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9 Reasons Why My Dog Is Laying His Head On Me

9 Reasons Why My Dog Is Laying His Head On Me

Are you a first-time dog owner who just purchased a new dog? And, now you’re dealing with endless mysteries, such as “Why does my dog lay his head on me?” Brace yourself because there’s a lot more weird, funny, and sassy behavior to come from your pooch!

Having a dog for the first time is an unforgettable experience. Every day is the day you discover something new. Every night is the night you fall asleep happy, content, and… to be honest, sometimes even confused.

A dog laying his head on you is rooted in several different causes. The important thing is to understand your dog’s behavior prior to decoding what this cute phenomenon means. It might take time at first, but eventually, you’ll get there. Just be patient! 

Here are some of the most common reasons for a dog laying his head on you that might help you speed this process up!

Why Does My Dog Lay His Head On me?

dog leaning head on his owner in nature

In order to understand the “Why does my dog lay his head on me?” phenomenon, you need to dig into your dog’s character. Is your dog a clingy breed? Is it a lap dog? Is this the first time he has laid his head on you or is it non-stop behavior?

These are the things that might help you decode the temperament of your dog prior to decoding what this movement means.

Some puppies are naturally clingy, and they just love making that statement. Some, on the other hand, are true professional attention seekers, and they know exactly how to make your heart melt. But, what are the other reasons for your puppy laying his head on you? 

Here’s a list of the nine most common reasons that might help you understand your dog better. Let’s take a ride!


Have you ever heard your dog purring? That’s right! Not only do cats have this unusual, yet calming habit. Well, the “Why does my dog lay his head on me” phenomenon, when combined with purring, can mean only one thing – your dog is resting, and he found its happy place!

Fatigue in dogs doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. Quite the contrary – many active dog breeds are overly exhausted after high-intensity training, which is why it is natural for them to seek a resting place. 

If they lay their head on you during that time – this just means that they feel so comfortable sharing their most intimate moments (their resting time) with you.

Attention Seeking

There are many weird ways your dog is trying to get your attention. Some will lick your hand. Some will even stand on you. And, some will lay their head on you. 

Seeking attention is a common trait of all family dogs. Yes, the truth is there are dog breeds that naturally crave more attention, such as Chis, Frenchies, and other lap dogs.

Still, almost all dogs that are used to human companionship and love will hardly give up this learned habit. Attention seeking, though, has many different directions. Most of the time, it’s all about your dog wanting affirmation and cuddling

On the other hand, dogs seek attention when they want to communicate their primal needs to you, such as eating or playing. They will know exactly when to ask for a certain thing as pooches are animals of habit that don’t miss out on a thing from their daily routine.

Separation Anxiety

french bulldog puppy leaning head on his owner shoulder

Separation anxiety in dogs is a sensitive issue that needs to be addressed as soon as the first symptoms are noticed. Most of the time, separation anxiety is manifested through self-destructive, high-maintenance behavior.

On the other hand, some dogs will manifest their separation anxiety through the deepest depression and lethargy. That being said, puppies can lay their head down on you as a way of telling you that they don’t want to be separated ever again.

Every responsible owner should take into account the general temperament of the breed they’re owning or they’re about to own. 

Naturally, some puppies are clingier than others, which is why you should never get a highly-dependent dog if you’re not ready to commit fully.

You should rather go for a more independent dog breed or not even get a dog at all.


Some of the best family dogs in the world have this common, cute habit of laying their head on you as the deepest sign of trust. It is really an astonishing thing to gain your dog’s trust. Once you get there – you will realize how important of a deal it is.

Not all puppies give you the luxury of feeling that you have a real bond, but that’s mostly up to owners. Generally, all dogs are highly attached to their owner as dogs themselves are designed to love and serve.

Once earned and experienced, the “Why does my dog lay his head on me,” behavior is a wonderful feeling, and one of those moments when you realize that “this is a lifetime bond!”


Unfortunately, the phenomenon of your dog laying his head on you is not always caused by a good thing. There are times when dogs display this cute behavior due to major insecurity and fear.

Fears and phobias are not that uncommon in dogs, especially in those that are not initially bred and born to watch and to protect.

Your dog laying his on you, and positively correlating with loud noises nearby, means only one thing he is afraid! Dogs are highly sensitive and reactive when it comes to loud noises, fireworks, firecrackers, unknown people, or even unknown environments.

On the other hand, some puppies might have a natural phobia of other dogs, animals, insects, and so on. Recognizing a phobia in your dog is the first step towards resolving it or at least towards keeping it safe and comfortable.


dog leaning his head on woman's shoulder indoors

As much as stress and fear are correlated, stress doesn’t always come from fear. There are a plethora of other triggers of stress that dog owners are sometimes unaware of. Separation anxiety is one of them.

Other causes of stress are mostly related to changes in their routine, inadequate or bad parenting, neglecting their needs, and disciplining them the wrong way.

Even though the majority of dogs respond to stress undesirably, mostly by aggression and self-destruction, some puppies act submissively. That being said, your dog laying his head on you can indicate the ultimate act of submission and insecurity caused by stress

This behavior, though, never comes alone. There are other accompanying signs such as restlessness at night, and shaking or changes in body posture that clearly indicate stressful behavior in your dog.


That’s right! Some pooches feel the need to lay their head on you simply because they love you. Physical connection is the ultimate body language of many dog breeds.

A dog licking you, giving you his paw, or simply laying his head on you derives from the deepest affection and love. 

It is quite easy to identify this wonderful gesture as love-giving as dogs just can’t hide it! They will probably wag their tail, wiggle, and radiate a positive vibe. 

While this is mostly related to family dogs that are used to spending most of their time with their owner, this phenomenon can also be a pattern in all dog breeds.


Guard dogs or dogs that are aggressive by default have the unusual habit of “guarding” their owner by putting their paw or their head on them. This is a nice gesture, and a natural protective instinct of many dog breeds.

This is especially factual during times when you have an unknown guest or another dog in your home. Dogs whose original purpose is to watch and guard naturally feel obliged to do everything in their power to protect their loved ones.

Laying their head on you is a subconscious or even deliberate way of telling everyone around – “Hey, don’t you dare attack my hooman!”

Force Of Habit

woman hugging her dog on the couch

A plethora of lap dog breeds lay their head on their owner as learned behavioral patterns. This is natural behavior of many dogs that are simply used to being close to their loved ones.

Lap dogs will naturally display this cute behavior more often as they are used to finding their comfort in their owners’ lap. 

This is especially the case with dogs that have already learned to receive endless amounts of cuddling, which is why they will gladly sneak into your lap and wait for the next round!

Final Words

The “Why does my dog lay his head on me” behavior is a cute and common phenomenon of most family dogs. Still, this behavioral pattern doesn’t always come smoothly and as a result of harmless behavior.

Quite the contrary – many pooches display this behavior as a result of major insecurity, fear, or anxiety.

In order to recognize the “Why” of this pattern – you always need to pay attention to other accompanying signs.

Hopefully, this article has helped you decode your puppy’s behavior, and get to know your companion even better!

Read more: Why Does My Dog Scratch My Bed Sheets: 9 Explanations