It’s safe to say we’ve all been there before. You’re walking around your house, minding your own business, and suddenly your dog runs into you! If you weren’t expecting your dog, then you may even be knocked off balance. Every time it happens, you ask yourself: why does my dog run into me?
Dogs run into you to assert their dominance. Dogs also run into you to seek comfort from their owners. Lack of coordination and confusion can cause dogs to run into people.
Your dog could run into you for what can seem like very different reasons. The actual reason will depend on what situation your dog is in. Keep reading to learn more about this strange and potentially painful dog habit.
Reasons Your Dog Runs Into You
Aside from simply being an accident, there are many reasons why your dog runs into you:
Your Dog Is Asserting Dominance
If your dog seems aggressive when running into you, then your dog is asserting his dominance.
A large, male dog will assert its dominance, especially if you are female and overall a small build. You will need to work closely with your dog to teach him that he is not the boss of the house.
Your Dog Is Afraid Of Something
If your dog is afraid of something, then he may run into you.
He could be looking to get away from a scary thing that happened, and if you are in the way, he will run into you.
Your Dog Can’t See Well
An older dog may not see as well as he used to. This could be his overall vision or his depth perception, meaning he cannot tell how far away you are.
You will know that it is your dog’s vision if he seems to bump into you rather than run into you with any force.
Your Dog Is Being Playful
A playful dog will run into you. He may be trying to knock you down so he can lick you and play with you. It could also be your dog’s way of nudging you along to find his toy or throw his ball.
This is especially prevalent with younger dogs.
Your Dog Is Looking For Comfort
You are often your dog’s best form of comfort, so he may run into you when looking for you to “save” him from something.
If fear is the reason your dog runs into you, you should be careful not to immediately push him away because it could ruin your relationship with your dog.
Why Do Dogs Run Into Your Legs
Dogs run into your legs as a sign of dominance. If a dog can knock you over, then he can be more assertive than you.
While this may not be a significant concern with smaller dogs, a large dog running into you can mean that the dog struggles to assert his dominance over you.
Large dogs, especially those that are male, often have dominance issues and may not believe that you as an owner should be the dominant “dog” in the household.
Dominance is often established by dogs with whoever is “higher” physically. If a dog can knock you to the ground and stand higher than you, the dog is the dominant one.
How Do You Stop A Dog Running Towards You
There are a few actions you can take to stop a dog from running toward you.
When a dog is running toward you, your first instinct may be to run away, but that could be one of the worst things you could do. It will encourage the dog to continue chasing you, whether he is being mean or feeling playful.
- Do not make eye contact with the dog.
- Turn your side to the dog and cross your arms over your chest.
- Back away slowly.
The best person to stop a dog from running toward you is the dog’s owner, who may not always be available if something were to happen.
Make sure to never engage with a dog running toward you because that could make the dog worse.
I mentioned in the introduction that it is essential to understand your dog’s personality to find the real reason your dog is running into your legs.
If you’re a seasoned dog owner, then you probably know that all dogs have very different personalities from each other.
But if you’re a new dog owner, you might wonder how it could be possible to learn your dog’s personality. After all, you may think that animals don’t have their personalities.
Well, I’m here to tell you that animals have just as unique personalities as humans do.
Here are some things to pay attention to so you can learn your dog’s personality:
- How does your dog act around other dogs? Is he hostile, afraid, or always willing to play?
- Is your dog aggressive around food? Does he snap at other dogs who might near go around his bowl?
- Does your dog try to be the boss of the household?
- How does your dog act around strangers? Kids? Other animals, like cats?
- How does your dog react to stress events, sudden noises, and things that come out of nowhere?
You’ll be spending a lot of time with your dog as a dog owner. It may feel strange to ask these questions of a dog, but as you get to know your dog, you’ll realize these questions are surprisingly easy to answer.
This will also help you see if your dog is aggressive, docile, or friendly.
An aggressive dog will be the one most likely to try to assert dominance over you. This is a problem particularly in large, male dogs than any other kind of dog.
A docile dog may be more likely to get scared of something and find you.
Finally, a friendly dog is probably the dog running at you as a way to play with you. He may still knock you over, but he means well!
Every dog you come across can act very differently, but it will be easier than you think to learn about your dog!