Dog Nip on the Butt: What’s That About?

A dog nip on the butt is a way for your dog to communicate something to you. But what’s he saying? Is he being mean, aggressive or what? Perhaps you have seen your dog do it to someone or you’ve had first hand, umm, butt experience with this gesture.


Dog Nip On The Butt

Because dogs have no opposing thumbs to shake hands to greet or grab your arm to pull you back, they use their mouth – which works well in the dog world – just not with us.

Dogs are very oral. They taste and experience the world with their mouth and they communicate with their mouth as well. Sometimes it’s vocalized barking or howling and other times it is nipping or biting. Your dog may be trying to tell you something.

But let’s not complicate things. It really gets down to a couple of messages – since they can’t speak English. A nip on the butt can be a friendly, excited greeting or your dog’s way to say “Hi, let’s play!”

One dog owner says, “My dog nips my butt when I come home” while a second owner phrases it a little differently by saying, “My female Lab gets excited and nips certain people (mainly women) just as they have entered – when they come over to visit.”

Another message your dog could be sending you is one of “voicing his concern” about something going on in the moment.

One Great Pyranese owner puts it this way, “My first Pyranese would nip you on the butt if you did anything with the kids that made them scream. We learned rather quickly not to chase the kids if he was around. He never broke skin, just a quick slightly painful nip letting us know he didn’t approve.”

What’s the solution to this annoying behavior?

The solution is really simple. Just decide what you would prefer your dog to do and begin to train him to do exactly that – on leash of course, even if it is in the house. Let’s look at an example.

Nippy greetings: Teach your dog to “touch your hand” when he comes to you. Each time you extend the palm of your hand, and your dog nose butts or touches your hand, click/praise and treat. When you can reliably anticipate the touch, add a cue word like, “Say hi!”

When visitors come in all they have to do is to extend their hand with the words, “Say hi!” for a very friendly hand touch greeting! Then you call your dog back to you. Practice with family members or real close friends until your dog has it down.

It will also give your dog a different behavior to do rather than jumping when greeting your house guests. Obedience training is always a great solution to dog behavior problems like nipping on the butt. Make your dog obedience training a fun experience for you and especially your dog. You’ll be glad you did.

I’m really interested in your thoughts and opinion on this. Does your dog do this?

“Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”

Jim Burwell, professional dog trainer for 25+ years, serving 8700+ clients, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad.  Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog.

His Ground Rules for Great Dogs is the culmination of these years of training into an easy, step-by-step process so that your dog understands what you expect of him, you empower him to be able to give you the behavior you want and you empower him to be successful at living in a human home.

5 replies
  1. Diane Giovanetti
    Diane Giovanetti says:

    This is good advise and I will try it. My German Shepherd will nip my daughters butt when she comes and visits and a few other of my female guest. I will try the ‘say hi’. He will also go kind of nuts when my guest leave. I have to block my dog from my guest when they leave.

  2. client care
    client care says:

    Phil” if you live in Houston in an area we service we can help you with in-home dog behavior If you don’t live in Houston we do live video coaching – read about that here: Hundreds of blog posts and videos up on my website and YouTube that you’re welcome to read and put to use. Personalized support is, of course fee based.

  3. Jim
    Jim says:

    Could be he targets your husband’s attention because your husband does Not pay him much attention OR it could be because your husband Does pay him a lot of attention. Either way, without doing an in-depth eval of how you have life stuctured with your dog, I would say it is attention seeking behavior which can stem from a lot of things you are or are not doing.

  4. Whitney Warner
    Whitney Warner says:

    Our dog has taken a liking to getting way all up and in my husband’s personal bum space. Andy, our puppy, will really terrorize my husband, even pulling down his sweat pants to get bare skin contact. I think it is just to get attention, but we really don’t understand why he targets my husband. Any thoughts?

  5. Elizabeth Payton
    Elizabeth Payton says:

    Just looked this up, my dog does this when she needs to go out. This is her way of getting our attention. She does it very gently, never hurting us.

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