Dogs often do some of the cutest things imaginable.
One of these things is when they walk up and “boop” your ankle or leg.
Sometimes you are out walking and they gently push against your leg or you are at home sitting on the couch and they “boop” you with their nose.
Dog “boops” can be attributed to many different things, but often it is a sign of your dog wanting to be close to you or to get your attention.
There are multiple reasons why a dog might “boop” you, including the reasons mentioned above.
Other reasons include they are being submissive, showing dominance, getting your attention, or just saying hello.
The Behavioral Why?
There is one main reason why your dog boops you throughout the day.
It is because it works. How many times have you felt their cold nose touch your skin and you jump up in reaction?
Immediately after this, you pay attention to your dog.
This is what they wanted in the first place.
Your dog hits you with their nose and you reach down and pet them.
This causes your dog to associate petting with nose booping.
This is a learned behavior that your dog will continue to do until they learn that it will not elicit the reaction they want.
Another example of this is when you are exhibiting a strong emotion like anger or sadness.
Your dog will boop you because it normally results in a positive reaction and they think that is what you need.
Sometimes this is good behavior and this is why many dogs make excellent companion animals.
Can it be Submissive or Aggressive Behavior?
There are a few ways to identify whether your dog’s booping is submissive or aggressive.
- Pushing their nose into your hand
- Pushing their nose into your face or mouth
- Booping your bottom
- Your dog will repeatedly boop you until they get what they want
- They boop you for no apparent reason
- You will notice other signs of aggression:
- Excessive barking
- Blocking your path around the house or while on a walk
Other Reasons Your Dog Might Boop You
1. A desire to go somewhere
This can often present as your dog nudging you in a certain direction.
Other times they will boop you and then walk in a direction and return until you follow them.
2. Just saying hello
Your dog often just wants your attention.
With more people working from home because of Covid, their dogs see them more often and desire companionship.
Everyone has probably experienced working on their computer and then they suddenly feel a shockingly cold lump press into their armpit.
It is always your dog just letting you know they are there and want to see you.
3. Your dog wants something
This can cover a wide range of things from wanting you to play with them or they just want to eat something.
They can be signaling you that their food bowl is empty and they feel they don’t need to wait for dinner time.
Your dog could also want you to throw their ball or another toy.
It is easy to tell if this is their desire because they will boop you then go to their toy.
A final option is that they feel you stopped giving them attention too early and would like you to keep paying attention to them.
What Should You Do About the Booping?
There are multiple solutions that you can take to your dog booping you.
If it doesn’t seem to be causing any problems and your dog is not showing any signs of aggression let it be.
Often it is just your dog’s way of showing you that it cares and wants you to pay attention to it.
If it is something that bothers you, there are different steps that you can take to make your dog boop you less.
Train your dog to do something else
Just as with any other behavior problems your dog presents, there are a few simple steps to ensure that they don’t continue;
- Identify the problem and how to prevent the trigger from happening
- Know your dog’s needs. They may be acting up if their needs are not being met.
- Exercise your dog. Often, they will seek attention if they are bored
- Ignore your dog’s bad behavior. No matter how much it boops you, don’t acknowledge it
- Redirect your dog’s behavior onto something else. Give them a toy when they boop you and eventually they will seek a toy instead
- Stay calm. When you show a lot of emotions, your dog will show a lot of emotions and listen less.
- Socialize your dog so that it has a way to let out energy and knows how other dogs act
- Practice makes perfect for your dog just as with you
Use a Professional Trainer
Sometimes you aren’t going to be able to train your dog by yourself.
A professional trainer can provide multiple options for training your dog.
A trainer will most likely have worked with a dog similar to your own and can provide added incite that you can’t find through Google.
They will be able to also teach you how to adjust your dog’s behavior so that you do not need to rely on a trainer in the future.
Your dog will often “boop” your ankles when it wants you to interact with them in a different way than you currently are.
This could mean they just want your attention, or they need to do something.
Your dog may want to go outside because you have been working at your desk for the last 5 hours and have not acknowledged its existence in that time.
One final thing to note is that while many of our lives were flipped upside down because of Covid-19, our pets’ lives were as well.
Gone are the days of them waiting patiently for you to get home from a long day of work.
Now they want you to be active in their lives more often.