Why Do Dogs Put Their Head Down And Bum Up?

Why Do Dogs Put Their Head Down And Bum Up?

Have you ever noticed your pet doggo goes to this uncomfortable-looking bowing position whenever they meet some other dog? They do this, especially when seeing an old doggo friend.

Does that mean your pet is scared of the other dog? Is that a submissive position? Why do dogs put their head down and bum up continuously? Should you stop letting your pet play with the other dogs when he does this?

I’m sure your head must be exploding with a dozen or so related questions about dogs putting their head down and bum up. Let’s find out!

So, Why do dogs put their head down and bum up? It is nothing bad except your pet is inviting the other dog or dogs to play. This is how dogs show other animals that they mean no harm and would love to play with them. When the first dog does this, others would soon follow with the bow and barks. And that is the acceptance YES to your pet’s invitation to play.

So if you are worried that your pet’s habit of putting the head down and bowing to other dogs means your pet is scared of others, it is high time you get rid of that thought right away.

Because this bow is a friendly one and an exciting invitation for the others to join him to play. 

Why Do Dogs Put Their Head Down And Bum Up?

While there could be many reasons as to why your pet puts his head down and bum up often, the most common cause is the play invitation. 

If you let your pet socialize with other dogs or he has many friends, you must have seen him bowing with his bum up. And now, don’t tell me that you have never wondered why your puppy does this.

Haven’t you thought about whether he’s scared of the other dog? Have you doubted your decision to make him play with other canines?

Many dog parents go through this phase until we find out why dogs put their head down and bum up. So if you’re in this phase with your dog right now – which is evident because you are reading this – don’t worry; this habit is natural and normal.

As we explained earlier, this is a way of communication. This bow shows that your puppy does not mean any harm to other dogs around. And it could also mean that he is inviting others to play with him. 

As you might have already noticed, whenever a dog does this curtsey, others will soon follow and start doing the same. That simply means that the others are accepting the first dog’s invitation. 

So don’t overthink; sit back, relax, and enjoy the puppies playing. 

But, there could be instances where your dog brings you his favorite toy and excitedly does his signature play bow. That means he’s asking you to play. 

Other than these reasons, the dog might also do this when;

  • He is stretching
  • stalking something
  • or suffering from an illness like stomach ache, etc.

Why Is My Dog Doing The Downward Dog?

The downward dog pose, AKA the prayer pose, is a popular yoga position that lets humans stretch their spines. But did you know that this position is inspired by actual dogs?


Dogs put their bums up in the air with tails wagging and front paws and head resting on the ground when they are primarily greeting someone. You must have seen this posture in your pet when you come home in the evenings after work. 

Most of the time, they go to the downward dog position when happy. This posture is how they communicate their feelings to you. Maybe he’s delighted to see you waking up in the morning or excited that you are home after being gone for several hours. 

When you see him doing this, you better spike up your mood, too. Because playing with your pet will help you refresh yourself and elevate your spirit to a higher positive level.  

Moreover, this is another position, an extension of the previous “Let’s play” posture, that canines use when they are excited to play with another canine. 

But keep in mind that other than these, many dogs adopt the downward dog posture when they are in pain.

Most of the time, the reason is closely related to stomach pains (pancreatitis, gastrointestinal problems, etc.). Rarely it might also be a sign of spinal cord injuries. 

Therefore, keep a watchful eye for any sudden changes in your dog, such as;

  • Overdoing the downward dog pose
  • Limping when walking
  • Refusing to move
  • Whimpering in pain, etc.

If you ever decide that your dog is indeed in pain, the best thing you could do to help is to get him checked by a professional. 

Why Do Dogs Put Their Head On The Floor?

Dogs usually put their heads on the floor when they are bored. They might sprawl in a quiet corner and keep their head down, trying to doze off.

But other than being bored and having nothing interesting to do, there are many other instances where dogs put their heads on the floor.

Have you ever scolded your pet for something naughty they have done? Maybe the playful puppy just chewed off your expensive sofa cushion or accidentally peed inside the house.

When you raise your voice towards the dog, he might lower his head to the ground and look up with a fearful pair of puppy dog eyes; they will instantly make you feel pity towards them. In this event, your pet shows his submissiveness towards you, the owner. 

But, again, have you noticed your dog adopts this kind of behavior excessively? Then don’t spare much time but take your pet to the vet as soon as possible.

Your vet might be able to see any underlying health conditions in your pet so that you can get the medications started quickly.

But all in all, these postures in a healthy dog are poes of communicating different emotions and moods. So, if you are wondering, “why do dogs put their head down and bum up?” We hope this answers your problems.

Thank you for reading this post. Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts about your favorite dog breed.


  • Sofia Williams

    Sofia W. is a professional dog trainer who completed Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA and CPDT-KSA) certifications. Also, she has completed the Pet Nutrition Coach Certification. Sofia is interested in creating nutritious food formulas for dogs to give them a longer and healthier life. She believes food and training are a collective combination of a healthy dog. So, she is with us to share her expertise and knowledge with other dog parents.

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