The Hip Nudge is an often misunderstood signal. Many people would look at this and through the “dominance goggles” and see a dog trying to control the resource of space and push the other dog out of the way with her hip.
But in the context of the situation this isn’t what was actually happening. These two dogs had just met and were getting to know each other. The dog on the left had cropped ears (thanks to some scissors) and a docked tail. Although she was very friendly with other dogs, sometimes other dogs couldn’t read her friendly intentions because of her “alternations”.
Watching these two meet each other and interact was a lot of fun. Since the traditional fast tail wag was out of the question, there was a lot of “shake offs”, yawning, and excitement bordering on over stimulation (piloerection). But these two soon realized the other’s friendly signals and started to play. The dog on the right however, still mildly concerned (because of Zoe’s cropped ears?) that maybe Zoe was too intense, so throughout the game she would “hip nudge”.
Hip Nudging is an “appeasement” behavior, signally friendly intentions and usually the communication is something like “I like you, do you like me?”
Dogs will hip nudge each other and humans that they like as well. This is not a “dominance” behavior because there is not competition for a resource. Is it attention seeking? Yes! Can it become obnoxious? Yes again (just look at Zoe’s face, she is tired of being nudged)! If your dog is constantly Hip nudging you, then maybe she is feeling a little insecure, or maybe she has learned it is a good way of getting attention. If she does it occasionally, then take it for what it is, your dog likes you!