Why Do Dogs Rub Their Faces on the Ground? – 10 Common Reasons

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Dogs often rub their faces against walls, furniture, floors, and other objects. This behavior is not always relevant and can sometimes involve a simple thing as itchy face or body.

So why do dogs rub their faces on the ground? There are reasons why an animal keeper might need to address it. Read on below.

The Reason for the Face Rubbing?

The Reason for the Face Rubbing

If a dog regularly rubs its face over something, there may be an underlying condition. But if rubbing is intermittent, it may not be relevant.

Trouble such as dirty or wet or fur, pain due to an eye or tooth injury, irritation due to allergies or fleas, or just feeling good are possible reasons why a dog can rub its face against something.

Marking Area

Dogs can leave their scent on an object to mark their territory by urinating, defecating, or simply rubbing their face or body on it. This action leaves invisible pheromones on the furniture, carpet, or other objects that the dog rubs to signal that something belongs to them.

This can be a very common but normal event, and while people cannot smell pheromones, other dogs can.


Some dogs are born with allergies that results in itching and rubbing of their face. Skin inflammation can lead to friction and irritation.

Allergies can be due to food or medication taken by a dog, or to environmental and household allergens like pollen, various grasses, and dust mites. They can be seasonal or constant, but if a dog itches due to allergies to the face, it may be that it rubs the floor or furniture.

Fleas, Mites, and Ticks

Fleas, Mites, and Ticks

Parasites of external nature are scabies, ticks, mites like demodex, and fleas. All these parasites can bite into a dog’s skin, causing irritation and inflammation.

This in fact makes everyone itch, not just your dog. Regular medicines to prevent parasites should be used to avoid having to put up with these parasites.

Collar Irritation

New or too tight collars can make a dog rub its neck and face on the floor, furniture, or walls to ease the discomfort. If a new collar has been recently attached to the dog, it should be examined whether it is not too tight or rubbing against the dog’s neck.

If the dog’s collar has not been removed for some time and it has grown or increased, it may be too tight and needs to be adjusted or removed.

Something on The Face

Dogs that have water, dirt, or even food on their faces can rub them against something to get it off. This can be after a meal, after a swim or bath, or play outside in the yard.

If the dog does this, there is no need to worry, although it is better to lend the dog a hand.



A simple mouth pain or bad tooth can result in a dog rubbing its face to relieve the pain. Repeated licking of lips, bloody saliva, and bad breath are telltale signs that a tooth needs to be removed.

Some bad teeth might fall off by themselves, but this may result in infection that puts their organ functions in jeopardy and cause pain if not treated.

Rotten teeth need to be removed by a veterinarian; therefore, medical treatment is required if it is concluded that this is why a dog is rubbing its face on the ground.

Brain Tumor

Fortunately, brain tumors are not common in dogs, but there are instances where it happens. Brain tumors can apply pressure on a dog’s brain and be unpleasant or painful.

Dogs often push their heads against walls or rub their heads due to the tumor. If there is a suspected brain tumor in the dog, a veterinarian should be called in to examine it.

Irritation of the Eye

Sometimes foreign objects irritate a dog’s eye, or its cornea has developed ulcer spots. These things can sometime result in a dog rubbing its eye and face against carpets and furniture.

The eye irritation often also paws at the eye or keeps it closed. If there is evidence of eye problem, a veterinarian should be consulted to mitigate more serious problems from happening in the future.

It Smells Good

It Smells Good

Dogs are equipped with a very pronounced sense of smell. If they fall in love with a certain scent, they can just rub their face against it all day long.

The product may not smell pleasant to us, but it might be paradise for a dog. A well-known example of such an object is a dead animal corpse outside the courtyard.

It Feels Good

Dogs can be like humans when it comes to all kinds of textures and fabrics. Sometimes it just feels good when you rub your face over things.

If after many deductions, a dog owner has found no other reason why a dog rubs its face on things, this can be the only reason for the strange behavior.

Other Places that Dogs Rub Their Faces On

My Dog Scrambles into Faeces

My Dog Scrambles into Faeces

Oh, no! One of the behaviors that dog owners like the least is precisely this one. That is why we punish them by giving them a good bath to remove the smell, especially for hygiene purposes if they live inside the house.

But why do they do it? As in the case of dead animals, the reason is also to imbue themselves with smell and camouflage themselves before attacking their prey. To keep the floors clean and avoid stepping on these feces, it is important that each owner collects the droppings of his dog.

My Dog Scrambles in Grass

If your dog scrambles on the grass in the countryside or in the park, on the sand at the beach, in the presence of other dogs, this is usually a symbol of its desire to play. It is also a way to release their stored-up energy.

If it rubs after bathing, you probably want to take off the smell of soap or cologne that we put on them because even if we love it, they almost always do not.

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