Dogs are so intelligent! They know how to push things with their nose, but why do they do it?
Some people think that the reason is that they are trying to tell their owners that they need something from them, while others think that they are trying to get their owners’ attention.
Get to know why dogs do what they do in this post.
Your dog is pushing things with his nose for various reasons, such as he wants to move the object or to carry out his investigation on the things. He is trying to ease his nose discomfort or is feeling hungry and wants to let you know by pushing his food bowl. He is feeling bored and wants to get your attention.
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Your Dog Wants To Move Or Investigate Something
Well, dogs don’t have arms like we do, so they will have to use other means to move things that block their paths.
And the way for them to do it will be to press their nose against something and move it.
Of course, you may think that they can instead use their paws to move things away.
But what’s interesting is that dogs prefer to use their noses more often than their paws primarily because they want to sniff at things before deciding the next move.
They use their sense of smell, which is their most valuable asset, to investigate the things in front of them.
As a matter of fact, dogs usually use their noses when they are searching for something or doing their investigation.
And this is mainly due to the fact that their noses are sensitive enough to pick up any odors that will help them to make decisions.
On the whole, dogs are pretty nose-centric animals and use their noses to explore things more thoroughly.
He Is Trying To Ease His Nose Discomfort
Dogs can have some issues with their noses, such as allergy and irritation that can be annoying to them and cause them discomfort.
Whenever you see your dog scratching his nose or using his nose to push on things or press his nose on the wall, you should definitely do an inspection on his nostrils.
Keep a lookout for any foreign objects that might be lodged in his nose and see if there are some signs of bleeding.
Imagine how it would feel if you were breathing through a straw? That’s how your dog must be feeling right now.
If your dog’s nose is itchy, it might be allergies caused by pollen, dust mites, mold, or possibly a food allergy.
It could also be a harmless irritation caused by your dog’s body being over-stimulated by the nerve endings in his nose.
If your dog’s nose is irritated, it might be a yeast infection caused by excess yeast and bacteria living on his skin.
Your dog licks, scratches, and rubs his nose to get relief from the itchiness, causing the skin to become inflamed and irritated.
If your dog’s nose is dry, it might be a dehydration problem. Give him plenty of water and feed him with moist food to recover his dehydration level.
And if your dog is an active dog who spends time in the heat or in a climate with dryness in the air, he will need more water.
Dogs need moisture to stay hydrated, and it is important to pay attention to the amount of water that your dog consumes daily based on his activity level.
You should also clean your dog’s nose with a mixture of water and a bit of dog’s shampoo regularly as dog’s noses are very sensitive and can easily become irritated.
A dog’s nose is a quick reliable indicator of his health status. So if you see something unusual with your dog’s nose, I’d suggest bringing him to see a vet for a check-up.
Your Dog Is Feeling Hungry Or Thirsty
By pushing his water or food bowl with his nose, he is telling you “Look here! My bowl is empty, could you fill it up for me?”.
He hopes the metal sound of his bowl rumbling against the floor will be heard by you and make you stop what you are doing and take notice of him.
You will likely see his eyes move towards you in anticipation of a reaction from you as he does his “pushing”.
And once you fill up his bowl, he will eventually learn that pushing around his food or water bowl will make you refill his bowl.
This will encourage him to continue with this act whenever he wants food or drink from you!
If you see this behavior as disturbing, you ought to make him learn that this act is not acceptable in your house.
When he starts to push his bowl with his nose, give him a firm and stern instruction “No” or “Stop It”, show him your discontent and walk away. Do not refill his bowl.
He will eventually learn to stop this behavior if he sees you giving him a stern “warning” and cold shoulder.
To prevent him from developing bad habits due to hunger or thirst, you should always keep your dog’s water bowl filled all day and only feed him at defined meal time.
He Wants To Capture Your Attention
I used to think my dog just liked to push things around with his nose because he was bored, but I’ve noticed that he does it when he is trying to get my attention.
This is his way of trying to get me to play with him!
One of his favorite ways to get my attention is by pawing at my leg, pushing his nose on it and looking at me with his adorable face.
That’s how he got me and as soon as I pick him up and snuggle him, he will start purring.
Of course, your dog will have his own ways of getting you to pay more attention to him.
This is when he may be doing things that seem unusual to you. It could be that your dog is trying to get your attention in some way, or it could just be that he has a very important message to tell you.
Here are some of the most common ways that your dog is trying to get your attention:
He Barks And Growls
Barking and growling are ways for your dog to alert you to his need for attention, or to let other dogs and people be aware of his presence.
He may bark as a signal to tell you to stop what you’re doing and give him your attention, or to warn you of any threat.
He Starts Chewing At Things
Your dog knows that if he does something that is attention – grabbing such as chewing on bedding, furniture, shoes, socks or playing with his food (pushing his food bowl with his nose), he will get your attention to stop him.
If you have the habit of giving him the attention that he wants whenever he performs these acts, he will continue to perform them in order to get your attention.
You need to learn to ignore these acts by giving him an appropriate punishment (not the physical type of punishment but the emotional type of punishment, such as showing him your unpleasantness and giving him a stern and firm instruction “No!” ).
The “attention-grabbing” act must not be rewarded. You should NOT give him the attention he is seeking!
Your Dog Has Bad Eyesight
You may think that your dog is trying to keep himself entertained by pushing things around with his nose.
BUT in reality, your dog is having problems with his vision and is unable to see properly.
He had difficulty judging the position of the things in front of him, which explains why he is not able to correctly eat or drink from his bowl.
This is likely going to happen in senior dogs where their vision is going to deteriorate as they age.
You should bring your dog to a veterinary professional for a checkup if you suspect that he is suffering from vision related issues.
In fact, your dog’s eyes should be checked regularly by a veterinarian.
He Is Trying To Ease His Boredom
Your dog is feeling bored and is trying to find things to make himself busy.
Pushing things using his nose not only helps in relieving boredom, but it also gives him a sense of accomplishment.
He loves to do what he is capable of and the act of pushing things is one of the things that he can easily accomplish.
While this may seem like a small accomplishment to you (to be able to push a bowl or a box), for your dog, this may feel like climbing a mountain.
If you have noticed your dog exhibiting “boring” signs such as excessive licking, scratching and chewing, digging, pacing and over excitement, it is a good idea to plan for ways to release his pent-up energy.
Get him involved in fun activities (such as tug of war, chasing bubbles or playing fetch) that he will enjoy, train him or take him out for a stroll.
These activities will help him to release any excess energy and help him manage his boredom.
Boredom will lead to various destructive behaviors, so before this happens, you need to shake things up a bit to keep him occupied and focused.
Your dog also needs to stay mentally stimulated and getting him involved in activities such as solving puzzle games and obedience training will keep him at his best.
Why Does My Dog Push My Puppy With His Nose?
You have observed the behavior of your dog using his nose to push your young puppy and was wondering if he was playing with him or if there was more to that?
There are many explanations for that behavior.
Your dog could be playing with your puppy, or he could be exhibiting his dominance over the puppy.
It all depends on how he does it.
If he is just walking past him, gives him a sniff, and pushing him gently with his nose, he is just playing with him. That’s fine. It is the same as a puppy play biting.
But if he is actually sitting or standing over him, pushing him hard with his nose and sniffing his rear end, then he is not just playing. It is a sign of dominance. Your dog may even bare his teeth, growl and snarl at the puppy.
Dominance is a form of asserting authority and is a way of saying: “I am a stronger dog. I am in charge. Be a good puppy and do what I say.”
An alpha dog will always do this as a way to be in charge of the other dogs in the pack.
When your dog is acting like an alpha dog, it is important to correct this behavior as soon as possible to prevent it from becoming a habit in your dog.
It is important for you to take control of the situation, and the way to do this is to be the alpha dog in your household.
To be a pack leader, you must learn to be assertive and control your emotions. You should never show any signs of weakness, fear or anxiety in front of your dog.
Always remain calm, cool and confident when you are around with your dog. Let him know that you are the one who gives him food and shelter and that his well-being is dependent on you.
This will greatly help in keeping your dog under control, and he will learn to respect you as well.
Dogs sometimes don’t even need much training in order to learn what to do. If you are kind to your dog, he will know that you are the owner and will show proper respect, as dogs always like to please their owner!
Another way to keep your dog under control is by using a dog training collar.
These collars will not hurt him, but will send a signal (range from a vibration to shock) to him to get him to obey your commands.
They can be used to train obedience, bark control, and other dog-related behavior issues.
Why Dog Pushing Blanket with Nose?
I’ve never seen my dog pushing a blanket with his nose before. I was wondering what he was up to.
He was sniffing at the blanket, and then, all of a sudden, he started to push it across the floor.
Is it because his nose is cold, and he is trying to push his nose on the blanket to get some warmth from it?
Then, as I watched, I saw that the blanket was not his only target. He was also tugging at my clothes and socks. This is when I had an “AHA” moment.
I realized that he was targeting things that had my scent on them. This is probably because I didn’t spend a lot of time with him all the while, and he is feeling a sense of loneliness.
He is trying to sense my presence through any means possible and by pushing his nose on things that carry my scent, that will ease his separation anxiety.
Another explanation is that he is trying to claim ownership of the blanket.
By pushing it with his nose, he left his scent and claimed it as his own. This is his way of letting his pack members know, “Hey, this is mine, don’t touch it, or I’ll turn aggressive!”
Your dog is just being dominant, and the best way to handle it is to assert dominance and show him who the pack leader is.
Be strict, voice your disapproval in a firm manner with a sharp “No!”, and if he’s not being destructive, take the blanket away from him.