Why Your Dog Rubs His Head and Body Against You

Like any other behavior a dog may exhibit, context is key when it comes to figuring out why a dog is suddenly rubbing his head and body against you. Here are a few common reasons that may explain the rubbing behavior.

The Dog Wants Something from You

It could be viewed as an attention-seeking behavior if your dog rubs his head or body against you. There might be something he wants, whether that’s food, dog toys, entertainment, or a sign that the dog needs to do his toilet business. Consider when the dog has a tendency to rub against you and see if it might match with any potential needs or wants.

The Dog is Being Affectionate

Some dogs may simply be rubbing against you as a way to show their affection. You might notice your dog showing other affectionate behaviors such as showing his belly for a good rub. It might also happen more often when you are sitting or lying down.

The Dog is Being Territorial

Dogs are territorial in nature and it just so happens that they have scent glands on their face. By rubbing their face against you, it might just be a way for the dog to mark their scent on you. This might happen more often when both you and your dog encounter other dogs fairly frequently, whether that’s during walks or during play time in the dog park.

The Dog Has Health Issues

It’s the least likely of the listed reasons but some dogs may suddenly rub against you if they have a health problem. For example, a skin problem or a rash may cause itchiness and the dog may deal with the uncomfortable feeling by rubbing against you and other objects in the house. They may also show other behaviors like burying their head into you. A call to the vet might be worthwhile if you notice your dog showing any unusual or concerning symptoms and signs.

Disclaimer: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.


  • Pam and Tom | 26/12/2023

    How about when a dog deliberately bumps into their Master when walking past them? It could have been that they’ve been bad. Maybe they got the “I’m neglecting a bad dog” treatment? Or the “I got yelled at and am pissed as hell at you for yelling at me.”? Or possibly the “I’m so sorry Master. Please give me another chance.”? Or maybe the “I’m lonely and want some loving (Or some playing fetch.)”? Which of my guess are correct do you think 🤔? And more importantly, how can my husband get his 1.5 year old pure bred German Shepherd unfixed female, (If that information is important in your answer.), to stop acting like this? He feels she is showing great disrespect for him. We would be anxious for any help you could suggest.

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