5min Read

Why Is My Dog Rubbing Against the Wall?


Your furry friend is constantly rubbing against the wall. Or the couch. Or a table leg. Or another surface. You're going crazy trying to figure out why, why, why. Why is my dog rubbing against the wall?


Well, it could mean several things. Pups communicate through body language a lot more than humans realize. Even the most innocuous gesture can mean something. Here are some explanations that may help you suss out whether the constant rubbing is something to worry about—or just quirky behavior that endears her to you even more.

Your Pup Has Itchy Skin

With a lack of opposable thumbs and flexible shoulders, your pup needs clever ways to scratch. Rubbing her body against any available surface is a way for her to deal with itchy skin.


Skin issues in dogs often stem from airborne or food allergies, parasites like fleas or mites, or bacterial or fungal infections. Look at the skin beneath her coat. Is it rashy? Flaky? Inflamed? Do you see red circles or tiny bugs? Is there hair loss?


If so, a trip to your vet is a good idea. They will determine the cause of the itching. Your vet may pluck a few hairs from the area to check for infections or scrape off a little skin to check for mites. If the area is infected, your vet may recommend antibiotics or a medicated shampoo. If it's allergy-related, they might suggest an allergen-free food to see if it helps. Pet supplements are another option for most pups.

She's Coping with an Ear Infection

If your canine companion seems to be leaning on walls or furniture to stay upright, she might have an ear infection. Structures deep in the ear canal affect your pup's balance and equilibrium. If she has an untreated ear infection, she might feel dizzy.


Your vet can use an otoscope to look inside her ear canal for infections. If one is present, your vet may prescribe an ointment to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation. They may also tell you to use an ear-washing solution such as a Sulfodene® product to clear debris from the ear canal. Severe infections require a thorough ear cleaning, which involves your pup being sedated by your vet. This is because canine ear canals aren't straight and have a sharp L-shaped turn. Safely cleaning them with tools is tricky and best left to your vet.

Your Pup Has an Eye Infection

If your pup is most often rubbing her face on walls or elsewhere, it could be an eye issue. Scratches or ulcers on the surface of the eye can be quite painful. Another cause of eye itchiness could be a bacterial or viral infection on the membrane that covers the eye. Your vet may check her eyes by applying numbing drops and a bit of dye and looking at them with a special light. Scratches or ulcers will glow green or yellow under the light. If your vet spots anything, they'll recommend a treatment plan.

The Collar or Harness Bothers Her

If you put a new collar or harness on your pup, she might be uncomfortable. Rubbing against the wall or furniture could be a way for her to move it around and get relief. Make sure the straps aren't too tight. You should be able to fit your fingers between the collar or harness straps and her body.


If there's no sign of skin irritation and your pup is otherwise all right, though, it's OK to keep an eye on her. See if the behavior stops once she becomes accustomed to her new accessory.

Your Pooch Is Marking Her Territory

When most people think of a pup marking territory, they think of urination. While that is a tried-and-true way for her to claim her domain, it's not the only way. Marking territory is another possible answer to why your dog is rubbing against the wall.

Your doggo declares "This is mine!" using her personal scent. Rubbing her face and body on things leaves pheromones that humans can't smell but other dogs can.

She's Feeling Stressed

Behaviors like pacing or rubbing against surfaces can be a sign of stress. Your pup might find it calming and make it a habit. If it's constant and you've ruled out other reasons for it, talk with your vet about stress and what to do about it. Calming chews are an option. Solutions might involve consulting a veterinary behaviorist if the problem is severe. Your vet can work with you and your pal to find the best solution for her stress.


Figuring out why your furry friend is rubbing against the wall takes a little bit of guesswork. These six are the most likely possibilities. Discovering the reason for her behavior is the first step in finding the right solution. This way, she can be comfortable and you both can get back to sharing good times.

Posted On: May 11, 22