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Every time your dog nudges you with its nose you get confused about what it’s trying to tell you. Well, you ain’t at fault here as a nudge could mean many things. To understand the actual reason behind it and effectively respond to the dog, consider the situation and apply one of the possible reasons described below:
A prod or a soft nudge could mean a `Hello/Greeting’: When you meet your dog after an interval of some hours, perhaps after returning from work or running errands, you might be greeted with a welcoming nose-nudge. A soft nudge is a dog’s way of saying “Howdy! My favorite human?”.
[Dog with the baby image by photographybyasiya.com ]
It could be used for directing you to a certain location: There are some dog breeds that are specially bred for herding livestock. These breeds watch over and guide other animals. This very nature will surface even in a setting where the dog is surrounded by its human family and nose-nudging is used by the herding canine to guide its people especially kids. Australian Shepherd, Welsh Corgis, Border Collie, Shetland Sheepdog, Smooth Collie are some shepherd dog breeds that are kept as pets.
An expression of submission: When a dog communicates with another dog by poking its nose in the mouth and nose area of the latter, it is trying to say that you are superior. It is simply extending friendship towards this other dog and wanting to avoid any sort of confrontation. Sometimes even the tongue is used to nudge the muzzle of this other canine to express submission to it. The same submissive body language is used with humans as well. Your fur ball might prod you on the hip or muzzle area to tell you that you’re its boss.
In some dogs it could mean the exact opposite of submission: Dominance is what your dog wants to exert over you if it is nudging you a bit too much and mostly to get what it desires. Often this kind of dominant behavior will be accompanied by extreme/unnecessary barking, blocking your way when you get up to move around, guarding its food and mounting. These can be rightly tagged as undesirable behaviors that would require correction. A professional trainer may be enlisted to tackle a scenario of this type.
Dogs nudge to request for a little something: Dogs may not just nudge you but also non-living objects to communicate what it wants. Pushing a toy towards you could be an invitation to play. Prodding an empty food bowl means it wants more to eat. So in each case the dog is requesting you to fulfill a certain need and asking for your undivided attention.