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Why do dogs lean?

Updated on June 29, 2011

If cats rub against the legs of people, dogs lean on people. Dogs can’t vocalize what they want to say but they have a whole range of body language they use to communicate with people and with other animals. One of these actions is leaning.  Dogs are tactile creatures. Our furry friends are not called “Velcro dogs” for nothing. These sweet animals would always want to be with their people. A dog may have a perfectly comfortable bed but it would choose to lean and sleep on the legs and feet of its favorite person. Because dogs are much loved animals, they are allowed to do so even if the feet and legs of the master would sleep because of the weight of the dog. Why do dogs have the penchant to lean? Imagine what will happen if a 130 lbs Great Dane would lean on a small child. Disaster!

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Dogs are very affectionate animals. Because a strong bond is formed between the dog and the human family, the pet would be the shadow of its people. The dog would follow the master around and would lean to get close every chance it could get.

Protectiveness and Possessiveness

Notice how a dog would lean on your legs and stand between you and a stranger. These intelligent animals have an uncanny ability to discern danger. The dog is protecting its master. Leaning can also be a manifestation of possessiveness. Hey, don’t get too close, he/she is mine!

Insecurity and fear

Dogs act in pretty much the same way as children. Children would try to get as close to the parents when they are scared. The same thing would be true with dogs. In the presence of strangers or large dominant dogs, a submissive dog would lean on the master as close as possible.

A dominant attitude

Dogs are pack oriented animals. Dogs would either be submissive or dominant. An owner has to make the pet understand that he (the master) is the alpha dog otherwise the dog will be the leader of the pack. There are instances when owners allow the dog to assume a dominant role. A dominant dog would be hard to control and would even manifest an aggressive temperament. The dog’s tendency to lean is a manifestation of dominance.

Separation anxiety

Dogs get very attached to their human family. The dog would go wherever the master goes as these animals would crave constant interaction with its people. Dogs that are left alone for a considerable time would suffer from separation anxiety. Dogs lean on the favorite person to make sure that they will not be left behind.

my dog baby girl leaning to sit up

Dog Leaning

dog leaning on head


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