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Doggy Behavior: Why Does My Dog Slap Me In The Face?

Dogs are incredible companions to keep. They make wonderful friends, and they are super loyal, but sometimes, they can act a little strange.

One particular kind of strange behavior that dogs are known for is slapping their owners in the face, and it can be difficult to know why they are doing it straight away. But as a dog owner, it’s in you and your dog’s best interest to get to the bottom of why they are behaving this way.

Why Does My Dog Slap Me In The Face?

If you are experiencing this doggy problem, then you have come to the right place.

We are going to go over a few reasons as to why your dog might be slapping you in the face so you can begin rehabilitating this behavior as soon as possible.

Why Does My Dog Slap Me In The Face?

There are many reasons why your dog might be slapping you in the face.

It is important to remember that every dog is different, and in most cases, the reason why they are doing these things can be solved quite quickly.

We have included multiple reasons why your dog might be slapping you in the face, so take a look at them for yourself and then pay attention to your dog’s behavior to see if any of them match up.

Reason 1: They Need Food

Sometimes, the simplest answer is usually the right one, and in the case of your dog slapping your face, it could just be that they are hungry.

Sometimes, barking or making noise doesn’t quite translate the way your dog wants it to, and in those situations, they are more likely to do something physical.

It is not uncommon for dogs to slap their owners in the face when they want food.

They are more likely to do this when you are eating something yourself, too, so see if this is a pattern that your own furry friend is following.

Reason 2: Attention Seeking

Lots of dogs can be quite needy, and if they aren’t the center of attention, they might try something different to make you notice them.

Again, barking isn’t always the answer, and your dog will learn that barking won’t always get your attention. This is why some of them end up slapping you.

They will usually resort to physical interaction like this when they want attention, but you are too focused on another task.

This is something you will need to train them not to do if they have already formed the habit.

Reason 3: Asserting Dominance

Some breeds of dogs tend to be more dominant in behavior, and it is not uncommon for that desire to be dominant to manifest in physical behavior.

They will slap you in the face or on other parts of your body to assert that dominance and establish their position within the house.

Sometimes, they are just doing this to test the waters and see how much they can get away with.

The best thing you can do here is establish boundaries because the longer it goes unchecked, the worse it will get.

Why Does My Dog Slap Me In The Face?

Reason 4: They Are Trying To Show You Affection

Sometimes, your dog means well, but their actions don’t always translate positively.

While you might be distressed that your dog is slapping you in the face, they may just be trying to show you some affection.

Dogs are very loving and loyal animals, and they love to show their owners how they feel.

They are also very hyper-aware of your mood changes, so if you have been a bit depressed or low energy lately, they will pick up on that and try to cheer you up.

If you don’t mind them doing this for an affectionate reason, you can just leave it be. But if you don’t like this behavior, it is important to train them not to do it, even if they mean well.

Reason 5: Reminding You Of Their Routine

Dogs are creatures of habit, and they thrive when they have a well-established routine. But there will always come a time when you, as their owner, forget to do something, and that’s normal.

Your dog might just slap you in the face to try and remind you.

It could be something as simple as not going for a walk together at the usual time or forgetting to give them a treat.

It is important to know your and your dog’s routine really well so you can work out if you have forgotten to do something. This way, you can avoid their paws coming into contact with your face.

How To Stop Your Dog From Slapping You In The Face

In some cases, owners really don’t mind if their dog slaps them in the face, especially if it’s for a positive reason. But regardless of whether you don’t mind or just want to break the habit, there are plenty of ways for you to stop your dog from slapping you in the face.


As previously mentioned, one of the best ways to stop your dog from slapping you in the face is by setting boundaries.

You can do this by setting commands (such as saying ‘no’ or ‘down’), or you can gently push them away from your personal space to establish a bubble they can’t cross when they are doing something wrong.

Positive Reinforcement

Another great way to break this habit is by using positive reinforcement techniques.

All this technique involves is rewarding and recognizing desired behaviors and completely ignoring negative and undesirable behaviors.

Eventually, your dog will learn that slapping your face gets no response from you, and they will stop doing it.


It can be challenging to work out why your dog is doing something like slapping you in the face, but once you determine the cause, you can work on ways to break that habit.

Use the tips we have provided here to work out why your dog is slapping you in the face and how you can stop it.

Sharon Isaacs