Why do dogs rub against furniture?

Why do dogs rub against furniture?


Dogs are known for their quirky behaviors, and one of the common ones is rubbing against furniture. You may have observed your furry friend rubbing their body against the couch, table legs, or even walls. But why do dogs engage in this behavior? In this article, we will explore the reasons behind why dogs rub against furniture and what it signifies.

Marking Territory

Marking territory: Dogs have a strong instinct to mark their territory, and rubbing against furniture is one way they do it. By leaving their scent on objects, they are communicating to other animals that the furniture belongs to them. This behavior is more common in unneutered or unspayed dogs, as they have a stronger drive to mark their territory.

Scratching an Itch

Scratching an itch: Another reason why dogs rub against furniture is to relieve an itch. Just like humans, dogs can experience itchiness due to dry skin, allergies, or parasites. Rubbing against furniture provides them with some relief by scratching the itchy areas. If you notice excessive rubbing or scratching, it’s essential to check for any underlying skin issues and consult a veterinarian if necessary.

Seeking Comfort

Seeking comfort: Dogs may also rub against furniture as a way to seek comfort and security. The act of rubbing against objects can provide a sense of familiarity and reassurance, especially when they are feeling anxious or stressed. This behavior is often observed in dogs that are experiencing changes in their environment or are dealing with separation anxiety.

Marking Scent

Marking scent: Dogs have scent glands located in various parts of their bodies, including their neck, back, and paws. When they rub against furniture, they are leaving their scent behind, which serves as a form of communication. This scent marking can convey information about their presence, social status, and even reproductive status to other dogs in the household or neighborhood.

Attention-Seeking Behavior

Attention-seeking behavior: Dogs are social animals and crave attention from their human companions. Rubbing against furniture can be a way for them to seek attention and affection. They may have learned that this behavior gets a response from their owners, whether it’s a pat on the head or a playful interaction. If your dog is rubbing against furniture excessively, it’s essential to provide them with alternative ways to seek attention and engage in positive interactions.


In conclusion, dogs rub against furniture for various reasons, including marking territory, scratching an itch, seeking comfort, marking scent, and attention-seeking behavior. It’s important to understand that this behavior is natural for dogs and serves different purposes. However, if the rubbing becomes excessive or is accompanied by other concerning behaviors, it’s advisable to consult a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues or behavioral problems.


– American Kennel Club: www.akc.org
– The Spruce Pets: www.thesprucepets.com
– PetMD: www.petmd.com