Why does my dog stand on his back legs?

Do you find your dog cute? Regardless of their size or weight, all dogs are adorable and their actions make us love them even more. For instance, when they hear a noise outside, their head, eyes, and ears perk up; when they are happy, their tail wags; and when you bring out their treats, they stand on their hind legs.

Although it may seem adorable, there could be a deeper reason behind your dog’s actions. While perked ears and wagging tails are acceptable, standing on their hind legs is a different story. It’s important to understand the reasons why your dog stands on its back legs, whether or not it’s beneficial for their health, and if there are any actions you can take to address the behavior.

Why does my dog stand on his back legs?

When your dog stands on his hind legs, you may wonder why he does it. Although there are only a few possibilities in most cases, the timing and manner in which he does it can provide valuable information.

It’s probably him showing affection.

Standing on his hind legs is a way for dogs to display affection towards other dogs, which they may do while interacting with them in places like the park or with a neighbor’s dog, and this behavior can sometimes resemble playful wrestling or dancing.

It is not surprising that dogs stand on their hind legs as a way to show affection towards humans, since we are tall and they may feel the need to reach us. This behavior can be compared to a hug, indicating that the dog both wants and needs affection from their human companion.

He may want to play.

Standing up on his hind legs can be a way for your furry friend to communicate with other dogs that he is ready to play, and it’s possible that he does the same thing with you. It’s likely that your dog is feeling energetic and would like to go outside and engage in some fun activities like playing catch.

He may want food.

Many dogs have a natural instinct to stand on their hind legs, particularly when they anticipate receiving treats or food in the kitchen.

He may just be full of excitement.

When dogs become excited, they tend to engage in various activities, and this excitement may be triggered by your arrival from work or when you prepare to go out for a walk, which could explain why your dog stands on its hind legs.

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It may be his breeding.

Boxers are a breed that is known for standing on their hind legs. They were originally bred by Germans in the 1800s for dogfighting, and their fighting stance resembled that of a human boxer. Additionally, German hunters used Boxers to hold down wild boars until they could be captured. Therefore, it is natural for a Boxer to stand on its hind legs.

He may have been abused.

Regrettably, it is possible that your dog has experienced mistreatment. Online videos depict brown poodles in China’s Sichuan Province being subjected to physical violence, forced to stand on their hind legs for extended periods, and compelled to perform, which some refer to as training but is actually abusive.

Is it bad for a dog to stand on its hind legs?

Standing on their hind legs for a few seconds occasionally is not concerning for dogs. But, if they do it frequently, especially when they are old or forced to do so, it can lead to severe health problems such as pain, weakness, injury, and more.

It can cause inflammation.

Undue pressure and strain on your dog’s spine, rear legs, and hips can lead to inflammation, which is difficult to detect in dogs. This inflammation can cause pain that may go unnoticed unless your dog shows other signs such as whining or limping.

It can cause strain or tears in tendons and ligaments.

Standing on his back legs for an extended period or landing incorrectly while returning to the ground can result in your dog experiencing strains or tears in their tendons and ligaments due to the added weight.

It can cause joint problems.

Standing on his back legs can lead to joint problems for your dog as it puts the joints in his hips and back legs in an awkward position, which can cause damage over time.

Hip dysplasia may happen when the hip’s ball and socket joint rubs and grinds instead of moving smoothly, leading to intense pain in the hips and pelvis, particularly when your dog transitions from lying down to standing up.

It can cause injury to the spine.

Standing on a dog’s hind legs can pose a risk to their spine as it is fragile and susceptible to injury, such as a slipped disc, when transitioning from a standing to landing position. This sudden jolt can also increase the likelihood of developing degenerative disc disease in dogs.

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It can cause neurological damage.

Your dog standing on his hind legs could result in harm to the central nervous system, which is linked to the brain. This can even cause paralysis in one or more limbs or other parts of the body. Only a vet can identify neurological damage, as magnetic resonance imaging must be used.

In older dogs, it can even cause fractured bones.

Similar to humans, older dogs can develop osteoarthritis which makes their bones brittle and prone to fractures. Therefore, an elderly dog with bone disease may break a bone while landing after standing on its hind legs.

Why does my dog sit up on his hind legs?

It is common for dogs to stand or sit up on their hind legs, often for similar reasons. However, the Dachshund breed is particularly well-known for sitting up on its hind legs.

Dachshunds have a reputation for sitting upright, but this is not recommended as their short legs and long torso from breeding puts excessive strain on their spine.

Standing up on their back legs can cause additional pressure on a dog’s lower back, and while it may seem cute for a Dachshund to sit upright, it can be detrimental to their spine, rear legs, and hips.

What should I do about my dog standing on his back legs?

Considering that many veterinarians consider a dog standing on its hind legs to be harmful and abusive, you may be wondering what actions you can take. There are several factors to take into account.

What should I do about my dog standing on his back legs?

Is it possible that your dog frequently stands on its rear legs, or perhaps it’s becoming too aged to do so? Below are some suggestions.

Don’t reward your dog for standing on his hind legs.

If your dog stands on his hind legs, avoid rewarding him with petting, treats, or playtime. Instead, ignore him until he returns to standing on all fours before giving attention. While it’s important not to punish or scold your dog for this behavior, withholding rewards may help discourage standing upright.

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Teach your dog healthy tricks instead of harmful ones.

Teaching your dog to stand up and beg for a treat can be dangerous, but there are several other safe tricks you can teach your dog, such as rolling over, fetching, playing dead, and barking on command.

What if my dog won’t stop standing on his back legs?

Perhaps your dog doesn’t frequently stand on their rear limbs, but if you’re concerned about safeguarding their spinal cord, hind legs, and hips from harm, there are a few measures you can take.

Make sure your dog gets plenty of healthy exercise.

Ensuring that your dog receives ample physical activity can enhance the strength of his muscles, which in turn reduces the likelihood of muscle damage. Take your dog for frequent walks and engage him in activities such as playing fetch that require the use of multiple muscles.

Feed him a healthy diet.

A dog’s diet plays a crucial role in maintaining muscle strength, and it is essential to provide them with an adequate amount of protein and other nutrients. You can find numerous articles on healthy dog diet examples by searching for “healthy dog diet AKC”.

If you’re looking for a different approach to feeding your dog, you could consider the rotational diet, a holistic method that involves rotating the protein source and the type of food (wet, dry, or raw). The Zignature website provides information on how to implement this diet for your dog.

It is logical to provide your dog with different meals so that they don’t have to eat the same food for their entire life.

Bone broth

One method to improve your dog’s well-being is by providing them with bone broth, which can be purchased or homemade using ingredients such as kelp, sage, nettles, dandelion root, astragalus root, burdock root, and other substances that are known to be beneficial for dogs.

You can also check this YouTube video about this topic:

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[Wikipedia] [Encyclopedia Britannica] [National Geographic] [cdc.gov] [Purina]

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