As a dog owner, you have probably experienced your furry friend leaning on you with their backside. It is a common behavior that many dogs exhibit, but have you ever wondered why they do it? Well, you are not alone. A lot of dog owners are unsure of what their dog is trying to communicate when they lean on them with their backside.

So, in this blog post, we will answer every dog owner’s question: “Why does my dog lean on me with his backside?” We will explore the different reasons behind this behavior and what it means for your furry companion.

Why Does My Dog Lean On Me With His Backside?

1. Fondness

There are several reasons why your furry friend may lean on you, and one of them is to show affection. Dogs are known to be affectionate creatures and often demonstrate their love for their owners through physical touch. So, if your dog leans on you with their backside, it is likely that they are trying to show you how much they care.

In addition to learning, dogs may jump on you, lick your face, or wag their tail excitedly to express their happiness and love. Seeking physical contact is one way they show affection, which may come as a quick nuzzle, cuddle, or leaning against you.

2. “Smell My Butt, Human!”

Dogs have a unique way of making friends and socializing that differs from humans. When dogs meet a new canine friend, they typically greet each other by sniffing each other’s behinds. This may seem strange to humans, but it is how dogs learn about their new companions and say hello.

Due to their powerful sense of smell, dogs can gather a wealth of information about their new friend from the scent produced by special glands in their anus. This scent can reveal a dog’s age, gender, stress level, health, diet, and exercise routine, among other things. As a result, based on this information, dogs develop a connection with each other.

Although dogs also expect the same greeting from humans, our sense of smell is not as strong as theirs. Therefore, we may not be able to pick up on what they are trying to communicate through scent. However, dogs may still lean on us with their backside as a way to greet us or make friends.

3. Seeking Attention

Dogs may lean on you with their backside when they want attention. Being social animals, dogs enjoy interacting with humans and may seek closeness with their owners. They employ several somewhat unique methods to get what they want (they can even wink for attention!).

If your furry friend rubs their backside against your body, it may seek more attention or reassurance from you. If they find that this behavior gets them the attention they crave, they may continue to use it to draw your attention to them. While it may seem odd to humans, this is just another way dogs communicate with us and express their love and need for attention.

4. Guarding

Canine behavior experts suggest that if your dog leans their backside against you, it could be a sign of protection. You might have noticed that your dog looks away or turns their face while leaning on you, especially when you are relaxing or eating. This behavior is similar to how wild dogs protect each other by traveling together, fighting for each other, and sleeping while leaning on one another to avoid being vulnerable to predators.

Domesticated dogs exhibit this behavior as a way of protecting their owners, indicating that they consider them part of their pack or family. This act of guarding is their way of showing love and affection, and dogs of all sizes and breeds demonstrate protectiveness by rubbing their butts against their humans.

5. Submission

Canine behavior experts suggest that when a dog leans their backside against you, it could be a sign of trust. This behavior indicates that the dog feels secure in your presence and wants you to be on its back. Additionally, when a dog is leaning, their mouth and teeth are far from you, making them vulnerable and showing submission.

As predatory animals, dogs typically show their teeth when they want to fight or show aggression. Therefore, when a dog presents itself in a vulnerable position by leaning on you, it’s a sign that they see you as its master and leader of the pack.

In this way, dogs communicate their trust in you and their confidence in your company. But there are other signs as well: If a dog follows you everywhere, it can be a sign that they trust and love you, according to The Kennel Club of the U.K.

6. Anxiety and Stress

Experts suggest that dogs may lean on their owners with their backs when feeling stressed or anxious. Dogs are highly perceptive animals and can pick up on their owner’s emotions by reading their facial expressions. The dog may feel the same way if their owner is sad or stressed.

Stressed dogs, like stressed people, may display physical symptoms such as dilated pupils and rapid blinking. They may also open their eyes wider than usual, showing more sclera (white) and giving them a startled appearance. Dogs may pin their ears back against their head, even if they are usually relaxed or alert. Changes in body posture are also common.

If your dog is leaning on you with their back, it could be a sign that they need reassurance and comfort. They may feel stressed or anxious and seek comfort from their owner.

7. Marking

Canines often claim their owners by sitting on or leaning on them and releasing hormones through their scent glands. Dogs have scent glands under their tails, producing pheromones that influence their behavior.

When a dog leans on you with their back or rubs against you with their butt, it may be trying to transfer its scent onto you to claim you. This behavior indicates that the dog accepts you as part of their pack or family. Although humans cannot detect these pheromones, dogs use them to communicate with other dogs. By claiming you, a dog is essentially marking you with their scent, which other dogs can smell.

8. Needing Scratching

Dogs may also lean on their owners with their backside if they are experiencing irritation or itching in a specific body part that they cannot reach on their own. If you notice that your dog is requesting more butt scratches than usual, it may be a sign of a flea infestation. Fleas can cause discomfort and itching in dogs, particularly in the area under their tail. It is important to check your dog for fleas and treat the infestation promptly to alleviate their discomfort.

9. Seeking Warmth

Throughout history, it has been observed that wolves used to sleep with humans to share warmth. Similarly, indigenous people may bring dogs into their beds to keep warm in extremely cold temperatures. If your dog leans on you with their backside, it could be an indication that the temperature outside is cold. You may have noticed that your dog likes to lean on you during movie nights or other cozy moments. This is because dogs naturally seek warmth, and being close to you helps them stay warm.

Should You Let Your Dog Lean On You With His Backside?

Allowing your dog to lean on you with their backside is not recommended due to the potential spread of fecal matter and fleas and ticks.

Dogs have bacteria and fecal matter on their fur and skin, which can be transferred to your clothing or skin when they lean on you. This can pose a health risk, particularly if you have any open cuts or wounds on your skin.

In addition, fleas and ticks are common pests that can be found on dogs. These parasites can easily attach themselves to your clothing or skin when your dog leans on you, leading to potential infestations in your home. Fleas and ticks can also transmit diseases, making it important to prevent their spread.


Dogs exhibit a range of behaviors, and leaning on their owners with their backside is one of them. While it may seem strange to us humans, dogs use this behavior to communicate their emotions and needs. It can be a sign of affection, seeking attention, greeting, protection, trust, and even anxiety. By understanding the reasons behind this behavior, you can better understand your furry friend’s emotions and provide them with the love and support they need.