they can get sunburned just like us, so you must monitor how long they are allowed to sun bathe.


Dogues are super smart. Sometimes they lie on their backs simply because they know we will notice them. If your Dogue de Bordeaux gets a belly rub whenever he rolls onto his back, you can bet he’s going to be smart enough to do it again. When they have reason to believe that a belly rub is in their future, or they hope to invite one, they’ll roll over, splay their legs apart, and put their bellies in the most “petable” position.

“When your dog rolls over on his back in front of you, he’s usually asking for your love and attention,” says Jeff Nichol, D.V.M.

In conclusion, next you see Hooch flat on his back with his legs sticking in the air, don’t panic, he’s just enjoying himself.

***DISCLAIMER – The photos in this post are purchased stock images and are NOT my own personal Dogues***