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Why Does My Dog Rub His Face On Me [7 Unexpected Reasons]

As dog owners, we’re used to dealing with our fluffy buddy’s various daily quirks. 

We see that they keep rubbing their faces on us. But we don’t understand why they keep doing that.

Why does my dog rub his face on me?

A dog will rub his face on yours to convey his affection toward you. Similarly, it’s his way of marking you with his scent and accepting you as his master. It might be a sign that they want you to scratch their head. Often, they are just asking for more treats!

There are many more reasons behind this cute gesture. Why not find them out by reading this article? You can learn a lot!

Why Do Dogs Rub Their Face on the Owner?

We are all more or less accustomed to our dog rubbing his face on us. Most of us view it as a common quirk pulled by dogs to garner our attention. But the majority of us don’t know why exactly they do that.

To help you understand the typical behaviors of dogs, we’ve prepared this article. That said, here’re why your dog keeps rubbing his head on you.

Reason 1: To Show Affection

We all know about the “sniffing test”. It’s the best personality test out there! Your dog can tell a lot about a person just by sniffing them.

Once you pass the sniffing test, the dog will let you pet it. Nuzzling is a form of expression that dogs use to ask for your affection. It can also be their way of expressing love and kinship towards you.

Reason 2: To Mark You

Like cats, dogs also want to mark their owner with their scent. Dogs have scent glands located on their face. Nuzzling helps them spread their scent all over you. 

It attempts to pass down a simple message to other dogs and cats. “He belongs to me!”

Thanks to the scent, other cats and dogs will think twice before approaching you!

Reason 3: As a Sign of Submission

You might be confused at this point.

How can the same gesture express two polar opposite meanings?

Even the tiniest details give a lot of insight into understanding dogs. You’ll have to adapt and learn to interpret their expressions over time.

A particular aspect of the dynamics in a pack of canines is to admit submission. The dogs in the club usually nuzzle against the alpha of the group. This is considered a token of respect and submission.

When you see your dog concealing his head on you, he’s expressing submission. He respects and trusts you!

Reason 4: Skin Irritation

Often, your puppy will constantly prod you to scratch his head. He’ll rub his face on you until you give him what he wants.

This can happen due to certain skin conditions. Skin irritation will make your dog feel itchy and restless. Owing to that, it might be asking you to relieve it from the annoying irritation.

There should be some apparent symptoms in your dog if he’s suffering from skin conditions. Inspect the dog closely to see if you can find signs such as:

  • Bald patches
  • Red, flakey skin patches
  • Sores

Also, try to notice if your dog does the following:

  • Excessive scratching
  • Scooting on the floor
  • Constantly licking body parts

You might also find your dog rolling on his back to eliminate the irritation. Call a vet for help if you spot these signs in your dog.

Reason 5: Asking For a Treat!

Dogs often find specific tasks to be rewarding. As a result, they will constantly try to repeat the job to be rewarded. 

Rubbing his face against you can be a sign that it wants treats. If you have ever given treats to your dog for nuzzling, it can become a habit. Your dog will see this act as acceptable etiquette.

Treats can work as a great motivator to train dogs. The ideal dog treat should contain essential nutrients for dogs besides being yummy. Try out these treats for dogs that we recommend:


Provide your dog with a healthy dose of nutrients in the form of treats. They will love it and be eager to earn more!

Reason 6: It Simply Feels Good

Who doesn’t love to have a cozy, cuddly feeling? Your dog isn’t an exception.

Puppers are clingy and try every trick in their arsenal to get your attention. And what better way than rubbing its face against you?

Dogs like the warmth and soft texture of fabrics against their face. They will jump on you if you wear something that satisfies their criteria.

Reason 7: Dental Pain

Your pup might be nuzzling against you to ease his dental pain.

A dog with dental issues will show several signs of pain. It’ll eat less, or in a worst-case scenario, stop eating altogether. Your dog will also have bad breath and secrete bloody saliva.

The pain can be excruciating for the dog. You can find your dog resting his head on you to seek some comfort. It can take months for the affected teeth to fall off. A professional veterinarian should treat diseased teeth as soon as possible. 

How Do I Stop My Dog from Rubbing His Face on Me?

While some find this habit extremely cute, some might get irritated simultaneously. In that case, you might be looking for ways to stop your dog from doing it again 

Here are three tips you should adopt to help your dog leave this habit:

Tip 1: Check for Allergies

Your dog might be struggling with irritations due to allergies. That’s why he’s rubbing his face on you because it might be itchy.

Discourage your dog from performing certain activities that can lead to allergic reactions. 

With the recommendation of a vet, apply flea solutions to your dog.

Tip 2: Make Sure Your Dog’s Dental Health is Okay

Regularly check up on whether or not your dog has healthy teeth and gum. If you notice any sign of infection or bleeding, immediately consult a veterinarian.

Throw away toys that can potentially harm your dog. Get your dog checked up at least once a year to avoid health risks.

Tip 3: Training

The third and final step is to train you to stop nuzzling against you. This can be done by ignoring your dog when he rubs his face against you.

Train him to stay in one particular spot on your command. Reward your dog with treats for every little progress. After a while, your dog will get used to it and stop rubbing his face.


How do dogs pick their favorite person?

Dogs pick their favorite person based on their personality and level of energy. They will sniff and weigh a person before deciding whether he likes them.

How to know if a dog is happy?

You can spot a happy dog by observing its relaxed posture. Dogs will usually wag its tail, along with a playful pose, when they’re so glad. Other signs of a happy dog include floppy ears and happy barking.

Do dogs like to be hugged?

Research has shown that dogs generally don’t like to be hugged. But their contrasting personalities mean that not every dog dislikes being hugged. Some even welcome a cozy hug.