What Does It Mean When Dogs Rub Their Bum On The Floor


Why Do Dogs Rub Their Bum on the Floor?

Dogs rubbing their bum on the floor is a behavior that can have various underlying causes. It’s essential to consider the context and the individual dog’s health and habits when trying to understand why they engage in this behavior. Here are some common reasons:

1. Anal Gland Discomfort:

  • Cause: Dogs have anal glands located on either side of their anus that secrete a smelly fluid. Sometimes, these glands can become blocked or irritated, causing discomfort.
  • Behavior: Rubbing the bum on the floor may be an attempt to relieve the discomfort caused by anal gland issues.
  • Signs: Scooting or dragging the rear end along the ground, licking or biting at the anus, and a strong, unpleasant odor from the area are signs of anal gland problems.

2. Itchy Skin or Allergies:

  • Cause: Dogs can develop itchy skin due to allergies, dermatitis, or other skin conditions.
  • Behavior: Rubbing the bum on the floor could be an attempt to scratch an itchy or irritated area around the anus.
  • Signs: Redness, inflammation, excessive scratching, or biting of the skin in the anal area may be indicative of skin problems.

3. Dirty or Irritated Bottom:

  • Cause: Dogs may rub their bum on the floor if they feel their bottom is dirty or irritated.
  • Behavior: This behavior could be an instinctual way of trying to clean or alleviate discomfort.
  • Signs: You may notice your dog attempting to clean or rub their bum after defecating.

4. Behavior or Habit:

  • Cause: Some dogs develop the habit of rubbing their bum on the floor as part of their grooming or self-soothing behavior.
  • Behavior: This is not necessarily linked to a specific medical issue but may be a learned behavior or a response to stress.
  • Signs: If the behavior is repetitive and not related to any physical discomfort, it might be a habit or a response to anxiety.

5. Parasites:

  • Cause: Internal or external parasites, such as worms or fleas, can cause discomfort or irritation around the anal area.
  • Behavior: Dogs may try to alleviate this discomfort by rubbing their bum on the ground.
  • Signs: Check for signs of parasites, such as scooting, visible worms in feces, or excessive scratching and biting in the anal area.

6. Infections:

  • Cause: Infections in the anal or genital area can lead to discomfort and a dog’s attempt to relieve it.
  • Behavior: Rubbing the bum on the floor may be a response to the irritation caused by the infection.
  • Signs: Look for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, discharge, or a fever.

Comparison of Possible Causes:

Here’s a comparison table summarizing the possible causes of why dogs rub their bum on the floor:

Anal Gland DiscomfortRubbing to relieve discomfortScooting, licking/biting anus, foul odor
Itchy Skin/AllergiesRubbing to scratch or relieve itchinessRedness, excessive scratching/biting
Dirty/Irritated BottomRubbing to clean or alleviate irritationObserved after defecation
Behavior/HabitLearned behavior or response to stressRepetitive, not linked to physical discomfort
ParasitesRubbing to alleviate discomfort from parasitesScooting, visible worms, excessive scratching
InfectionsRubbing due to irritation from infectionsRedness, swelling, discharge, fever


  • If you notice your dog frequently rubbing their bum on the floor, it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian. They can perform a thorough examination and diagnose any underlying medical issues.
  • Regular grooming and hygiene maintenance can help prevent some of the issues that lead to bum rubbing. Keeping your dog clean and ensuring their anal glands are expressed regularly can be beneficial.
  • Behavioral causes, such as stress or anxiety, may require the assistance of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist to address.
  • Avoid scolding your dog for this behavior, as it may exacerbate anxiety or stress-related causes. Instead, focus on identifying and addressing the root cause.
  • Always consult with a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan if your dog’s bum rubbing behavior persists or worsens.

Answer ( 1 )


    When dogs rub their bum on the floor, it could be a sign of discomfort or irritation in that area. This behavior is often associated with anal gland problems, which can cause itching and discomfort for dogs. Dogs have two small sacs located on either side of their anus, and when these sacs become full or infected, they may try to relieve the discomfort by scooting their bum on the ground.

    Another possible reason for this behavior is the presence of fecal matter stuck to the fur around their anus. Dogs are naturally clean animals and may try to remove any residue by rubbing against surfaces. In some cases, dogs may also exhibit this behavior as a way to mark their territory or seek attention from their owners. If you notice your dog rubbing its bum excessively or persistently, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues and provide appropriate treatment if necessary.

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