With its countless quirks, it’s not unusual for a dog to rest its head on you. While you might find it quite adorable, there might be some underlying issues bothering your pet.
Why does my dog lay his head on me?
Dogs rest their head on their owner when it’s anxious and looking for security. It’s also an attempt to seek the owner’s attention and a gentle reminder for affection. Or perhaps, they might just be looking to greet you because they just love you a lot. But you can train your dog to stop this habit.
To understand dogs better, we’ve to look deep into their psyche. It’s way easier to deal with once you know the secrets, and we’re willing to help!
Let us help you to get a better idea!
Why Do Dogs Lay Their Head On You?
Dogs are cutely whimsical and mostly clueless. They’ll perform outlandish tricks to garner your attention to them. One such common behavior noticed in dogs is their tendency to rest their head on you.
Why does a dog do this?
There’s no definitive answer to that. But pet experts have established quite a few reasons why dogs might be acting like this.
Here are 6 common reasons why your dog might lay his head on you:
Reason 1: Sense of Security
Your puppy loves it when you’re hanging around.
Why won’t they?
Most dog breeds are bred to possess an unwavering affection towards their owner. They feel safe and well-sheltered around you, and they want you to know that. Keeping their head is their way of telling you that they are seeking security.
The dog feels less vulnerable resting its head on you.
Reason 2: Anxiety
A natural trait of canines is to stick close to the alpha in a pack. Not staying under the protection of alpha makes them scared and anxious. And being its owner, you’re the alpha.
Sudden loud sounds and eardrum-shuddering noises upset dogs and they will look for reassurance. This can make your dog bury his head on you out of fear.
The thought of separation from the owner also makes them nervous. Due to this, your dog might want to rest its head on you before leaving home. They will tend to occupy your lap around the time you normally go out.
Reason 3: Seeking Attention
Dogs love to take the center stage of everyone’s attention. And the showman might feel left out if the spotlight is not on them.
To drag your attention back at them, your pupper will perform every trick in their playbook. This also involves laying their head on you.
Reason 4: Marking Its Territory
Even dogs are not above being jealous. Just like us, they take their relationship with their owner seriously!
In an attempt to describe you as “their’s’’, your dog might pull one or two dirty tricks. By laying their head, they leave their scent on you to keep away other dogs.
And guess what? It’s actually a very common behavior among dogs, and it works!
Reason 5: Just Greeting!
We don’t mind having our dogs around for mental support. Our dogs know it very well and they are more than happy to help. Resting their head on you might be their way of saying hello!
Dogs have their own form of language when it comes to conveying their message. This special act of acknowledgment is just another expression of their enormous vocabulary.
Reason 6: Your Dogs Sees it Acceptable
Perhaps you’ve let your dog lie on your lap once. It might seem like a small gesture on your part. But to your dog, it means the world!
Small gestures like such can make your dog think of them as acceptable manners. You just introduced them to this new ‘thing’. The best they can do is to follow them as a way to gain your affection.
Important Things You Should Consider
Your dog might be seeking a bit of warmth on your lap when he’s feeling unwell. The extra few cuddles and comfort are all he demands from you.
Simply lying down isn’t necessarily a sign of bad health. However, if this is accompanied by nausea, lethargy, diarrhea, and other symptoms, call your vet. Another symptom is that your dog will stretch a lot when he’s lethargic and feeling unwell.
It’s also important to carefully observe the pattern of this behavior in your dog.
Take notes of the particular time of the day your dog rests his head on you. Try to remember from which point in time it started doing so. Keep an eye out for other behavioral changes in your dog.
You can unveil valuable insight from these simple observations.
How to Alter a Dog’s Behavior to Stop Laying Its Head On You?
This adorable act of resting its head is not really a bad thing for your dog. But if you find it annoying and disrupting your focus, you might need to retrain them.
It’s actually not that hard to train a dog to enforce positive attitudes. With proper training and patience, you can reprogram your dog to leave this particular “etiquette”.
Here’s a 3-step guide on how you can do that:
Step 1: Pretend to Ignore
Starting with the hardest task on the list. It’s gonna be hard ignoring your fluffy friend’s all that awkward quirks. But over time, your dog will eventually understand the shift in mood.
Step 2: Avoid Negative Reinforcement Training
Actions that can instill negative reinforcement in your dogs should be avoided. Don’t let your dogs rest their face on you.
Giving your dog what it wants to do will only complicate the process.
Step 3: Train to Stop
Once your dog becomes aware of the changes, it’s time to begin the training. Continuously discourage your dog from landing his head on you. Make the dog sit somewhere and train it to stay there and stop following you.
Rewarding the dog with treats after every small bit of success makes it accustomed to changes. A healthy, fun treat makes your dog look forward to earning more treats.
To keep them eager and invested, you can try out these recommended dog treats:
These bite-sized treats will make sure your dog loves it while having an easier time chewing. You won’t have to worry about your dog choking on them.
Other behaviors, for example, your dog standing on you can also be altered through training. Ensure safe training sessions for your pet buddy.
Question: What happens when dogs stare at you?
Answer: Mutual staring between a dog and its owner releases love hormone, aka, oxytocin. It’s a chemical that improves the bonding between two and boosts the feeling of love.
Question: Why does my dog hold my hand?
Answer: Your dog will hold your hand in an attempt to grab your attention. This is a sign that the dog wants to be petted by you and played with.
Question: Is my dog resting its head on me as a sign of loyalty?
Answer: Yes, your dog wants you to know how loyal and reliable he is. It’s an instinctive trait among canines to protect their pack. And it’s a sign that the dog loves you.
That should hopefully answer all your questions on why does my dog lay his head on me.
All your little buddy wants is a bit of affection. If you’re okay with that, you should let it have that. One or two head pats ain’t asking for too much!
Enjoy bonding with them!