Why Do Dogs Like to Be Scratched Above Their Tail? (the facts)

Many of the dogs I know enjoy having the region above their tail scratched. What is it about above-tail scratches that dogs adore?

Quick Answer

The base of a dog’s tail is densely packed with nerve endings and blood vessels, which makes it very responsive to touch. Being a difficult-to-reach area, rubbing it will cause physical pleasure for the dog and a mechanism for endorphins to be released, making them feel calm and joyful.

This article explores why dogs love scratches above the tail, where they especially like to be scratched, and whether they have sweet spots.

golden retriever dog lying on the ground playing

Why Do Dogs Like Above-Tail Scratching?

Every morning when I get home from work, my dog greets me with a peculiar ritual. He jumps on my lap, turns around, presents his tail like a royal scepter, and gives me a look as if to say, “Finally! You’re just in time! Butt-scratches commence now!”

My dog prefers rump scratching and expert ear rubs. He can’t reach this area and can only scratch his lower back if rolling around on the carpet or grass.

It’s similar to when someone rubs a spot on your back that you can’t get to. It simply feels great when scratching an itch, and given the area is highly sensitive and has a lot of nerve endings, it’s no wonder they enjoy it.

The sensitivity in the above-tail region can be attributed to a cluster of nerve endings, and when stimulated, these nerves send pleasure signals to a dog’s brain, explaining their love for butt scratches.

When you start scratching that region, every dog goes crazy and acts as if it’s the only thing that counts. I had many dogs, and they were all fascinated by and reacted to butt scratches. Most dogs enjoy this.

There is nothing sexual about it. It simply feels good for dogs to have that place scratched.

Not all dogs respond to the rump scratch as favorably, though many enter a euphoric condition. Some dogs dislike having that area touched at all. When a dog doesn’t want its buttocks scratched, the reaction is likely to be a growl or snap, or the dog may simply walk away.

But I haven’t met a dog that didn’t like some butt scratches. Just look at this video one below:

Dog getting scratches above the tail

While dogs undoubtedly enjoy a good butt scratch due to this ‘pleasure zone’, which releases endorphins, it’s important to be observant. Excessive scratching requests or sudden sensitivity could be their way of hinting at an underlying skin issue.

Could It Be a Health Issue?

If your dog constantly asks you to scratch his back, there could be an underlying allergy or skin disease, so it would be wise to inspect this area. It could be a flea allergy or irritation on rare occasions.

If you are concerned that your dog may be experiencing discomfort or itchiness, it’s a good idea to take them to the vet for a check-up. The vet can rule out any skin issues or parasites that may be causing your dog’s itchiness. If your dog is healthy, then it’s possible they just prefer being scratched in that area.

Where Do Dogs Like to Be Scratched the Most?

Dogs have many areas on their body that they particularly enjoy being scratched, including:

  • Behind the ears. This area has a lot of nerve endings and is a typical spot for dogs to enjoy being scratched.
  • The base of the tail. Like their ears, dogs have a lot of nerves at the base of their tail that feels good when scratched.
  • The chest. Many dogs enjoy having their chest scratched as it is a relaxing spot.
  • The belly. Some dogs enjoy rubbing their stomach, but it’s essential to be gentle as it’s a sensitive area.
  • The paws. Many dogs enjoy having their paws and the pads of their feet scratched.

The best area is whatever your dog appreciates the most, and they’ll let you know. Keep an eye on their reactions and move as they want you to. Most dogs will be clear about which part they prefer.

Do Dogs Have a Sweet Spot?

Dogs have what is known as a “sweet spot,” which is usually located above their tail (what this article is about). This area is delightful for dogs to scratch because it contains a high density of nerve endings and has a high blood flow, making it sensitive to touch.

Inside-the-ear scratching is equally as ideal for dogs as it is for people. It’s another favorite area for dogs, and for some of them, it’s a sweet spot. Some of them enter a trance of contentment, and we can see how much they love these scratches.

In any case, they appreciate it, and you should keep it up. It’s fun for them and entertaining for you.


Why do some dogs kick when you pet them?

The spinal nerves of the dog flow through his chest and belly, and stimulation of these nerves causes a sensation of “itchiness” anywhere on his body, causing the rear leg to involuntarily seek to scratch it. 

It’s a reflex they typically can’t control. When dogs scratch their bellies, they move their feet as a somatic reflex. It feels fantastic, and it’s often tough to scratch that area.

Do dogs like when you touch their tails?

It depends on the dog. Some dogs may appreciate having their tails touched and wag cheerfully, while others may dislike or be sensitive in that area. Take note of their body language. They will most likely appreciate it if they are comfortable and joyful. Avoid if they show signs of pain.

If your dog shows signs of pain, there may be issues with the tail. On rare occasions, their tails are docked to prevent further injuries or diseases. Consult your vet for the best course of action.

What does petting feel like to a dog?

Petting a dog can be as lovely for them as receiving a massage for a human. Petting can cause the production of endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that cause pleasure and relaxation, and it can frequently feel really nice, especially if you find their “sweet spot.”

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