Do you ever wonder why your dog pushes things around with his nose?
Well, wonder no more! There is a reason for this behavior, and it has to do with your dog’s natural instincts. A dog uses his nose to guide him through life, and this behavior works in a variety of different situations.
In this blog post, we will explore the reasons behind this behavior and discuss what you can do about it.
Read on to learn more!
Why Does My Dog Push Things With His Nose?
It Could Be a Herding Behavior
Herding dogs such as border collies and Australian shepherds are bred to work with livestock.
As a result, these dogs often display herding behaviors, even when there are no animals present. If your dog is pushing things with his nose, it could be that he is trying to herd you!
This behavior is usually seen in younger dogs, but for some breeds, the instinct will be strong their whole lives.
Your Pup is Saying Hi
This is especially common among puppies, who are still getting used to the world around them. When they meet someone new, they will often greet them by pushing their nose against their hand.
This is a way of saying “hello” and asking for attention. If your dog does this behavior when you come home from work, it’s likely that it’s just his way of saying “I missed you!”
Your pup can also pick up smells on your hand and can better understand where you’ve been or what you’ve been up to.
Your Dog is Connecting With Other Furry Friends
Dogs are social creatures, and they often use their noses to interact with other dogs.
They will sniff each other’s faces, ears, and behinds to gather information about the other dog’s health, diet, and even emotional state. They may push each other with their nose as a way of playing or showing dominance.
It May Be Bored or anxious
Sometimes, dogs push things with their noses because they are bored or anxious. This can often be seen in dogs who are left alone for long periods of time.
Your Dog Wants More Attention
Have you ever stopped petting your dog, and then it nudged you with its nose? This is clearly a sign that your dog wants more attention! This could even become an endless loop that tricks you into endless petting sessions.
There’s an Unusual Smell
If your dog is nudging something on the ground, such as an object, there may be a smell that is out of the ordinary.
This could be anything from a dead animal to a chemical spill. Maybe another animal in the home had an accident and your pup is investigating the scene.
Whatever the case may be, it’s always best to take a closer look to see what your dog is so interested in.
Your Dog Is Telling You It Wants Something
When a dog pushes its toy with its nose, it wants to play. When it nudges its food bowl with its nose, it’s hungry.
These behaviors will often happen like clockwork. For example, if your dog is used to eating at 5 pm but you’re an hour late, he may start nudging his food bowl with his nose as a way of telling you it’s dinnertime!
In this way, dogs make great alarm clocks and help you to remember to keep their routine in check.
It’s a Sign of Acknowledgement
If you give your dog a command such as come, it may run up to you and nudge your hand, leg, or waist with its nose. This is similar to a greeting, and your pup is letting you know that it understands and is ready to obey your command.
Your Dog Is Trying to Cheer You Up
If your dog senses that you are down, he may try to cheer you up by pushing his nose against you or bringing you his favorite toy.
This behavior is often seen in service dogs, who are trained to provide comfort to their human companions in times of need. However, many pups are empathetic and will try to make you feel better on their own accord.
Your Pup Is a Picky Eater
If your dog uses its nose to push around its food or food bowl instead of eating it, this could be the sign of a picky eater. Your pup may prefer wet food, treats, or even human food over kibble. This could be a way that he is showing you his dissatisfaction.
Your Dog May Be Anxious About Something
If your dog is feeling unsafe or uncomfortable, it may push things with its nose to try to create a sense of security or to make a barrier. For example, if there is a loud noise outside, your dog may push you with its nose to try to get you to go inside.
This behavior may also be seen in dogs who are afraid of being left alone or who have separation anxiety. So your dog may push its nose against you when you’re about to leave the house or when you’re giving attention to another animal in the home.
What to Do About My Dog Pushing Things With His Nose?
If your dog is pushing things with his nose, the best thing to do is to take a step back and assess the situation. If your dog is bored, try giving him some more attention or getting him a puzzle toy to keep his mind occupied.
If you think your dog may be anxious, make sure he has a safe space where he can go to feel comfortable, and try not to leave him alone for long periods of time. If your dog is a picky eater, talk to your veterinarian about possible dietary changes.
If your dog is being insistent on you petting it, having extra feeding sessions, or constantly going outside, ignoring the behavior may be the best approach. If you respond to this behavior, your pet will learn that being pushy gets it what it wants.
Simply turn away or move your hand if your dog starts to nudge you with its nose, and eventually, it will learn that this behavior is not effective. Dogs are smart creatures, and they will quickly catch on!
In many cases, you don’t need to do anything about this behavior. If your dog is being friendly and simply using this behavior as a greeting or as a way to be curious about the world around it, it is a healthy and normal part of your dog’s behavior. Simply enjoy your pup’s company, and you’ll be just fine.