If your Golden Retriever always lays its head on you, this post will show you why and how you can get it to stop when you want it to.
So, why does my Golden Retriever lay its head on me? Possible reasons are that it wants attention from you, it makes it feel more secure, it has separation anxiety or that it does it to spread its scent.
Your Golden Retriever might be doing it for many different reasons and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are also a number of things that you can consider that will help you in figuring out the exact cause.
Why your Golden Retriever lays its head on you
Below are some common reasons why Golden Retrievers do it and what would make them more likely to be the reason why yours has been doing it.
The reason why your Golden Retriever lays its head on you could be that it makes it feel more secure. Golden Retrievers were bred to work alongside their owners and the other members of their pack for hours on a daily basis. So, laying its head on you could make it feel like it is around other pack members.
Laying its head on you could be a sign that it has some separation anxiety. This would be more likely if it lays its head on you before you normally leave home and if it starts getting anxious when you are leaving.
In this case, it would help to train it to be less anxious when you are leaving and when you are away.
To do this you could do as follows:
- Make it seem like you are about to leave by doing something such as picking up your keys
- Reward your Golden Retriever for not being anxious and repeat these two steps a few times
- Make more moves towards actually leaving such as by picking up the keys and putting your hand on the door handle
- Reward your Golden Retriever for not being anxious and repeat the process a few times
- Actually open the door and go outside for a few moments then come back and reward your Golden Retriever
- Repeat the above, each time staying outside for slightly longer
Also, it would help to avoid leaving it alone for long periods and to periodically check up on it if you can. It would also help to let it pee, feed it and to give it exercise before leaving so that it does not have to wait too long.
It wants attention
The reason why it does it might be because it is trying to get extra attention from you. This would be more likely if it does it more when you have not been giving it much attention and if you tend to give it extra attention when it does it.
To spread its scent
The reason that it lays its head on you might be to rub its scent on to you. By doing so, it will be able to let other dogs know not to approach you.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when trying to figure out why your Golden Retriever has been doing it.
When it first started laying its head on you
If it started laying its head on you suddenly, it would help to consider what happened when it first started doing it.
Some things to consider would be:
- If you moved home
- If someone else moved away
- If its schedule changed
- If you started working different hours
When it does it
If it lays its head on you more at certain times it would also help to consider what is different when it does it.
For example, if it tends to lay its head on you shortly before you leave home, it would be more likely that it does it due to having some separation anxiety.
How to get your Golden Retriever to stop laying its head on you
If you want to get it to stop doing it, a number of options that you have are mentioned below.
Since your Golden Retriever might be doing it because it has learned that it gets attention from you, one option you have would be to get it to sit somewhere else and to ignore it. By doing so you will be able to teach it that laying its head on you won’t result in you giving it attention.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
It might also be the case that it has learned that laying its head on you results in it getting rewards. Instead of rewarding it when it does it, try to redirect its focus onto something else and to reward it when it is behaving the way that you want it to.
Give it attention
It would also help to give it attention throughout the day by training it, playing with it and giving it exercise. By doing so you will be able to reduce how much it feels the need to get attention from you.
Train it not to
You could also try training your Golden Retriever not to lay its head on you by teaching it to go somewhere else. You can do this by teaching it to sit or to lay down somewhere and then by gradually training it to stay there over longer and longer time periods.
You can do this by applying the same techniques as in the video below:
Best Dog Training Program
Our favorite: The Dunbar Academy Training Program. If you want a happy and obedient dog, this is one of the best online dog training programs available right now. You can get the first month free using This link