If your dog has been leaning on your other dog, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible reasons and what you can do about it.
So, why does my dog lean on my other dog? Possible reasons why your dog leans on your other dog are that it makes your dog feel safer, it likes the way it feels, it does it naturally or that it has learned that the behavior is rewarded.
Since there are a number of possible causes, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the main cause, it should become a lot easier to get your dog to stop doing it.
Why your dog leans on your other dog
Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog has been leaning on your other dog and what would make each of them more likely.
It makes it feel safer
The reason why it does it might be that it makes it feel safer. Dogs are pack animals and they evolved to spend most of their time around the other dogs and people in the pack so it is natural that being near your other dog will make it feel more secure.
The reason why your dog has been leaning on your other dog might also be that it has gotten an injury. It could be the case that it has been feeling weak due to an injury and it has been leaning on your other dog to support itself. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly and it has been showing other signs of having an injury. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
It likes how it feels
The cause might also be that it simply likes the feeling. This would be more likely if it also rubs itself against your other dog and it has not been behaving unusually when leaning on your other dog.
Many people jump to the conclusion that their dogs do it because they are trying to be dominant. However, the alpha/beta dynamic has been disproven in studies showing that wolves take turns in taking the lead.
With that being said, it could be doing it due to bullying behavior which would be more likely if your dog tries to get your other dog to move or if it shows signs of aggression when doing it. In this case, it would help to avoid encouraging the behavior and to get it to learn to behave the way you want it to with training programs such as NLIF (“Nothing in Life is Free) dog training.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.
What else happened when your dog first started leaning on your other dog
If your dog did not always lean on your other dog, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as getting an injury or something happening that caused your dog to feel insecure.
What is different when it does it
It would also help to consider the timing of when your dog leans on your other dog. If it does it more at a certain time, it might be the case that the timing has something to do with it. For example, if it tends to do it more when it is going to sleep, it would be more likely because it makes your dog feel safer or because it likes the feeling.
If it has been leaning on other things
It would also help to consider if it has started leaning on other things as well. If it has, it would make it more likely that it has been doing it due to an injury. Whereas, if it only seems to lean on your other dog, it would be more likely to be due to comfort.
What to do about your dog leaning on your other dog
Below are a number of options you have when dealing with your dog leaning on your other dog.
Let it do it
Another option would be to simply allow your dog to continue doing it since it is unlikely to be doing any harm by leaning on things.
Avoid encouraging it
It might be the case that you have encouraged it to lean on your other dog by giving your dog things it wants when it leans it. Instead, it would help to reward it when it does not lean on your other dog and to try to redirect its focus when it is about to do it.
Give it another place to sleep
Another option would be to give your dog another place to sleep. This would likely be especially helpful if both of your dogs currently sleep in the exact same spot.