Roached Back In Dogs: What It Is and Why They do it

Dogs are one of the most lovable creatures in the world. If a dog is roaching for you (a vulnerable position, where they expose their soft tissue to you), it’s almost always a sign that they trust you.

Since we love our dogs and only want what’s best for them, it’s essential to understand their health and safety. Unfortunately, one of the most commonly misunderstood behaviors of a dog is the roached back. 

What Is a Roached Back in Dogs?

A Greyhound Roaching

A roached back in dogs occurs when they have an arch in the vertebrae around the loin area and lower back region of the spine. It creates an arching appearance and almost looks like the dog is posing when they stand in one place. 

Some dogs naturally have a roached back due to their skeletal structure, the type of breed they are, and their posture. If a dog is always on the defense and presents itself in a way that elongates the spine and pushes his chest forward (to look bigger), it may eventually experience the effects of a roached back. 

However, other dogs naturally have the roached back due to genetics and breed type. For example, dachshunds, Bedlington terriers, greyhounds, German Shepherds, and pit bulls naturally have the roached back and are generally of no concern to their health.

Of all the dogs that Roach, the Greyhound is a roaching machine. When a Greyhound sleeps, they will stick their long legs in the air.

Why Do They Do It? 

roached back in dogs

Although it’s clear that some dogs naturally have this roached-back appearance, some dogs do it intentionally to show their comfort and love for someone. By offering their owner such a vulnerable part of the body, a dog shows you they trust you.

The Greyhound is the most notable dog breed that likes to roach its back to show comfort and appreciation for its owner. 

Greyhounds have this lovable nature that makes them do silly things to show their personalities, and a roaching dog position is just one of those many idiosyncrasies.

Back Scratching

Another common reason a dog may assume a roaching dog position is to simply scratch his long and itchy back. Dogs get itchy too! The best way for them to scratch the parts of their back they can’t reach is to roach their back and roll around until the friction from the ground satisfies their itch.

Playful Roaching

Some pups tend to get a little playful at times. This playfulness can play out in many ways, but a roaching back in puppies is one way a dog may present his need for some play time.

As the dog gets excited and wants to express their excitement towards their owner or another dog, they roll around on the floor and roach their backs with their legs in the air to get everybody else on board with playtime. 

To Cool Off

Another reason a dog may have a roached back is if they’re hot and trying to cool down. As they stretch out their torso in a supine position, it allows heat to leave their bodies and exposes their undercarriage, where heat can get trapped sometimes, raising their body temperature overall. 

Should a Roached Back Be Discouraged?

Although it’s impossible to tell a dog what to do with its back, should dog owners be vigilant in discouraging a roached back in dogs? 

A roached back is nothing to be concerned about unless your dog is doing it for a prolonged period of time and seems to be experiencing back pain or difficulty walking afterward. 

You can tell if your dog is having back pain by how they walk, if they seem to favor their hind legs, or if they whimper in pain when they get up off the ground after laying down or when switching positions. 

Roaching Dog Conclusion

If you have a greyhound or any other dog breed that likes to assume the roaching dog position, there is no need to worry!

All this means is that your dog loves and cares for you enough to show you their vulnerable side while expressing their true doggie emotions. So, soak it all in and enjoy the unimaginable love only a dog can give.