Why Does My Dog Lay its Head On Me? Quick Tips
You are watching your favorite TV program when you feel that your furry friend has come to sit with you. Surprised, you see that it is laying its head on you. If you are a new pet parent, you may be quite surprised when you notice that your dog is laying its head on you. This behavior may have alerted you; does your dog need something? Or is it sick?
Many pet parents wonder, “why is my dog laying its head on me?” In this article, we will have a quick look at some reasons for your dog’s adorable behavior.
For new parents, it is important they learn more about their pets’ behavior to take care of them easily.
Why Does My Dog Lay Its Head On Me?
How wonderful would it have been if we understood our dog’s language? We would know what its “woof” means or what it is trying to say to you. But there are certain non-verbal cues that your dogs will use to show that they love and appreciate you. And laying its head on you is one of them.
But before that, let’s have a quick look at some animal facts. Previously, wolves, after a long day at hunting, would come back to their caves and rest a little. But this rest was systemic and in a hierarchical order. First, the pack leader would lie down, and the rest would follow suit. They would cuddle together and lay close to each other.
But our dogs are not wolves, you may wonder! But since they belong to the same “family,” they have similar traits. Dogs, too, have this habit of following their leaders and showing affection to them. In most cases, if your dog is showing this behavior, it is because they respect you.
Safety and Security
It is in the DNA of dogs to be loyal to their leaders. Their instincts teach them to be a watch or guard dog. Dogs love to snuggle with their owners because they see them as their pack leaders. If your dog is showing this behavior, there are chances that it sees you as its leader and that it feels safe around you. And this is our “aww” moment. Isn’t it?
In some cases, your dog’s sudden behavior might be a reason for concern. Some dogs are not used to seeing their owners leave for long hours – and you would know that a dog’s day is seven times faster than ours. So, for them, when you are not around, you are gone for so long. As a result, when you come back, they cling to you because they don’t want you to leave them.
Marking their Territory
Did you know that dogs are territorial animals? They don’t like sharing their space with anyone else, and they want to mark what’s theirs. It is a common dog trait, and you may have noticed it in your dog. When your dog is laying its head on you, it wants to mark “you” as theirs. It does so by spreading its scent on you. When they do so, they make it loud and clear that you belong to them. For new parents, this behavior seems odd. But it is indeed quite remarkable.
Looking for Attention
Have you left your dog alone for too long? Or are you so engrossed in your work that you didn’t get time to spend some hours with your furry friend? Then it is understandable that your dog will lash out. And it’s good that this “lashing out” is not aggressive in any nature. By laying its head on you, your dog will just tell how much it missed you and that it needs your attention.
Things to Consider If Your Dog is Laying Its Head on You
To better understand your dog’s behavior, seeing “when” it started doing what it does is important. For example, it is possible that whenever it laid its head on you, you gave your undivided attention to it. Now, it started looking at it as a way to get your attention. To stop it from doing so, you have to stop giving its attention when it shows this behavior. This way, it will learn that you do not appreciate its gesture.
Similarly, it may be doing so to get food or something else. So, if you have inadvertently started looking at it as a signal for “food” and started filling its food bowl whenever it lays its head on you, you have encouraged it to ask for food in a certain way.
Training Your Dog to Help it Break Free From this Habit
You need to do certain things if you want that your dog doesn’t lay its head on you. Through “positive reinforcement,” you can help it get rid of this habit. However, you have to be a little considerate. Since such behavior is inbuilt in a dog, it will take some time to break free from this habit. You can also arrange for your dog’s training sessions. Your trainer will be better positioned to judge which method can go with your dog and how it can abandon this habit altogether.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why does my dog lay its head on my feet?
Ans: For sleeping, your dog may choose your feet as its sleeping spot. It does so because it feels safe around you. If your dog is doing this, you need not have to worry. It is a common behavior among dogs.
Q: Can I train my dog not to lay its head on me?
Ans: As discussed above, your dog can be trained out of this habit. While training may take some time because dogs are naturally more inclined towards sleeping close to their pet parents. For them, it isn’t a bad habit. But if you train them properly, they will break free of this habit in no time.
Also, if this behavior is because it has associated with certain rewards, you should stop rewarding it.
The Final Word
The next time your dog lays its head on you, you’d know that it is doing so out of affection. Dogs live in packs, and it is their way of telling their alpha male that they are feeling safe with them. For your dog, you are its family – its mommy or its pack’s alpha male – so it will behave with you exactly like it would with its mommy dogs.
If your puppy is showing this behavior to you, you should be happy that it has finally chosen you as someone it can trust.