I have always asked myself, Why does my dog lay his head on me? You may be wondering the same thing if you’ve ever had a dog of your own. The reasons why dogs do certain things are often difficult to discern, which is precisely why I wanted to find out what experts had to say about it.
Here are 10 reasons given by experts in regard to why dogs lay their heads on people they love and care about. Hopefully, this will help to answer all of your questions!
1) To communicate with their ownersDogs often use physical touch to communicate with their owners. For example, they may lay their head on you to show that they trust and feel comfortable around you. They may also do it as a way of asking for attention or for a belly rub. Whatever the reason, it’s clear that dogs enjoy physical contact with their humans! One study from Yale University found that petting animals can lower stress levels by up to 27%.
It’s possible that your dog might be telling you something about his emotions and needs in this position, so make sure to take note if he starts rubbing his face against your leg or starts pawing at you.
2) To show trust in their owners
One of the main reasons your dog may lay his head on you is to show trust. Dogs are highly social creatures, and they form strong bonds with their owners. When your dog lays his head on you, he’s showing that he trusts you and feels comfortable around you. This is a sign of a healthy, happy relationship between you and your dog.
3) As a sign of loveOne of the most common reasons why dogs lay their head on you is as a sign of love. Dogs are very affectionate animals, and many will demonstrate their affection by placing their head on you. This behavior is often seen in puppies, who will often nuzzle their heads against their mother or owner as a sign of love and security.
The dog is exhibiting the same type of behavior when they snuggle up to you with its head placed close to yours. It’s not just because they want attention either – it can also be a form of communication between two friendly dogs, where one dog displays this behavior to show that he trusts his friend.
4) For AttentionDogs are attention seekers by nature. If they feel like they’re not getting enough love and attention from their owner, they may start to act out. One way they get attention is by laying their head on you. This is a dog’s way of saying pet me, please! Another possible reason for the behavior could be that the dog wants comfort or reassurance.
When your dog lays his head on you, he’s giving himself up to you – surrendering all control in an expression of trust and reliance on you for support. When your pup does this, he might be telling you that he needs some tender loving care or help. It’s also possible that he wants your body heat while sitting next to a drafty window or air conditioning vent
5) For warmthOne of the main reasons your dog may lay their head on you is for warmth. A dog’s body temperature is about 101 degrees Fahrenheit, which is warmer than the average human temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. When it’s cold outside or they’re feeling chilly, your dog may seek out your body heat to warm up. You may have noticed your dog doing this more often in the winter months or after a bath when their fur is still wet.
6) To relieve boredomIf your dog is bored, he may be looking for something to do. Laying his head on you could be a way to relieve that boredom. If you think this is the case, try giving your dog more toys and attention. Additionally, try taking him for more walks or runs to help tire him out.
7) Because they miss their mothersDogs are social creatures that crave attention and love. When they lay their heads on you, it’s their way of showing affection. They might also be missing their mothers. Dogs who were taken away from their mothers at an early age often become especially attached to their new owners.
8) To get help with pain or itchinessWhen your dog lays his head on you, he could be looking for relief from pain or itchiness. According to veterinarian Dr. Carol Osborne, pressure can help alleviate pain in a dog’s neck or back. Itchy skin conditions like allergies can also cause dogs to seek out pressure and warmth. If you think your dog may be experiencing discomfort, take him to the vet for an evaluation.
9) Because they like making eye contact with youOne of the main reasons your dog likes to lay his head on you is because he enjoys making eye contact with you. Dogs are very social creatures, and making eye contact is a way of communicating and building a bond with you. Plus, it feels good to them physically. When your dog lays his head on you, he’s saying, I trust you.
10) Because he likes your smellWe all know that dogs have an incredible sense of smell. In fact, their sense of smell is about 10,000 times stronger than ours! So it’s no surprise that your dog loves your scent. When your dog lays his head on you, he is actually taking in your smell and storing it in his memory. This is one way that dogs show affection to the people they love.
Tips to stop Your dog from laying his head YouThough it may be cute, your dog laying his head on you can actually be a sign of dominance. If you don’t want your dog to lay his head on you, there are a few things you can do to stop him.
- Ignore the behavior. Dogs are attention seekers, so if you don’t give them what he wants, they’ll eventually stop doing it.
- Put a barrier between you and your dog. If he can’t physically reach you, he won’t be able to lay his head on you.
- Train your dog with positive reinforcement. Reward him when he doesn’t lay his head on you, and eventually, he’ll catch on that this is the behavior you want from him.
- Be consistent. It takes time for dogs to learn new behaviors, so remember not to give in if your dog lays his head on you one day and not the next. It might take weeks or months before he learns that you don’t like him laying his head on you.
- Try using an anti-dog slipper/bootie to discourage your dog from lying down near you by preventing contact with any part of your body. These devices make it difficult for a dog to situate himself close enough for contact or licking while discouraging them from jumping up or standing too close at all times by shielding the back leg area.
- Preventing access to resources (e.g., food, and water) is another way to train your dog. Once he realizes that being around you means no treats or access to water, he will probably move away from you when he sees you coming instead of laying his head on you!
- Do whatever works best for both you and your pup–some people find comfort in petting their dogs, some find it distressing; some people are allergic to their pets’ fur; some people enjoy playing games with their animals–just do what feels right for both of you!
- The key is consistency–it takes time for animals (including humans!) to adjust their behavior once they’ve been given instructions about how they should act.
Dogs lay their heads on people for many reasons. It could be because they want attention, they’re tired, they’re happy, or they want to show their affection. Dogs are amazing creatures that have a lot of love to give. If your dog lays his head on you, it’s a sign that he loves you and wants to be close to you.