Most dogs like to have their ears rubbed. It all has to do with the nerves in the dog’s ears which happen to be very sensitive to touch. Its kind of like reflexology for dogs. You rub the inside of their ears, or perhaps behind their ears on the top of their head, and the nerves are stimulated, and the dog relaxes.
I read an article recently that indicated rubbing your dog’s ears could be so effective at relaxing your dog, that he/she could slip into such a state of relaxation as to fall asleep. Apparently, rubbing the dog’s ears sends impulses to the hypothalmus and pituitary glands. As a result, the glands secrete endorphins and pain killing hormones that make the dog feel relaxed and in some cases euphoric. Woohoo! Rub the dog’s ears and give ’em a natural high!
Whenever Clover is being crazy, like barking at nothing, fussing over nothing, pacing because I haven’t got a clue as to what she’s all upset about, I will call her over and rub at the base of her ears with my thumbs. This invokes a deep sigh and visible relaxation. You can see the tension desert her.
Cosmo, on the other hand, doesn’t mind having his ears rubbed, but seeing as he’s already the world’s most laid back Labrador, the ear rub doesn’t evoke any kind of noticeable or magical reaction.
Note to self: Next time you feel tense or stressed, rub ears and see if this works on humans.