Why Does My Dog Rub Herself All Over the Carpet?

Why Does My Dog Rub Herself All Over the Carpet?
Dog-behaviour expert Dr. Ian Dunbar explains just what motivates our canine friends to perform some of their more perplexing actions


Two reasons, either to relieve an itch or to mark with scent. For a dog, a great analogy is that they want their place to smell like home, which means it smells like them. [Figures we’re at opposites on this one. Here we are trying to rid our homes of any doggie smell and they’re doing their best to stink the place up!—Ed.] And when they encounter a weird smell, usually, they would like to pee on it, but they’ve been told not to do that inside, so they roll, marking the spot using the scent glands based on their tails instead.

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Comments (3)

Also- when your dogs are freshly bathed, they will perform this behavior also. It is believed that they do this to re-bond scent they left (on the carpet for example) with themselves. We have studied our pack doing this consistently over a five year period.
Wed, 09/12/2012 - 07:59
My Standard poodle, Edgar, loves to rub himself up and down the sofa, making what best can be described as groaning type noises as he does so! I guess this is the same thing.
Sat, 03/29/2014 - 23:35
Huh. Doesn't explain why the would do the same all over grass outside, where they know they are definitely allowed to pee.
Mon, 03/31/2014 - 10:04

Dog of the Week!