Why Does My Dog Turn His Butt To Me?

Does he just want scratches?

dog with butt in the area

Does your pup take your ear rubs and head pats as an invitation to turn around and show you his rear end? Maybe he even takes this opportunity to sit on your foot or lap.

If this sounds like your pup, you might be wondering what that funny (and totally adorable) behavior is all about.

It turns out there’s a very sweet answer to the question, “Why does my dog turn his butt to me?” — it’s probably because he trusts you!

Natalia Fedosova/Shutterstock.com

“Our pet dogs are very loving and affectionate creatures, but they show affection very differently than we, as humans, do,” Anmarie Moucha, a licensed veterinary nurse with DodoVet, told The Dodo. “One of the ways they do that is by turning their backside towards us.”

When your pup turns his butt to you, he’s making himself vulnerable. “They cannot easily defend themselves from you if they are not facing you,” Moucha added. “So when they turn their butt towards you, they trust you to not hurt them.”

There are some other reasons that dogs turn their rear ends toward you, too.

Dogs have scent glands, called anal glands, right inside their butts, and they use these to mark territory with their scent.

“Every dog has a unique scent,” Moucha said. “This is why, when you see two dogs meet, they usually sniff each other’s backsides.” It’s basically their version of shaking each other’s hands.

When your own dog shows you his backside, he might also be trying to “mark” you as his with his scent. It’s kind of similar to how you put your dog’s ID tag on his collar.

For some dogs, there’s a simple reason why they present their butts to you — they just want you to scratch them. Lots of pups love when people scratch them above the base of their tails. “This spot in particular can be hard for dogs to reach to scratch an itch on their own,” Moucha said.

Now you know — the next time your pup turns his butt to you, he’s probably trying to tell you he trusts and cares about you. And he might want a few scratches.

Want access to a vet 24/7? With DodoVet, you can connect via video chat, phone or text with an empathetic veterinary expert who can help you be the best pet parent you can be. Say goodbye to Dr. Google and have all your pet parent questions answered anytime, anywhere. Learn more here.