Skip to Content

Why Do Dogs Push Their Bum Against You? Exploring the Reasons Behind This Behavior

Why Do Dogs Push Their Bum Against You

Why do dogs push their bum against you? Is it normal for your dog to press their bum against you? Whether you are a first-time pup parent or accustomed to canine behavior, the first time a dog pushes their bum against you will likely be a surprise.

The behavior might seem odd, but it’s not uncommon, and it’s rarely a problem. However, since you may end up covered in fur, it’s best to have a lint roller or pet odor remover on hand if your dog likes to press their butt against you.

To answer why your dog pushes their bum against you, we’ve consulted Decoding Your Dog: The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Dog by Debra Horwitz and colleagues. 

Let’s look at the potential causes of a pink bump on a dog’s eyelid. Next, we will explore why your dog might push their bum against you.

Just as humans convey meaning through context, dogs may use similar behaviors to convey vastly different meanings in different situations. That is why you should interpret their behaviors accordingly, factoring in everything happening in the vicinity. 

Your dog may press their bum against you in a calm environment to communicate trust. However, they may incidentally press their bum against you in a hostile or unfamiliar environment. In such a case, the rest of their body language may convey their distress and need for reassurance.

Of course, many dogs may just like sitting on you or getting their bum scratched

When Dogs Press Their Butt Against You: Understanding Your Dog’s Body Language

When Dogs Press Their Butt Against You

Dogs are fascinating, and their body language is their primary means of communication. So, as a dog owner, it’s crucial to understand what your furry friend is trying to tell you. 

For example, one of the dogs’ most intriguing behaviors is pushing their bum against you. But why do they do it?

8 Reasons Why Dogs Push Their Bum Against You

1. Appeasement Signaling

In the canine world, appeasement signals are non-aggressive behaviors dogs display to indicate submissiveness or a desire to diffuse potential conflict. A dog presenting their butt to another dog or person is mostly an appeasement signal. This is common in young dogs trying to make friends and shows that they mean no harm. Look at the video below of a bulldog puppy greeting his dad:

You will see the puppy wiggling his whole body as he walks to signal he is happy and friendly as he approaches his dad. When he reaches his dad, he quickly presents his bum to show he is being friendly and would like affection and playtime. Right after, he rolls over to show he is submissive and passive and wants to encourage his human to be affectionate and loving to him.

These signals are an integral part of their social interactions and can be observed in various forms. One common appeasement behavior is licking the face or nibbling the ear of a person or another dog. By engaging in these actions, dogs convey their intention to establish a peaceful and friendly connection.

Other signs of submissiveness in dogs include:

  • Lowering their body posture
  • Tucking their tail between their legs
  • Averting their gaze
  • Rolling over to expose their belly

These actions are all ways for dogs to demonstrate that they pose no threat and seek harmony in their interactions.

The video below shows a Rottweiler pushing their bum on their owner. This signals both appeasement and that they are trying to get their owner’s attention in a way that is polite but firm (but perhaps not to us).

2. To Allow Butt Sniffing: A Polite Canine Greeting

A peculiar behavior observed among dogs when they meet is sniffing each other’s hindquarters, specifically the anal region. While this behavior may seem strange to humans, it is an important part of canine communication.

These pheromones communicate essential information to other dogs, such as marking their territory and identifying themselves. So when dogs sniff each other’s backside, they gather crucial information about each other.

By sniffing another dog’s anal area, they can gather critical information from their anal scent glands. So when a dog turns his butt to you or another dog, they’re really just being polite.

However, this behavior can also be a sign of anxiety or stress. For example, dogs may push their bum against you when feeling insecure or unsure of their surroundings. It’s their way of seeking comfort and reassurance from their owner.

3. Creating Physical Contact For Bonding

Dogs thrive on physical contact, a crucial aspect of their communication. When your dog pushes its bum against you, it seeks physical contact and affection from you. Dogs also communicate through touch with other dogs.

They may lick each other, nuzzle each other, or playfully bite each other. These physical interactions help dogs build and maintain social bonds.

Physical contact is also essential for dogs’ emotional well-being. Therefore, understanding canine communication is essential to being a dog owner. We can better understand their needs and build stronger bonds by learning how dogs “speak.” 

So, the next time you interact with your furry friend, watch their body language and vocalizations. You may be surprised by what you learn.

4. Seeking Comfort and Security

However, this behavior can also be a sign of anxiety or stress. For example, dogs may push their bum against you when feeling insecure or unsure of their surroundings. It’s their way of seeking comfort and reassurance from their owner. Pressing their body against you is often a way that a dog may look for reassurance and safety. Other ways they may do this include:

  • Sitting next to you so they touch you
  • Reversing into you (especially when they sense a threat and want to place themselves between you and the danger)
  • Lying next to you so that you touch
  • Pressing their body against you on walks.

It’s essential to pay attention to your dog’s body language and interpret their signals correctly. Doing so can strengthen your bond with your furry friend and ensure their well-being.

Remember that most insecure dogs may not press against you for comfort. Being able to correctly read the signs of fearfulness, stress, and insecurity is vital. So be sure to check out the video below:

5. Asking for Attention or Affection

Dogs are social animals and crave attention and affection from their owners. So a dog may put his butt against you, it’s often their way of asking for love and attention.

They want you to pet them, scratch their back, or spend quality time with them. Giving your furry friend the attention they need is crucial as a pet owner.

Spend some time playing with them, taking them for a walk, or simply cuddling with them. That will make them happy and strengthen your bond with your furry friend.

Dogs may also have an itchy bum they’d like you to scratch. This is normal, but if your dog is excessively itchy, make sure to check for fleas or contact your vet about potential allergy or skin problem.

6. Expressing Submission

Dogs pushing their rear end against a person can be interpreted as a sign of submissiveness. This behavior is often observed when a dog seeks reassurance or wants to establish a non-threatening connection. By pressing their rear end against you, dogs demonstrate their vulnerability and acknowledge your higher social status. 

It can be seen as a way for them to seek comfort and show their trust in you. Understanding this behavior as an appeasement signal helps foster a positive and respectful relationship between humans and dogs.

Note: dogs do not press their butts against you as a sign of dominance. Dominant dogs do make themselves vulnerable by turning their back on a potential rival or threat. 

7. Resource Guarding

Additionally, dogs may press their rear end against you as a form of resource guarding. Resource guarding refers to a dog protecting valuable items, such as food, toys, or even specific areas or spaces. When a dog displays this behavior, they may press their rear end against you to assert control over the resource they are guarding. 

Typically, however, they will try to stand over you or in front of you. Their bodies will be tense, and their gaze will be hard and fixed on the threat of your affection. Resource guarding is not real aggression, but it is a common reason for fights.

Also, see our article on how to discipline dogs after a fight.

8. When females dogs are ready for mating

It is important to note that female dogs in heat may also exhibit this behavior as part of their reproductive cycle. During their heat cycle, female dogs release pheromones that indicate their readiness to mate. Presenting their hindquarters with a raised tail is a way for female dogs to signal their receptiveness to male dogs. However, it’s not likely that a female dog in heat will present their butt to a person.

What Do I Do About My Dog Pushing Their Bum Against Me

When dogs press their rear end against you, it is generally not a problem behavior unless it involves resource guarding. However, if you find the behavior undesirable or want to redirect their attention, here are some steps you can take:

1. Assess the situation.

Determine if the behavior is related to resource guarding or if it’s simply an appeasement gesture or a sign of seeking attention.

2. Understand body language.

Observe the dog’s overall body language, including their tail position, facial expressions, and posture, to gain insights into their intentions and emotions.

3. Positive reinforcement.

Use positive reinforcement techniques to teach alternativ-e-archive behaviors that can redirect their attention. For example, reward the dog for sitting or offering another desired behavior when seeking attention.

4. Provide mental and physical stimulation.

Ensure the dog receives adequate mental and physical exercise to prevent boredom or excessive attention-seeking behaviors.

5. Training and obedience.

Enroll the dog in obedience classes or work on training exercises at home to reinforce desired behaviors and improve communication between you and the dog.

6. Seek professional guidance.

If the behavior persists or becomes problematic, consult a professional dog trainer or behaviorist who can provide specialized guidance and assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Does My Dog Push Himself Up Against Me?

Dogs are social animals and often seek physical contact with their human companions for comfort and security. Dogs may push against you or sit touching you to get your attention, seek affection, or communicate their desire for physical interaction. Dogs may lean or rub against you to transfer body heat, especially if they are feeling cold or seeking warmth.

Why Does My Dog Rub His Back Against Me? 

Dogs mostly rub their backs against you because they can’t scratch their backs themselves, and they’d like you to. By rubbing or leaning against you, dogs can transfer their scent onto you, possibly reinforcing the bond between you.

Final Thoughts

Understanding why your dog pushes its bum against you can be confusing. Still, by recognizing its body language and behavior, you can better interpret what your dog is trying to communicate with you. 

Remember that positive reinforcement and boundaries are critical, and if your dog’s behavior is causing problems, seek professional help.


Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions.

Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Got Questions? Video A Vet 24/7, Any Time, Anywhere 🌎

Vetster connects pet owners to thousands of licensed veterinarians ready to provide the best online vet services through video chat

Book an online vet now