Why Do Dogs Rub Their Face On The Ground?

Last Updated on January 8, 2022 by Griselda M.

Do you wonder why dogs rub their face on the ground most times and seem to enjoy getting your carpet dirty or their faces dirty?

Dog rubbing face on the ground is typical behavior among most dog breeds.  You will notice dogs rubbing their face on the carpet, dirt, floor, or other things around them.  They also love to rub their faces with their paws. However, what does it mean?

Most people believe that it is common for dogs to ease discomfort and itch, and there is nothing concerning about it.  However, is that the truth? Let us find out the real reasons why you will catch most dogs rubbing their face on the grass.

Why Do Dogs Rub Their Face On The Ground?

If a dog is rubbing its face regularly on a surface or an item, it may have a problem. However, if the rubbing is intermittent, then it may not be of concern.

Dogs Rub Their Face On The Ground To Feel Good

Dogs, like people, will sometimes rub their faces on things or surfaces to feel good.  As a dog owner, before you can tell that your dog is enjoying, you must first rule out all the other reasons.

A New Collar Could Irritate Your Dog.

Collars that are too tight or new collars may cause your dog to rub its face and neck on the walls, ground, or furniture in an attempt to relieve its discomfort.

If you get your dog a new collar, ensure that it is not too tight and not rubbing on the dog’s neck.  If you keep your dog’s collar on for too long and it gains new weight, the collar could end up being too tight and in need of adjustment or removal.  Your dog’s collar should be comfortable all the time.  You should be able to easily slip two fingers underneath its collar to check its comfort.

Rottweiler with Collar

Learn more about: The Best Rottweiler Collars and Leashes For 2021

Dogs Rub Their Face On The Ground Because They Are Irritated By An Allergy

Some dogs develop allergies that make them itch and rub their faces.  Allergies could be due to food, treats, pollen, grass, or household and environmental allergens like the detergent you use on your carpet, skin irritation that leads to constant rubbing.

Allergies could be constant or just seasonal, and you will notice your dog scratching its face in addition to rubbing.

Your Dog Could Have Ticks, Fleas, Or Mites

External parasites including fleas, mites like Demodex, scabies, and ticks usually bite and burrow into the skin of your dog, causing inflammation and irritation.

The infestation can make anyone itch in the areas that these bugs bite, including a dog. To eliminate these parasites, use proper treatment as early as you notice them.  This will help your dog stay clean and free from destructive pests.

Your Dog Is Removing Dirt From Its Face

Mainly after eating or playing out in the yard, your dog will rub their face on the ground or carpet to remove water, dirt, or food.  This can also be after a swim or bath.  If your dog is rubbing its face, for this reason, you should not be concerned instead, you can give it a little assistance, especially to dry the water on its face.

Read more about Old Dogs Eating Dirt.

It Could Be Experiencing Dental Pain

Any mouth pain or a bad tooth could cause a dog to rub its face on a surface or item to ease the pain.  If your dog has a dental problem, you will notice it will eat less or chew food on one side of its mouth.

Bloody saliva, bad breath, and repetitive licking of the lips are other signs that a dog shows when they have a tooth that needs to be extracted.  Some of the teeth may fall out on their own, but it can take months or years, and the dog is still in pain all this time.

Loose and broken teeth can cause mouth infections that could affect organ function if not addressed. Ensure that you take your dog to the vet to have diseased teeth extracted.

It Could Have A Brain Tumor

Brain tumors are thankfully not as expected, but it is still a possibility.  Brain tumors typically put pressure on the brain and are painful and uncomfortable.

Dogs with brain tumors can be spotted pressing their head against the wall or rubbing their heads trying to relieve the discomfort.

Seizures and behavioral changes may also be a part of brain tumors.  If you suspect that your dog has a brain tumor, take it to the vet for examination.

Your Dog’s Eyes Could Be Irritated

Your dog could rub its face on the ground if something is irritating its eye.  Sometimes it could be a scratch or an ulcer that forms on the cornea.  These will cause a dog to rub its face and eye on carpets or furniture.

It will also keep its paw at their eye or keep it shut.  If you suspect an eye problem, take your dog to the vet right away to relieve the irritation and prevent worse problems from occurring.

Maybe Your Dog Smells Something Good

Dogs have a powerful sense of smell.  If they smell something good, they may rub their entire face on it because they enjoy it.

It’s funny how the item may not have a pleasant smell to us, but it could be significant to the dog.

Your Dog Is Marking Its Territory

Dogs love to mark their territory by leaving their scent on an item like defecating, urinating, or rubbing their face or body on the area.

This action leaves invisible pheromones on the furniture, carpet, or ground as a signal that it belongs to them. This is a regular occurrence around dogs but doesn’t wonder about it, humans cannot smell these pheromones, but dogs can.


Next time someone asks you why dogs rub their face on the ground, let them know of the above reasons.  Some are more serious reasons that need a vet to look deeply into them, while others are funny reasons.

Overall, ensure that you check on your dog often to ensure it’s okay and its health is in good condition.

Should you notice any alarming situation, let your vet know for early treatment in the shortest time possible.

Read more about: Why Do Dogs Rub Their Bum On The Floor?

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