If your dog has been rubbing itself against your bed a lot, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of reasons why it might have been doing it and what you can do to get it to stop.
So, why does my dog rub itself against my bed? Possible reasons why your dog rubs against your bed are that it likes the scent of the bed, it is rubbing its own scent onto the bed, it likes the way it feels, a rash or you might have inadvertently encouraged the behavior.
Since there are a number of possible causes, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the cause, it should become a lot easier to get it to stop.
Why your dog rubs itself against your bed
Below are a number of reasons why your dog might have been doing it and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.
It is marking its own scent
The reason why it does it could be that it is marking its own scent onto your bed. This would be more likely if it also does similar things around the house, it occasionally tries to urine mark around the house and if it can be very territorial when other dogs are near the house.
Encouraging the behavior
It could be the case that you have inadvertently encouraged the behavior by giving your dog things it wants when it does it. If you tend to give your dog things such as toys, treats or extra attention when it rubs itself against the bed, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards. Instead, it would help to reward it when it behaves the way you want it to and to avoid rewarding it when it does not.
It likes the way it feels
The reason why your dog does it could simply be that it likes the way that it feels. This would be more likely if it does also does similar things in other places as well and if it does not do it excessively.
An injury or a rash
The reason why it does it might be that it has a rash. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly, it rubs a certain part of its body, if it has been rubbing that body part on other things as well and if it has been showing other signs of being injured. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
It is not likely to be dominant behavior
Many people jump to the conclusion that their dogs do it because they are trying to be dominant. However, the alpha/beta dynamic has been disproven in studies showing that wolves take turns in taking charge.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.
What else happened when your dog first started rubbing against your bed
If your dog did not always rub itself against the bed, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started since it might be the case that there was an event that caused it to start. If it started doing it suddenly, it would make it more likely to be due to things such as allergies or a rash.
What is different when it does it
If there is a certain time that your dog tends to rub against the bed, it would also help to consider the timing of when it does it. For example, if it tends to do it when you are there, it could be the case that it has learned that it gets rewards for doing it.
What to do about your dog rubbing against your bed
Below are some things you can do about it.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
As mentioned above, it might be the case that it has learned that it gets rewards when it does it. Instead, it would help to try to reward it when it behaves the way you want it to, to avoid rewarding it when it does not and to try to redirect its focus when it looks likely to start rubbing against the bed.
Ensure that it is not due to an injury
If it seems like it might be due to a rash or injury or you cannot figure out why your dog has been doing it, the best option would be to take it for a checkup with the vet. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to rule out the possibility of it being due to injury.
Positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training is where you encourage your dog to behave in a certain way by rewarding it when it shows signs of behaving that way. It would help to reward your dog when it does not rub against the bed in situations that it normally would in order to encourage it to stop doing it.
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