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Why Does My Dog Rub Against Me?

why does my dog rub against me

Having a canine companion is so much fun, but some of the behaviors exhibited by them make us feel annoyed. Well, we are sure, like us, you too, have had an encounter with such dog behavior. In particular, here we are discussing the condition when your dog starts rubbing against you.

If you are feeling annoyed with this behavior shown by them, then keep reading. In this article, we will discuss certain aspects related to the dog’s behavior so that you can easily figure out the reason and treat them accordingly. Let’s get started!

Reasons behind dog rubbing its body against you

Mainly, it is integral to know the reason behind it. Well, there are so many reasons why dogs do so. But some of the common ones are mentioned below:

You are rewarding them for doing so

If you reward your dog for rubbing against you, this will act as an encouragement for them. Therefore, don’t reward them for such behavior. Instead, try to teach them that this is not the way to behave at all. If they repeat the same after training, then it is a matter of concern.

Dogs are dominating in nature

We all know dogs are dominating in nature, and if they are in need of something, they will start rubbing it against you. Sometimes it happens that you are not listening to them, and they want their idea to be accepted. At that moment as well, they will do the same, and forcefully, you have to fulfill their demand.

They are enjoying the act of rubbing

When dogs rub against you, they enjoy it a lot. If your dog frequently does like 3 to 4 times a day, then understand that they like it.

Your dog is leaving it’s scent on you

Dogs leave their scent on their masters, which acts as a tag for them for identification. When your dogs are rubbing their faces against you, they are leaving their scent so that they can easily recognize you, even in a crowd.

They are most likely bothered by skin allergies

Skin allergies irritate dogs a lot. If your dog has any skin allergies, they will try to get your attention and, in their language, tell you to approach the veterinary doctor. Rubbing against you is one of the common ways they adapt to show the same.

They are feeling loved and showing it to you

When your dog feels loved, they adopt all possible ways to show it to you. Like humans, dogs also have the habit of obeying their master and showing love when they are happy with some of their moves.

Anxiety can be a reason

Anxiety can also be a cause of a dog rubbing against you. Maybe you are not spending enough time with them, and they are experiencing separation anxiety.

Rubbing against you makes them feel safe

Dogs can easily sense who is safe for them and who is not. If they are rubbing against you, they are probably feeling safe around you. Dogs love the company of their masters and try to spend most of their time with them.

They are in need of something

We all know that dogs cannot speak, but they can mimic some of the moves to express themselves. When your dog is in need of something, they will start doing such things. For example, you will see that they have started rubbing against you like a cat or nibbling on the pillows too.

Health conditions let them do so

Lastly, health conditions are also responsible for dogs’ displaying such behavior. If your dog is suffering from a gastrointestinal problem or another condition, they want you to be aware of it. By rubbing against you, they are getting your attention.

Is rubbing a way for dogs to show love?

Every living being has its own way of showing love. Well, dogs too adapt in the best possible way to show it. According to research, dogs start rubbing their faces against you to show love and to get to know you. 

Don’t forget, dogs also feel loved by the moves humans make towards them. If your dog suddenly starts doing so, it will feel loved and happy by the move you made. For example, if you feed them their favorite food, they will rub against you to show love and thank you. 

What to do about your dog rubbing its body on you?

If this behavior of dogs is troubling you, there are some measures you can adapt to stop them or, in general, to deal with them. They are as follows:-

Don’t forget to reward them when they are obeying you

We feel happy when someone obeys our commands or pays attention to our requests. If your dog has done so, don’t forget to reward them. For example, when you stop them from doing so, and they obey, reward them for the same. This reward will help them remember that they are not supposed to do it.

Try to create happy surroundings around them

Happy surroundings are liked by everyone. If you create such surroundings around them that make them anxious, they will adapt to certain ways to portray it, and rubbing against you is one of them. Thus, it is important for you to pay attention to whether the surroundings are bearable for them.

Pay attention to them

Don’t ignore your dog. Ignoring them can make them feel anxious and sad. When dogs are sad and anxious, they try to get involved in things that can attract your attention. Thus, try to spend some more time with your dog and pay attention to their wants and needs too. 

Train your dog to stop rubbing

Training can play a big role in changing your dog’s behavior. When you train your dog for good habits, they will surely show the same. Thus, when your dog is doing so, stop them and train them not to do the same. It is up to you how you train them. Also, if you have no time to train them on your own, visit the dog care center nearby and discuss it with them. 

Don’t yell at them

If you are yelling at your dog, they will probably get angry and start rubbing against you like a cat. Thus, when they are doing so, don’t yell at them; instead, handle the situation calmly. This will save you from unnecessary trouble, and they will learn that this is not a good habit at all.

Frequently Asked Questions about dog rubbing against your body

  1. What else happened when your dog first started rubbing its body on you?

    Well, there are so many reasons for which your dog first started rubbing its body against you. These are as follows:
    > They are in need of something.
    > Skin Allergies
    > Feeling hungry
    > Need your attention.
    > Sensing something unusual
    > Making you aware of something unusual

  2. What is different when your dog tends to rub against you?

    If you have trained your dog to not do so and they are still doing so, there is something they want to convey. Don’t yell at them; instead, try to read their body language and respond to the things in their surroundings. This will let you know whether they are happy or in some kind of confusion. Sometimes it happens that they are not aware of their surroundings and want you to know the same too.

  3. How to understand my dog's body language while he is rubbing his body against me?

    As a canine friend, you might be aware of the moves he makes when he is happy or sad. Along with that, human instinct plays a big role. If you have a close relationship with your dog, the way they treat you will help you deduce their mental state. For example, if your dog is confused, the same will be reflected on their face, and likewise, when they are happy, you will see it in their eyes. Most importantly, when dogs are happy, they start wagging their tail.

  4. How can I tell if my dog is anxious or happy when he rubs up against me?

    When your dog is rubbing against you, try to analyze what else they are doing. When they are happy, they will engage in some other activities too, like licking you or roaming here and there in the surroundings, but when they are anxious, they will probably not do so.

The takeaway from all this

While your dog is rubbing against you, it is their common behavior, as we have discussed above. In 95% of cases, there is nothing to be concerned about. But if they are doing it due to many health-related conditions, then you need to approach the veterinary doctor for treatment. Don’t worry, you will be able to figure that out with their moves and the manner in which they are treating you!

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anuja saxena author at anifirm

I am a dog lover who spent her childhood in the company of a friendly Labrador Retriever. I believe that pets make our lives more enjoyable and stress-free. So, here I am, attempting to share my experiences and knowledge to improve the lives of pets and pet owners.