Why Do Dogs Push Their Bum Against You?


Have you ever wondered why your beloved furry friend has the peculiar habit of pushing their bum against you? It might seem strange or even uncomfortable, but fear not!

Table: Outline of the Article

Heading Subheading
1. Introduction  
2. Canine Communication  
3. Scent Marking Behavior  
4. Territory and Dominance  
5. Attention-seeking  
6. Discomfort or Itching  
7. Submission  
8. Improper Socialization  
9. Medical Issues  
10. Understanding Body Language  
11. What to Do  
12. Conclusion  
13. FAQs  

Canine Communication

Dogs have their unique way of communicating with both humans and other dogs. They rely heavily on body language to express their emotions, intentions, and needs. Understanding their subtle cues can help us decipher their behaviors, including the enigmatic act of pushing their bum against us.

Scent Marking Behavior

One possible reason behind this behavior is scent marking. Dogs have scent glands located near their anus, and when they rub their bum against objects or even against us, they are leaving their scent as a form of communication. It’s their way of saying, “Hey, I’ve been here!”

Territory and Dominance

In the canine world, establishing territory and asserting dominance is of utmost importance. By pushing their bum against us, dogs might be claiming us as part of their territory or displaying dominance. It’s their way of saying, “This is mine, and I’m in charge here!”


Dogs are social animals and crave attention from their human companions. Pushing their bum against us can be a way for them to seek our attention and affection. They might have learned that this behavior gets a reaction from us, whether it’s a pat on the head or a gentle scratch behind the ears.

Discomfort or Itching

Sometimes, the reason behind a dog pushing their bum against us can be as simple as discomfort or itching. They might be experiencing anal gland irritation, allergies, or even fleas. By rubbing against us, they are trying to alleviate the discomfort or itchiness they feel in that area.


In the realm of canine body language, exposing the vulnerable areas of the body, such as the belly or the bum, is a sign of submission. Dogs may push their bum against us as a way to show submissiveness and respect. It’s their way of saying, “I trust you, and I acknowledge your authority.”

Improper Socialization

Improper socialization during a dog’s early stages of development can result in unusual behaviors later in life. If a dog hasn’t been exposed to proper socialization with other dogs and humans, they may exhibit odd behaviors, including pushing their bum against people. It could be a result of a lack of understanding of appropriate social cues.

Medical Issues

In some cases, the behavior of pushing their bum against us could be a sign of an underlying medical issue. Conditions such as anal gland problems, urinary tract infections, or even gastrointestinal discomfort can cause a dog to exhibit this behavior. If you notice any other accompanying symptoms or if the behavior persists, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any potential health concerns.

Understanding Body Language

To better understand our dog’s intentions, it’s important to pay attention to their overall body language. Dogs communicate not only through their vocalizations but also through their posture, facial expressions, and tail movements. Observing the context and accompanying cues can provide valuable insights into why they may be pushing their bum against us.

What to Do

If your dog exhibits this behavior and it doesn’t seem to be related to a medical issue, there are a few things you can do:

  1. Observe the situation: Take note of the context and any accompanying cues to gain a better understanding of why your dog might be engaging in this behavior.
  2. Provide proper outlets: Ensure that your dog has plenty of appropriate outlets for their natural instincts and behaviors, such as regular exercise, mental stimulation, and access to appropriate marking areas.
  3. Seek professional help: If the behavior becomes concerning or problematic, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional dog trainer or animal behaviorist who can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation.


In conclusion, there are several potential reasons why dogs push their bum against us. From instinctual scent marking behavior to seeking attention or expressing submission, our furry companions have their unique ways of communicating with us. By paying attention to their body language and considering various factors, we can gain a deeper understanding of their motivations. Remember, every dog is different, and it’s important to approach their behavior with patience, understanding, and love.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1: Is it normal for my dog to push their bum against me?

Yes, it can be normal for dogs to engage in this behavior. However, it’s essential to observe the context and consider other factors to determine the underlying motivation behind it.

Q2: Can pushing their bum against me be a sign of aggression?

In most cases, pushing their bum against you is not a sign of aggression. It is more likely to be a form of communication, seeking attention, or displaying submission. However, if you have concerns about your dog’s behavior, it’s best to consult with a professional.

Q3: How can I discourage this behavior if it makes me uncomfortable?

If the behavior makes you uncomfortable, you can redirect your dog’s attention to more appropriate behaviors using positive reinforcement techniques. For example, rewarding them for sitting or offering an alternative behavior.

Q4: Should I punish my dog for pushing their bum against me?

No, it’s not recommended to punish your dog for engaging in this behavior. Punishment can create fear or anxiety in your dog, potentially worsening the situation. Focus on positive reinforcement and redirecting their behavior to more desirable alternatives.

Q5: When should I be concerned about this behavior?

If the behavior is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, persists despite attempts to redirect it, or if you have any doubts or concerns, it’s always a good idea to consult with a veterinarian or a professional dog trainer to rule out any potential medical issues or underlying behavioral problems.