If your dog has been rubbing itself against the wall, 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 doing it.
So, why does my dog rub against the wall? Possible reasons why your dog rubs against the wall are that it is spreading its scent, it has a rash, you have been encouraging the behavior, it likes the feeling or that the wall is cool.
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 easier to get it to stop and to figure out what you should do about it.
Why your dog rubs against the wall
Below are a number of common causes and what would make them more likely to be the reason why your dog has been doing it.
Spreading its scent
The reason why it does it could be that it is marking its own scent onto the wall. 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.
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 only 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.
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 wall, 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.
It has an itch
Another possible reason why your dog does it could just be that it has an itch. This would be more likely if your dog seems to do it more at random times and if it has not been doing it excessively. It would also be more likely if it starts itching itself in other ways as well.
The wall is cool
The reason why it has been doing it could be that the wall feels cool and it helps your dog to cool down. This would be more likely if it has started doing it since the weather has become hotter and if it tends to also lie against the wall while it is hot inside.
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 it first started rubbing against the wall
If your dog did not always rub itself against the wall, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as a rash or the weather becoming hotter and the wall feeling cooler.
What is different when it tends to do it
If there is a certain time that it tends to do it, another thing to consider would be what is different about the timing. For example, if it tends to do it more when it is hot inside, it would be a lot more likely that it has been doing it due to the wall feeling cool.
What to do about your dog rubbing against the wall
Below are some options you have when getting your dog to stop doing 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 wall.
Ensure that it is not due to a rash or 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.
Help it stay cool
If it has started getting hot, where you are, it would also help to take measures to help your dog stay cool. Things to do would be to give it access to a cool room, shaded areas and water whenever it needs it.
Train it not to do it
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 wall in situations that it normally would in order to encourage it to stop doing it.