Why Does My Dog Lean On Me? [4 Reasons Revealed]

I have a German Shepherd and I always wonder why does my dog lean on me? He usually sits by my legs and puts his weight on me. Leaning on something is very common in canines. This act is most commonly seen in giant breeds. Many canines will also lie their body against you. But have you thought about it as a behavior problem or a normal thing?

Why does my dog lean on me?

The answer to this question is very simple. Canines lean on their owners because they want to be close. It is a natural thing in canines since they are pack animals. Hence, canines like physical contact with humans. 

You can pick up small dogs and cuddle but the scenario is different in the case of big dogs. Hence, to fill this gap, the big dogs usually lean on their owners.

Few fidos are so affectionate that they always want to lean on you. Some will sit on your feet, sleep their paws on you, and cuddle up on the bed or couch.

Some researchers also claim that leaning is a sign of dominance in canines. However, canine behavior experts have shown that the dominance theory is not always correct. Dominance is a relationship between animals and not a behavioral issue. 

In many cases, leaning is a sign of insecurity or fear. Canines hide behind their owner when they are in fear, but that fido also shows other signs as well. Canines that are under-confident usually show signs of insecurity or fear. 

Is leaning a problem?

Leaning is innocent conduct in canines. Leaning on humans isn’t always taken into consideration as a behavior issue until it actually bothers you. If you truly dislike when your canine leans on you, clearly stroll away while he does this.

Give him actually no interest until he stops doing it. Eventually, it’s going to connect your moves with his behavior. If you want to help with this and other training, do not forget to hire a canine trainer.

Some canines attempt to be in physical touch with their human beings as much as possible, even going so far as to comply with their people across the residence. When this occurs constantly, the conduct may be a signal of separation anxiety.

Canines with separation anxiety experience panic while you depart them alone. If a canine with separation tension anticipates you are probably leaving the residence soon, they may start displaying symptoms of anxiousness. 

Some canines can’t endure having you ever out of their sight. If you think your canine suffers from separation anxiety, communicate to your vet. Your vet may refer you to an animal behaviorist for assistance.

They can also prescribe medicine to help reduce your canine’s anxiety, though that is preferably the final resort.

Getting to know why my dog leans on me!

1) To protect his human

If you are at the canine park with your pooch, and your canine comes jogging over and leans towards you, he may be telling other dogs, “Okay, everybody: that is my human. You cannot have her.”

If you are with other human beings and your canine leans on you, he may also again be telling every person that you belong to him. But he also understands a threat.

He can be leaning on you to let everyone know that you have a guard dog. It additionally places him in close contact so he can spring into a movement to defend you when any negative situation arises.

2) To show affection

One of the most common reasons for leaning is showing affection. Your canine loves you a lot. He cannot talk, so he has to reveal affection in different ways. Leaning is one of these ways. It is a type of a canine hug.

He can also be requesting affection from you. Our pooches like pets, hugs, or otherwise proven affection by us.

He can also add lean toward you in the hopes you will reach down and scratch his ears or provide him a pat on the head.

Canines are amazing animals. Instinct tells them to take consolation in feeling others around them. Many fidos will go to sleep with as much of their body touching their human as possible.

One phrase of caution: if all of a sudden sooner or later your canine starts leaning as he walks, take him to the vet. It might be a signal of an ear infection or different extreme circumstance that calls for clinical treatment.

As with all matters canine, why your specific canine does what he does is due to the fact he is the canine that he is. You will continually be the world’s main authority to your very own canine.

Follow your instincts for deciphering what your canine wishes and/or wishes when he leans into you, and also you won’t go wrong.

3) Your pooch may be afraid

Fireworks, thunderstorms, loud noises, etc can threaten your pooch. When canines are afraid, they may lean against their owners to pressure them to be safe. 

4) To show dominance

Leaning on different dogs (and a few times humans), maybe a signal of dominance. If your canine leans towards a canine he doesn’t know, he can be sizing up the opposite canine.

If a canine is leaning on any other canine or a human to show his dominance, assume him to expose different symptoms of aggressive behavior, including keeping his tail stiff and sticking straight up; having his ears up, and possibly even baring his teeth.

How to reduce your Dog’s leaning

If your canine is a frequent leaner and it’s starting to trouble you, it is time to change some rules in the house.

Here the good news is that this hassle is not that difficult to fix, and it’s probably not a big deal to get right immediately!

Step 1: Stop encouraging the lean

Stop giving your canine what he needs when he leans. Period. If your canine is leaning to ask for games, petting, or taking the sofa cushion, you need to forestall rewarding this conduct.

Your canine is presently using leaning on you as a manner to get what he desires. That’s fine, however, if it is bothering you, you ought to forestall rewarding him for doing it!

Keep in mind that you’ll likely get an extinction burst when you forestall rewarding your canine for leaning. Your canine is confused – leaning typically works, however now it’s no longer getting him what he desires.

He might also additionally try and double down on the lean – he may lean more often, longer, or tougher earlier than giving up.

Instead of giving your canine what he desires (assuming you already know what that is) when he leans on you, anticipate him to prevent leaning, after which call him over. Give him what he was asking for. However for your terms!

Until you get the leaning under control, all correct things show up to the canine only while you need them to. If he leans at you, ignore him. When he ultimately gives up, then you could play a game, pet him, or go for a walk.

Step 2: Making him understand “Nothing in Life is Free” 

Your subsequent intention is to provide your canine with a brand new way to ask for what he desires. Think of it like coaching your canine to say please. Make a listing of all the things in existence that your canine likes – this could include:

  • Going outdoor
  • Fetch
  • Sniffing things
  • Tug
  • Getting pet
  • Meeting others
  • Eating dinner
  • Coming out of the crate
  • Meeting different canines
  • Coming up on the sofa

These are referred to as environmental rewards. They are things that occur in your canine’s daily life which are separate from treats or different training rewards. To lessen demanding behaviors like leaning or barking, we want to harness those environmental rewards.

Once you have got your listing of things that your fido loves to do, come up with a way for your canine to say please. Most human beings choose to sit.

Pro Tip: 

Whatever movement you pick, make certain it’s something your canine already is aware of on cue and knows well.

If he best sits while you are preserving a cookie alone in the kitchen, but not in the outdoors or the park, your canine does not truly recognize “sit.” Work on generalizing the conduct earlier than beginning on “nothing in life is free.”

This “game” is quite smooth when you get the hang of it. Before commencing the door to go outdoors for a walk, ask your canine to take a seat down. Only when he sits does he get to head outdoors.

If your pooch is a fetch maniac, ask him to take a seat down in between throws. In case he does not sit, the sport does not continue. If the furry friend loves to be petted, ask him to take a seat down earlier than petting him. You get the idea!

This will assist in lowering leaning with the aid of showing your canine a brand new manner to ask for something. It additionally enables your canine to learn a few impulse control, due to the fact now he has to work a bit for the whole lot in life.

Finally, Why does my dog lean on me?

In conclusion, I would say that leaning is not a bad thing. But, if it goes to a certain level then it can be annoying. Hence, it is better to make your pooch understand that it is not good if leans on you more frequently. 

Also, you need to stop rewarding him for his leaning. When dogs get encouragement, they repeat things often. Hence, stop rewarding him with pets, treats, or hugs when he does so.

I hope you enjoyed today’s article on “Why does my dog lean on me?”. Stay connected for more such interesting pieces of writing. Thank you. 

“Why does my dog lean on me?” – The most common answer to this question is to show affection. Canines love their owners unconditionally.

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