Why Does My Dog Lean On Me?

Why Does My Dog Lean On Me?

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Does your dog lean? Most dog owners have experienced a dog leaning on their legs at least once in their life. Your dog simply sits or stands next to you and casually leans a bulk of her weight against your calf. And, more often than not, it is the bigger dogs that tend to lean. 

As you may have guessed, many doggo pros believe that your dog leans on you because they love you. Dogs love cuddles and affection, and chances are she just wants a little TLC from you. 

Dogs by nature are social pack animals. Naturally, they crave physical closeness to their pack members, and you are one of them! Smaller dogs can achieve this closeness by being picked up or lazing about on their human’s lap, but such luxuries cannot be afforded for larger dogs. In order to have that social closeness, big dogs lean on the legs of their humans. 

Aside from the obvious love and affection, there are other theories as to why your dog leans on you.

Dogs Lean For Security


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If your dog is anxiety-prone or tense in certain situations, they may lean on you for both physical and emotional support. Dogs have been proven to experience a bump in positive chemicals released in the brain when they are in the presence of a treasured human. If your dog associates you with happiness, they most likely associate you with safety as well. 

Dogs Lean For Dominance


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Some argue that the reason your dog leans on you, or sits on your feet, is to invade your space. They are showing you who is boss by being up in your space and establishing dominance. More and more dog professionals, however, are dispelling this myth. Unless your dog is very dominant in every aspect of his personality, chances are he’s not leaning on you to prove his alpha status. 

At the end of the day, you know your dog best. What one dog’s leaning is may be a completely different indicator than why another dog leans against their human. If you are comfortable with your dog leaning on you, go ahead and let her do it. If you have a larger or heavier dog, however, make sure you are ready at any and all times for the mighty lean!

Is your dog a leaner? If so, it is something that you enjoy? Let us know in the comments.