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Why do dogs rub their body on furniture? Causes and treatment

 It's common to hear dog trainers commenting on how their furry dogs look focused on the couch at home, rubbing it over and over and going upstairs to get around as soon as they have the chance. This behavior is not a problem for many people, but some would prefer their dogs to stop doing it permanently. In the latter case, as with any other behavior, it is essential to establish the cause before initiating any behavior therapy.

If you've ever seen your furry friend rub themselves on the sofa, in this 57 dog article, we tell you why dogs rub themselves on furniture? Reasons and treatment, the main reasons to do this, and how you should act in each situation. So, find out with us why your dog is rubbing the couch and what to do.





To adjust body odor after bathing

One of the moments when you can most often notice couch rubbing behavior is after a fur bath. By using shampoos, conditioners, or other dog grooming products, you are masking your dog's natural scent, and although you might think these scents are too cute, the animal usually dismisses this synthetic scent very often. As a result, the dog will look for areas where he can scrub vigorously to remove the chemical smell from his body and restore his body. Of course, these areas are not chosen randomly but correspond to those places that keep the dog smelling better (such as the sofa or bed) or that have a more intense smell (grass, earth, or feces, for example).

What do you do in this situation?

This reaction is completely normal in dogs, so you don't have to worry that your furry friend is rubbing his body against furniture after a bath. Now, if you want to stop him from doing this, take him for a walk right after the shower or start playing with him to distract him, avoid using products that smell too strong, and don't put cologne on him, he just doesn't 't. t need it! You can also temporarily block access to the sofa and provide your dog with a scented blanket in case he wants to rub himself on it. 

You need to relieve itching on a part of your body

Dogs scratch with their back nails or teeth, but sometimes they feel very uncomfortable or itchy in an area of ​​the body they can't reach well and they resort to some furniture, surface, or object to get rid of themselves. In this sense, it is very common for them to use the couch to repeatedly scratch and rub the wings and the back of the face.

What do you do in this situation?

If your dog rubs against the couch to scratch it, all you have to do is find out the cause of the itch and treat it and it will stop. To do this, you need to take a close look at your dog, identify the itchiest areas, and explore his body for any signs, such as fleas, lack of hair, or reddish areas. The most common causes of scratching in dogs are external parasites, bacterial or fungal infections, and atopic dermatitis.

If you notice that your dog has started scratching a lot or rubbing himself on the couch when he hasn't done so before, go to the vet for an examination.

Know the signs of fleas in dogs 


To get rid of stress and accumulated energy

The strange behavior in dogs, in its English abbreviation, receives the name FRAP (Frantic Repetitive Activity Period), which consists of the animal starting to run uncontrollably, adopting the characteristic curvature of the posture, and always following the same path. It's also possible that in the middle of FRAP, your dog will begin to rub or roughly rub the couch or other surfaces, or you may notice that your dog is scratching the couch very hard. This behavior is sometimes shown, especially in young dogs, to release the accumulated energy after a stressful or exciting moment, for example, after a bath, drying with a dryer, or frequent play in the garden.

Therefore, if your dog has rubbed on the couch and, in addition, you notice that he is having a frenzy, this is likely the cause of these sudden behaviors.

What do you do in this situation?

This behavior will probably be very surprising to you the first time you see them and you may think that something is wrong with your dog or that he has "got crazy", but don't worry,  are completely normal, always and when they don't appear often. When your dog releases energy, his behavior is sharp and exaggerated, and he is usually not aware of where he is stepping, so make sure to move any objects or furniture he can reach out of his way and do not try to stop him suddenly because you could hurt yourself.

The bouts of frantic activity only last a few seconds, and eventually, the dog calms down. If you want to prevent your furry friend from damaging the sofa, try to anticipate this and prevent her from getting to her during FRAP or cover the sofa with a protective cover so it doesn't get dirty. 

He wants to get your attention

One of the main ways dogs learn is through the association between two events or between a behavior and its consequences. If a certain behavior leads to a pleasant and positive outcome for the animal, the dog will tend to repeat the said behavior, and if the result is negative, on the contrary, the dog will reduce the behavior.

If you have paid special attention to your fur, approached him to pet him, play with him, or otherwise reinforced him by seeing him wandering on the couch, the dog has likely learned that performing this behavior is a great way to get your attention and As a result, repeats it every time he feels Bored or when he wants you to pay attention to him.

What do you do in this situation?

It is very common, as educators, to reinforce behaviors without really wanting to do so. If you want your dog to stop rubbing against the sofa and you think he is doing it to get your attention, what you should do is expose this behavior to the extinction process, that is, you will have to ignore it and stop reinforcing it when it appears so that the frequency of its appearance decreases little by little. At the same time, you should reinforce other, more appropriate alternative behaviors.

You should know that when the extinction process begins, it is normal for a "behavioral explosion" to occur during the first few days, that is, the behavior you intend to eliminate will become more and more intense until, eventually, a reduction will occur . This is because the dog, not understanding why his no longer brings him the same behavior as before, exaggerates it more and more until he realizes that it is no longer useful to him. It is important to be patient and not reinforce it no matter how severe it is. 

for fun

Of course, another possible reason for your dog to rub or roll on the couch is simply that he loves it and gives him a nice sensation, without the need for him to feel itchy or uncomfortable in his body. Dogs often lie down and roll over on a comfortable surface when they are calm, happy, or resting. Also, by doing this, they leave their scent on the sofa, creating an environment in which they feel safe.

What do you do in this situation?

Understandably, from finds it fun to play on the couch, and if he sees a chance to do so, he won't hesitate to take a good nap on it. To avoid this, it is necessary to teach the dog from the first moment not to climb or rub against the furniture, to limit access to it, and to offer alternatives that will allow them to meet this need as well, for example, placing several high-quality beds in different parts of the house so that they can choose the place of rest and reinforce it when they are used.

It is important to establish consistent rules that all family members respect because if some days you allow your furry friend to sit on the sofa and other days you scold him for it, you will create a lot of confusion and frustration, which can lead to behavioral or emotional problems.

Now that you know why dogs rub against furniture, find out the exact cause for you and treat it if necessary. 

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