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Rubbing Nose From Anxiety

Guest UESBrindle

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Guest UESBrindle

In the past, when William has an upset stomach because he ate something he shouldn't have, he will try and nose his food dish to knock it over, and will then rub his nose on his bed or the carpet, until he rubs it raw.


This morning and afternoon on walks he didn't poop, and I guess he really had to go afterwards and went poop inside. He has never done this before, and I'm fairly certain it was just an accident because he held it too long, but I think he was really upset that he did it inside. He aparently did the nose rubbing again, and it looked worse than I've seen it before.


Here are some pictures:





Does anyone else have a hound who does this? Is there any training we can do to help him better direct this anxiety? It is tough to do anything when we're not home, but when we are home I want to know what we should do.


Thanks in advance,


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Guest UESBrindle

When the vet came last time for his gastritis he said it was "nutty" and I shouldn't let him do it, that I should just redirect him and take him for a walk or something.


Well, when I'm not at home and he does it (like today) I can't really redirect him after the fact- I can only clean it and put ointment on it.


When I was home for it when he had gastritis and wouldn't eat, when I pushed him away from his bed to try and get him to stop, he just did it on the floor, which I think is worse because it's not as soft.


I guess a cookie would distract him, but I don't want him to think that he is getting a reward for this behavior.


He would actually rub his nose on his bed and it would leave lots of little red lines where his poor nose was unsure.gif




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Guest LindsaySF

When Sooner first came here he would do this weird rubbing thing near his food dish. He would lay down next to the bowl to eat (I feed fosters in their crates) and rub his nose on the bed in front of the food bowl. Then he would eat a kernel or two from the bowl, then get to rubbing again. It almost looked like he was trying to bury the bowl or cover it somehow. A few times he rubbed the bed so vigoroursly he knocked the bowl over and spilled kibble everywhere, and then he wouldn't eat.


I have no idea what caused this behavior, and he hasn't done it in a while, but I attributed it to anxiety. He has separation anxiety and doesn't like the crate, and he's a very picky eater and hard to keep weight on. We tried a few foods and could never get solid poops, but Taste of the Wild is working now. He's very immature and just an insecure dog in general. I think he has finally settled in here (he came here in August) and he doesn't do as many of the quirky things as he used to.


It's also possible that he did have an upset stomach for whatever reason, or had worms or something. I dewormed him several times with Panacur (gets rounds, hooks, whips, and giardia), and finally with Praziquantel (for tapeworms, even though I never saw any). His appetite has improved and he looks like he is gaining weight (finally). Who knows why he was doing the rubbing thing, but I thought I would share my experience.


Another thing to consider, have you checked William's teeth? Teagan will rub his face on his bed after eating when he gets food stuck in his teeth. He settles down after I brush them, or sometimes after a long drink of water (where food chunks get backwashed into the bowl, ewww).


Good luck.






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Gee rubs her face and chin on her bed, but her's is caused by allergies. I switched foods and she's doing so much better!

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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Bauer would end up with this same exact mark on his nose - in his case, it was always when he had something "good" that he wanted to bury until later. He would nose all his blankets up into a ball and hide whatever food/treat he had until he was ready to eat it.

With Buster Bloof (UCME Razorback 89B-51359) and Gingersnap Ginny (92D-59450). Missing Pepper, Berkeley, Ivy, Princess and Bauer at the bridge.

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Guest AboveTheClouds

One of mine did this a couple of years ago when I first switched her over to raw. I was perplexed how she did this until I found her in the backyard trying to dig a hole with the top of her nose in an attempt to bury her food.


She seemed to exhibit this behavior when she was standing on something soft. I saw her repeat this behavior on the couch a couple of days later. Feeding her in the kitchen solved the behavior and its since completely healed with no scarring.



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It sort of sounds like it might be an anxiety reaction. If it was allergies, I would expect the "itching" to be more widespread. You might get sme Rescue Remedy or DAP spray and try it when you're at home to see if it helps him at all. If it does, then one of the DAP home diffusers might be a solution for when you're gone to work.


He probably didn't want to "go" in the snow, so he held it too long and - Voila! Unless it happens again, I would put it down as an accident.


Give him a gentle iss on that owchie nose for me!

Chris - Mom to: Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

52592535884_69debcd9b4.jpgsiggy by Chris Harper, on Flickr

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom, Lilly

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Guest RedBrindleBoy

My girl, Anna, who is a pit bull/boxer mix actually does some of this, too. She has "old lady dribbles" sometimes, and when she would fall asleep and her bladder would relax, she would pee on her bed. This upset her terribly, as she is an extremely clean and tidy girl. One day I woke up to find streaks of blood everywhere.... the carpet, her bed, the blankets on her bed.... I mean, it could have been close to 100 streaks. All from her using her nose to try to cover up the accident. :( :( Her nose looked like the above pictures posted. A medication change helped her urinary problems, but that, of course, doesn't help your situation. I'd say there isn't really any training you can do for the anxiety, but you can help it with aromatherapy, or melatonin, or DAP diffusers/sprays, or Tellington Touch, or Rescue Remedy. Luckily there are LOTS of different therapies for anxious dogs these days. Hopefully it was, like for Anna, a one time thing.

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So glad to see this post, noted a small area on my grey's nose, I have been watching him for days trying to see what is going on, not at all a open wound, like some of the poor pups here, I too though it make from him rooting in his bed, to get it to the right fluffiness before he lies down, but I will watch closer now thanks

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  • 2 years later...
Guest CIPhoenix


I adopted this little sweetheart the day before thanksgiving 2012. I named her "Ninja". The first day she was very anxious with the tail between the legs and the whole 9 yards. The day after Thanksgiving I took her to Petsmart in Berlin NJ and got her a Thunder Shirt. This almost instantly cured the anxiety. She is 9 months old at this posting (12-11-2012) and has adjusted to her new home well. I did notice that she rubbed her nose - as if to brush something away - on the bed, particularly when I gave her a treat. I believe she is trying to "bury" it as the previous poster stated, because 9 months is too young to have developed a brain tumor (God forbid!) but I'm watching her nonetheless. She is very happy and active, running around the yard and playing with her squeaky toys (and my Nike pullover cap) so I'm sure she's fine. Dogs really ARE Man's Best Friend

Edited by GreyTzu
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While I cannot view yours photos (sorry, not sure why?) ... my angel Chauncy rubbed his nose raw like AbovetheClouds hound (see above post). Long story but I had three senior greys. Sadly, I had to euthanize Chauncy's two younger houndmates within three months of each other (one in December; the other in March). Chauncy, 13+, was the sweetest and most loving velcro dog but had a complete anxiety meltdown and could not handle being alone. Not to mention, I'm sure he was confused and grief-stricken over the loss of his buddies.


Sorry I'm at work and don't have access to my photos but on one occasion, Chauncy also rubbed his nose raw. Another time, I came home to find bloody streaks (like from a paint brush) on a carpet runner in the kitchen. There was also a poo pile on the same runner but it did not appear as if Chauncy was trying to cover the poop. These incidents occurred when I was not at home.


Three weeks later I adopted a senior female grey to be Chauncy's roommate but he never quite recovered. He would cry if I went out to the mailbox. He suffered from some sort of cognitive decline (dysfunction) and his anxiety became debilitating. I suspect the wires were getting crossed in his brain. It broke my heart to see him so despondent.


In May, I said goodbye as there was little we could do to comfort him and I could not bear to watch him carry such a heavy burden of heartbreaking anxiety. Chauncy was almost 13-1/2 (at his age, he did not handle meds well which is why I didn't medicate).


Anyway, in Chauncy's case, the behavior was anxiety-related (definitely not allergy).


Sounds like you have very sensitive pupper. I'm inclined to think this is behavioral but not sure what the answer is. The female I adopted to be Chauncy's new friend came with a DAP collar. She also had a history of roommate loss, peeing and pooping in the house. I tried Composure treats, Xanax, DAP collars -- but finally discontinued all as they turned her into a zombie dog (Xanax made her throw up). She is so much brighter and perkier now that she's "clean."


You certainly could try some of the calming options and just see how it goes. Hugs to you and sweet William.


ETA: Duh. I just realized this post is several years old. Well, don't mind me.

Edited by IndyandHollyluv
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