If your dog keeps laying its head on you, you’re probably wondering why.

This post will show you why your dog might be doing it and what you can do about it.

So, why does my dog lay its head on me? Possible reasons why your dog lays its head on you are that it makes it feel more comfortable, it does it has separation anxiety, it wants attention or it might be doing it in a dominating way.

There are a number of nuances that you can consider when trying to figure out why your dog does it. Once you have a good idea of the cause, it will become much easier to deal with it.

Why your dog lays its head on you

Each of the different reasons why your dog lays its head on you will likely come with a number of clues in the way that it does it.

Below, I will mention a number of reasons why your dog might lay its head on you and what would make them more likely.

Security

Most dog breeds were bred to work alongside their owners and feel more secure when they are in a group. Laying its head on you could be helping it to feel safer since it will make it feel like it is in a group and less vulnerable.

Separation anxiety

It could be the case that your dog has some separation anxiety which is where being left alone causes it to become nervous. This would be more likely if it tends to rest its head on you when you would normally go out and if it gets anxious when you are about to leave.

Related: Why is my dog obsessed with me?

It wants attention

The reason that it lays its head on you could be that it is trying to get attention from you. This would be more likely if you tend to give it more attention when it rests its head on you and if it does it when you have not given it much attention.

If you want it to stop doing it then it would help to avoid giving it attention when it does it and to give it attention throughout the day in the form of training, exercise and play.

Related: Why does my dog grunt?

To spread its scent

The reason that it does it might be that it is trying to spread its scent onto you so that other dogs can smell it on you and steer clear of you.

To prevent this you’ll need to spend time training it not to lay its head on you by ignoring it, getting it off you and rewarding it when it doesn’t do it.

Things to consider

Below, I will mention some particularly helpful things to consider when trying to figure out why your dog lays its head on you. Once you have a better idea of the cause it will be easier to take the appropriate action.

When your dog first started laying its head on you

The timing of when it first started laying its head on you could give you some clues as to why it is doing it.

If it started doing it after you rewarded it for putting its head on you one time then it could be that you have inadvertently trained it to do it. Whereas, if it started doing it when you stopped giving it as much attention then it might be looking for attention from you.

When your dog does it

The timing of when it lays its head on you could also be helpful to consider. If it only seems to do it at a certain time then it would be likely that there is a reason for it. For example, if it only seems to do it when you have not given it much attention then it might be trying to get attention from you.

How to get your dog to stop laying its head on you

There are a number of things that you can do about your dog laying its head on you. The best option for your dog will largely depend on the cause of it doing it.

Below, I will mention a number of things that you can do about it.

Ignore it

Since your dog might be doing it in order to get attention from you, it would help to avoid rewarding it with attention when it does it. Instead, it would help to train it not to do it as mentioned below and to give it attention when it is being well behaved.

Avoid negative reinforcement training

Negative reinforcement training is where you inadvertently reinforce bad behaviors by rewarding your dog when it displays them. Instead, of giving your dog things that it wants when it rests its head on you, it would help to train it not to and to reward it when it is being well behaved.

Train it not to

You can also train your dog not to lay its head on you by teaching it to sit somewhere else. You can do this by teaching it to sit or to lay down somewhere and then by gradually teaching it to stay there over longer and longer time periods.

You can do this by applying the same techniques as in the video below:

Give it attention

Since it might be doing it in order to get attention from you it would help to give it attention throughout the day in the form of training, exercise and play.

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Author

I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.