why does my dog lay his head on me

If you are an owner of a beautiful puppy or a mature dog, you may have queries behind why does my dog lays his head on me or your arm, knee, or shoulders. Luckily, there are many possible answers to this question which are to seek attention, anxiety, hungry, feeling cold, etc. You will surely be amused when you will get to know some more hidden facts about your pal.

This article will give you complete details regarding the reason behind Why Does My Dog Put His Head On My Lap, shoulder, neck, and other laying habits of your dog. 

Answer to Why Does My Dog Lay His Head On My Chest

Apart from why does my dog lays his head on me; you may also see your dog resting on your chest. Possible reasons behind such acts of your dog are perhaps they are being affectionate, want something from you, to get rewarded, anxious, etc. By this, they also spread their scent over your body to prove that you belong to him. Dogs also do this to get extra attention from you. In case your dog is having some anxiety issue, then also he can place his head on your chest to feel safe. Owners who leave their dogs alone for a long time can also witness such traits due to the separation anxiety in dogs. In case you witness too much of such an act in your dog, you can follow the following steps-

  1. Reward your dog at the right time.
  2. Do not leave your dog alone too often
  3. Spend some quality time with him and take them for a walk regularly.

Answer to Why Does My Dog Lay His Head Over My Neck

Many people buy dogs only for one particular reason is to receive and give affection. Dogs, too, by nature, are very affectionate and social animals. The amount of such socialization depends on your breed, age, and living conditions, and many such factors.

why does my dog lay his head on me

A healthy dog that has been generously domesticated will often need attention from its owner. By resting their head on your neck, they simply want to divert your attention towards you.

Another possible reason is stress. Petting your dog regularly is important. Many experts say that petting your pets reduces their anxiety and stress. If you have not petted or reward your dog in time, you may witness such acts of dog too often. So in case, your dog lies his head on you is perhaps they are under stress and need some petting. By this, your dog’s desire to seek attention is also fulfilled. 

In ancient days when these dogs wander around in a pack, they do not have such kind of problem. But now only you are only his pack, and he is only dependent on you for attention. So as an owner, you should always ensure that your dogs get the proper attention that they deserve. These days due to busy lives, people leave their dogs alone in the house, which is not right as it creates separation anxiety in them. For this, you can leave your dog with your friendly neighbor or arrange daycare for your pet. You can also take them to the dog parks occasionally to keep them mentally healthy.

Reasons Behind Why Does My Dog Lay Its Head Over My Face

The possible reason behind Why Does My Dog Lay Its Head Over My Face is perhaps they are hungry and need food. Dogs do not show decent manners as humans and so have a different way of communicating. In case you are eating your meal and your pal finds its smell delicious, he may layover you to reach that particular food. So it would be good that if you are eating your food, provide some scraps of your food to your dog too so that they are busy eating the food. It is a fact that is even having sufficient diet, dogs are always hungry and like to eat new treats throughout the day. Basic training and education will help them to reflect good behavior. 

Another reason behind your dog is over your face is perhaps they are feeling cold. Sometimes in extreme winter’s dogs feel uncomfortable on the floor and feel hugging their owner or laying on them to get warmth. Though they are equipped with a natural fur coat to protect them from winter, they still love to snuggle their owner. If you have any problem related to this act of your dog, you can provide them warmth by giving them additional blankets. 

Get to Know Why Do Dogs Lay Their Heads on Your Feet

Other than why does my dog lays his head on me, you may also be seen your dog resting his head on your feet. In such a case, your dog may be alerting you for something. So it is better than if you the personality of your dog well in advance.

why does my dog lay his head on me

Some dogs may bark, howl, or jump to aware their owner while some lay their head on their owner’s feet. Many breeds of dogs do not react to the problems aggressively.

They may simply lay their head on their feet to alert you to the problem. If you see that the particular danger or environment is under your control, petting them would be appropriate to reduce their anxiety levels. As they have protective instincts, you may witness their act often.

Similarly, such an act is also seen with the older dogs. Adult dogs become less active due to their age. So in case, your older dog lays his head on you, that may be taking a rest or witnessing some health issues. You can also check your dog’s health by studying their diet pattern or by the loss of glory of their fur coat. In case your dog is about to die, he may also place his head on its owner’s feet.

Secrets Behind Why Does My Dog Put His Head On My Lap

The answer to this is the simplest one. Dogs consider themselves as a part of their family and often want to be close to their owners. Sitting on your lap gives them pleasure, and in this way, they are very close to you. It is an adorable sign for dogs to show affection to their owner. 

Related Post : my dog push his head against me

Answers to Why Does My Dog Lay His Head On My Shoulder

There are several possible reasons for you are dog is laying his head on your shoulders, these are-

Feels safe:

One of the reasons behind your dog’s climb over your shoulder is perhaps it makes him feel safe. This is so because, by this, your pal touches you and stays closer to you, and ensures that he is not alone. Apart from this, you may also see your dog following you around the house, which is again to ensure his safety.

why does my dog lay his head on me


There may be a possibility that your dog is facing some problems which make him anxious. For example, when you are just about to leave them alone to perform your chores, they will have separation anxiety and will climb over you in an attempt that you do not leave them alone. 

Attention Seekers: 

Dogs are usually attention seekers, and they want their owners to play and spend some quality time with them. Your dog may climb on your shoulders in lieu of dragging your attention towards him.

Perhaps he Need Something:

Your dog may climb on your shoulders if you have his favorite treats in your hand and he wants it. Such food may be the one by which you have rewarded them, and he wants to be rewarded with the same treats again. But make sure that never give them the food for some time when he climbs over your shoulder as by which he can control such undesirable behavior. 

why does my dog lay his head on me

Perhaps he wants you to do something: 

Your dog may climb over your shoulder to indicate to you that you have to do something for him. This may include providing them with food, open the gate, time for a walk or exercise, provide them with a blanket, etc. It is necessary to study the body language of the dog to help him in times of his needs.

To Get Rewards: Your dog may have learned from the past that you reward him by climbing him on your shoulder. This is why he is purposely climbing on your shoulders to get more treats. In such a case, you should not reward your dog as it will encourage such behavior.


There are several studies that suggest that dogs, while in a pack, often climb on their alpha dog to get the lead. So it may be possible that such an act of your dog is due to its bullying attitude. If you see aggressiveness, growling, or biting of your dogs while climbing on your shoulders, it is a serious issue. In this case, you should provide them with professional training to make the dog understand that you are his friend and not a competitor. There are several professional trainers available who can help you in such matters

Solutions to Why does my dog lays his head on me:

As mentioned earlier, if you feel that your dog disturbs you more than desirable, it would be better not to encourage such behavior. You should never reward such an act of your dog, which is indecent or forceful. Instead, reward him when they are calm, focused, and during training.

Another way to control such acts of your dog is to give them proper attention throughout the day. Many dogs climb on their owners only because they feel lonely and neglected. Some dogs also do the same when they require water and food. So as an owner, you have to take care of your dogs’ needs and provide them with healthy food and proper exercise. If you feel that your dog continues the same habit, try to change the methods of training or hire a professional trainer who can suggest proper positive reinforcement training. 

Some Common FAQs

QUE: Why Does My Dog Lay His Head On Me When He Sleeps?

ANS: The simplest answer to why your dog lays his head on you when he sleeps is to show their love and affection towards you.

QUE: Why Does My Dog Lay His Head On My Stomach?

ANS: Dogs are loyal to their owners and want their owners to smell around them as much as possible. Laying on your stomach provides them your scent, and hence they feel secure.

QUE: Why Does My Dog Lay His Head On My Shoulder?

ANS: When dogs are anxious and want your attention, they will possibly lay their head over your shoulders.

QUE: Why Does My Dog Lay His Head On My Arm?

ANS: If your dog is laying his head on your arm it has nothing to do with their dominance. Instead, it is their way to show their affection towards you.

QUE: Why Does My Dog Lay His Head On My Hand?

ANS: As humans cuddle each other to show their affection, the same are the dogs, but their habits are slightly different from humans. Dogs usually lay on their owners’ arms to seek love and also to ensure their protection as you are their alpha dog.

QUE: Why Does My Dog Lay His Head On My Back?

ANS: Right from their puppy age, dogs like to sleep over the back of the other puppies, and in this case, you are his only friend. They lay on your back to show their affection towards you.

I hope that you are well aware of the reasons behind Why does my dog lays his head on me. There are some hidden ways of the dogs to show their anxiety which the owner should understand by seeing their body language. If you feel that such acts of dogs are due to their dominance, you can provide them with positive reinforcement training.

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