Dogs have an interesting tendency to lean on their parents. And this means, physically lean on them. For many dog parents, this can seem peculiar. What is the reason they do that?
Why do they lean against your leg when you are standing? Why do they feel the need to sit on you when you’re sitting in bed? Of course, this behavior doesn’t bother dog parents at all, they just don’t have an explanation for it. But there is one. Or three, to be exact.
The first reason is more of a speculation than anything. Some argue that when dogs lean on you, they are actually invading your territory and trying to establish dominance. But, the consensus of the professionals seems to disprove this. Apparently, this is just a myth for most dogs. It can be true only if your dog has a very dominant personality.
Secondly, it has been shown that dogs lean on their parents for safety. They need to feel physical and emotional support. This is especially true for anxiety-prone dogs. When dogs are in the presence of people, their brain releases positive chemicals. This means dogs associates their owner with happiness and safety. When they lean on you, they probably need reassurance and comfort, so be there for them.
Lastly, dogs lean on you because they love you. Dogs love cuddles and attention, so they’re probably just trying to subtly let you know that they want to be scratched between the ears. Being pack animals, they naturally crave physical touch and closeness.
No matter what their reason for leaning on you is, be ready at all times for your dog to do it. Especially if your dog is a big one, be sure to have your feet firmly planted on the ground!