What Does It Mean if a Dog Pokes Your Leg With Its Nose?

by Christy Ayala Google
    Nose nudges play a significant role in canine communication.

    Nose nudges play a significant role in canine communication.

    George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    Dogs communicate their wants and feelings through body signals and physical contact; even something as simple as a nose nudge can hold a variety of meanings. From a feather-soft tickle that barely touches your leg to a firm poke from that cold, wet nose, your pup is sending you a message.

    Interpreting the Nudge

    A common meaning behind many nose nudges is the desire for attention. Nuzzling your leg as you sit on the couch is your dog's way of letting you know he's up for a little love and affection. A quick nose-touch to the leg as he comes in from outside says, "Hi, I'm back," while a cold nose pressing firmly on your leg from under the dinner table is his way of reminding you of his presence -- and his interest in the smells wafting from your plate. If he senses you are sad or not feeling well, a gentle brush of the nose on your leg says he's there for you; and should you happen to be sitting on your pooch's favorite sofa cushion, a firm nudge to the leg lets you know that you're in his spot.

    Photo Credits

    • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Christy Ayala writes about recreation, sports, aquatics, healthy living, family and parenting, language development, organizational change, pets and animals. Ayala holds a master's degree in recreation administration from Aurora University’s George Williams College, a graduate certificate in organizational change from Hawaii Pacific University and a bachelor's degree in Spanish from the University of Missouri, St. Louis.

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