Are animals (specifically dogs) ticklish?

10 April 2011

Question

Are animals (specifically dogs) ticklish? I would think they are? I love your show, I listen to your podcast every week!!

Answer

Kat - Sad news is, they're probably not. Some people do say and certainly, I know this from my parents' dogs, that if you scratch them in a particular spot like behind their ears or on their tummy, their back legs starts moving like crazy. Sadly, this isn't actually tickling. It's actually a scratching reflex that they have that helps them to scratch away fleas. So, the research that I've found at the moment suggests that they're not actually ticklish. Sorry.

Chris - Because horses do that too. If you actually touch the horse on the wrong place when you're sort of doing up the saddle then touch their withers then they get terribly upset and they bite you or kick you.

Kat - Yeah, it's a reflex.

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