Spoiler alert: Your dog loves you!
Until I learned more about dog behavior, I will admit I had some of the off-putting feelings in response to much about my dogs that related to their butts. Whether it is what comes out of them or how they seem to position them, I was taking these behaviors in a typical human fashion. Very distasteful.
Yet, when we examine the nature of the beast, we find that we must acknowledge how the rear end figures into the equation of relating not only to other animals but also vary significantly with their humans. It is truly a high compliment when your dog plants his butt on you.
Nose to nose – is it safe?
In a dog’s world there is predation, combat, and survival. In their world, presenting themselves face-first is to be facing off with the business end of aggression. All those teeth mean business! You may find yourself awash in puppy licks, though, as this is a way to show you their affection.
After all, pups grow up with mom licking them to groom and socialize them. Licking is a sensory tool in a dog’s world much like the way humans gain from holding an item in their hands. These are all methods of connecting.
The handshake is better than a kiss
Now, we have seen how dogs seem to be attracted to another dog’s rear end. Think of all the dog sniffing jokes, the one about the dogs leaving their tails on the bed at that huge party and all winding up with the wrong ones upon departing. After that, they always have to sniff to see if they can reclaim their own tails.
Dog to dog, the rear end is information central. First, as a form of greeting, dogs understand no concept that such behavior is even rude. Au contraire! They are simply saying “Hello.” It goes a lot farther than a simple handshake, however.
Just as leaving a calling card with scent, dogs have anal glands that produce smells that alert the greeting dog with a lot of important information quickly obtained with just a whiff or two. The apocrine gland is a sweat gland, and it relays all that profile knowledge such as age, gender, condition of health, and even mood.
Here is something to think about next time you see your dog wagging his tail.
Yes, most would agree that this tail wagging is a sign of a happy dog.
It’s also a convenient way to send one’s personal information aloft on the winds. Why would it be any different? Dogs are all about scents – finding scents, leaving scents.
Make sense? 😉
After all, dogs have the most sophisticated smelling devices over all other beings. In fact, where humans rely on language to communicate, dogs rely on their noses. It is inherently true, then, that having the ability to telegraph your personal profile by simply wagging your tail gives this behavior a whole new meaning for most dog owners.
When your dog presents his bum, he is giving you the hip nudge, a form of greeting. Much the same way we tend to assume our dogs think along the same lines as their humans, (not!!), dogs might be assuming their humans are like-minded in understanding what a treasure trove of info this area of the body holds.
Imagine that secret sense of security knowing that you can present yourself, quite literally, by showing your bum. It must be presumptive that once you have been given this information delivered in this manner, then you are in on the secret, too.
Why does my dog lean on me with his backside? It’s a sign of trust!
Primarily, this is passive behavior as opposed to rude behavior.
Think about it: When your dog’s rear end is facing you, he has put his teeth the farthest from you.
You can surmise from this that your dog is demonstrating he has no intention of harming you. Rather, he feels very safe in your company.
When your dog turns his back to you, he is entrusting his safety to you. This positioning makes him vulnerable to you.
With those teeth away from you, he has put down his weapons.
He is also avoiding eye contact, therefore, avoiding that uneasy feeling of needing to look away to avoid eye contact.
You know you have really earned your place when your dog has positioned his back to you and seems pleased to purview the environment. Your pooch is simply looking after you, guarding and protecting you. He is best prepared to keep his pack safe when he is in a position to respond quickly.
That’s gonna leave a mark
Another obvious answer to the question, “Why does my dog put his butt on me?” is the fact that he is able to leave his scent on you. Those mighty glands release dog pheromones. In reality, he is sending you love notes, although they may not be the type of notes you would prefer in those expensive scents you purchase. You may not even be able to detect them, but he sure can, and so can other dogs.
Then again, he may just be making it easier for you to scratch those unreachable areas just below the tail. Whether from flea allergy or simply because it is one of the hardest spots to reach, nearly every dog I have ever met does appreciates some time spent offering a welcome scratching for that itch.
Since we are seeing the connection here, it is worth acknowledging that this is yet more ways for dogs to communicate with humans. If humans were to gain an appreciation for what dogs assume we should already know, there may be a lot more happy puppies (and people) in this world.
However you respond, just know that if your dog is presenting his bum to you, it shows that he shares a strong loving connection with you. You just want to watch out for the small children or vulnerable elders who could be easily overpowered by this loving gesture.
Your response should be one of keeping an eye out and, if needed, simply diverting his attention with activity to occupy his attention elsewhere. Diversion as opposed to pushing the dog away avoids confusion.
Your dog putting his butt on your isn’t the end of the world – you might want to get used to it. Your dog is showing loyalty, care, comfort, and love – in a poochy sort of way. A dog’s world is ruled by scent and, well, what has more scent than a butt? But to a dog, these scents tell them everything they need to know.
Other “why does my dog…” articles:
- Why does my dog nibble on me like I have fleas?
- Why does my dog sleep on my feet?
- Why does my dog wink at me?