Why Do Dogs Push Against You?

Have you ever noticed your pup pushing against you with their head or body? It’s a common behavior among dogs, but why do they do it? In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why dogs push against you and what it means. So, why do dogs push against you? It’s a sign of affection and comfort.

Physical Reasons

Dogs push against us for a variety of reasons, some of which are physical.


Dogs may push against us for comfort. They may be seeking warmth, security, or a sense of familiarity. Dogs may also be trying to show their affection and loyalty to their owners by pushing against them.


Dogs may also push against us to get our attention. They may want to be petted, played with, or taken for a walk. If they don’t receive the attention they desire, they may resort to pushing against their owners in order to get it.

Emotional Reasons

Dogs may push against you for emotional reasons, such as fear or anxiety.


Fear is a natural response to a perceived threat, and dogs may push against their owners when they feel scared. This can be caused by loud noises, unfamiliar people or animals, or even changes in routine. Dogs may also push against their owners when they are feeling overwhelmed and need comfort and reassurance.


Anxiety can be another cause of a dog pushing against its owner. Dogs may become anxious due to separation from their owners, changes in environment, or the presence of unfamiliar people or animals. In these cases, the dog may be seeking comfort and security from its owner by pushing against them. Additionally, some dogs may develop anxiety due to past trauma or abuse that they have experienced.

Instinctual Reasons

Dogs have a variety of instinctual reasons for pushing against their owners. These can range from hunting instincts to territorial behavior.

Hunting Instincts

Dogs have an inherent hunting instinct that can cause them to push against their owners. This is especially true for herding breeds, such as border collies and Australian shepherds, who may be trying to herd their owners in the same way they would herd sheep or other animals. Additionally, some dogs may be trying to playfully nip at their owners’ heels in an effort to get them to move around and engage in a game of chase.

Territorial Behavior

Dogs also have natural territorial behaviors that can cause them to push against their owners. This is especially true when a new person or animal enters the home, as the dog may feel the need to protect its owner by pushing them away from the perceived threat. Additionally, some dogs may push against their owners when they are feeling anxious or stressed out by loud noises or unfamiliar situations.


Socialization Factors

Dogs pushing against you can be caused by a variety of socialization factors. It is important to understand the underlying cause of why your dog is pushing against you in order to properly address the behavior.

Lack of Socialization

A lack of socialization can lead to a dog feeling uncomfortable around people and other animals, which may lead them to push against you. Signs of lack of socialization include:

  • Fearful behavior
  • Excessive barking or growling
  • Hiding from people or other animals
  • Lack of interest in playing with other dogs or people

If your dog is displaying any of these behaviors, it is important to consult with a professional trainer or veterinarian as soon as possible.

Poor Training Habits

Poor training habits can also lead to dogs pushing against you. Dogs that are not properly trained may not understand boundaries and may push against you when they want something, such as attention or food. To prevent this behavior, it is important to establish clear boundaries and consistent training methods with your dog. The ASPCA recommends positive reinforcement techniques , such as rewards and praise, when training your dog.

Medical Reasons

Dogs pushing against us is a common behavior that can have several medical reasons.

Pain or Discomfort

Dogs may push against us if they are experiencing pain or discomfort. This could be due to an injury, arthritis, or other medical condition. If your dog is pushing against you and you suspect they are in pain, it’s important to take them to the vet for a checkup.

Neurological Issues

In some cases, dogs may push against us due to neurological issues such as dementia or confusion. If your dog is displaying signs of confusion or disorientation, it’s important to take them to the vet for a checkup and discuss possible treatments with your veterinarian.

It’s also important to note that dogs may push against us out of habit or as a form of comfort. If your dog is pushing against you and there doesn’t seem to be any medical reason for it, it could just be their way of showing affection and seeking comfort from you.


It’s clear that when a dog pushes against you, it’s a sign of affection and comfort. Dogs are social animals and they need physical contact with their owners to feel secure and loved. This behavior is instinctive and can be seen in many different breeds. If you want to show your pup some extra love, try giving them a gentle pat or hug when they push against you. For more information on how to best care for your pet, visit A Pet’s Home.

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