Why Do Dogs Lean On You
In the same way that we do, dogs have complex body language, which allows them to communicate with their environment and adapt to different circumstances. In case you are a proud dog guardian, it is quite possible that your affectionate friend has once caught you leaning on you. It may even have become a habit in your day to day.
This particular behavior is not negative or harmful at all and has different causes. For this reason, if you want to find out the reason that explains why your dog leans on you , in this Animal Wised article we let you know what this behavior is due to, either when it sleeps next to you or your pet it.
Why Is My Dog Leaning On Top Of Me When I Pet Him?
If your dog performs this behavior with you when you pet him, you can take it as a show of affection on his part. Surely, this is the first reason that has crossed your mind, and that is, that your dog rests his head on top of you when you pet him or when you stretch together on the sofa, is irrefutable proof that he loves you and he likes to be by your side.
This is because you offer warmth and security, in the same way that it happens in litters of puppies, who sleep together, leaning on top of each other and next to their mother, thus staying under her wing and protecting themselves from the cold.
Why Does My Dog Lean On Me To Sleep?
The reason why your dog leans on you when he sleeps or is relaxed is that you provide him with physical and emotional security, that is, he feels protected by your side and, therefore, he does not have the need to stay alert.
Without a doubt, in both situations that your dog leans on you is a clear demonstration of confidence. Likewise, it means that the bond established is strong and that for your dog you are his reference person, part of his family nucleus.
Why Is My Dog Leaning On Me? - Other Causes
Apart from the reasons mentioned above, there may be other reasons why your dog performs this behavior:
He wants to get your attention: in case your dog spends a lot of time alone and you do not dedicate all the time you should, it is very likely that your dog will perform this behavior with the intention that you pay attention to him, play with him, go out for a walk, fill the bowl with food, etc.
It could also be that your dog has learned that every time he leans on top of you you pay attention to him and, in this way; he knows that this action is useful to get you to be around him, for example, to pet him.
To tell others to stay away: You may have observed this behavior if you live with other dogs. Having your friend lean on top of you when others are approaching may simply be a way of wanting all your attention to be on him and not on others. In turn, it serves as a message to other dogs to stay away from you.
As we have seen, by itself this behavior is not harmful at all, but you should not rule out that there is a problem that you should treat. If you see that your dog is exhibiting other behaviors that express aggressiveness, such as growling if other dogs approach, then it could be a possessive behavior that can be problematic.
At the same time, you should also consider acting in case your dog shows signs that indicate that he has a hyper ague towards you, such as excessive barking with the intention that you are around him, destruction of objects when you are not at home, being constantly attached to you … In these cases, it could be that your dog experiences separation anxiety when you are not with him, harming his well-being and making it difficult for both of you to coexist.
For this reason, it is best to go to your veterinarian or a canine educator who can give you guidelines for action.
Is my dog dominant if he leans on top of me?
When we talk about canine ethology we find many times that due to misinformation many myths are formed around the behavior of the dog.
One of these is that if your dog leans on top of you it is because he is dominant, like many other behaviors to which this supposed need to demonstrate dominance towards you is attributed.
Now, nothing could be further from the truth, since dominance is an intraspecific behavior, so it is only performed by dogs with other dogs.
Likewise, it occurs in very specific situations, since a dog is not dominant or submissive as many people believe, but adapts its behavior to different situations, depending on who it is interacting with, what needs it has at that time, in addition to what learning’s and experiences he has had since he was a puppy.
Finally, if you have lived with several dogs at the same time, you must have noticed that they do not behave in the same way with each other as with you, and it is that although it seems obvious, your dog knows that you are not a dog.
On the contrary, many of the inappropriate behaviors that your dog performs are not due to the fact that he is dominant, but, for the most part, because he has not been educated correctly or that his well-being is not covered.