Where We Care About Pets

Why Does My Dog Put His Head on My Lap?



why does my dog put his head on my lap?

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Why Does My Dog Put His Head on My Lap?

Is it just affection or is there something more to it?

why does my dog put his head on my lap?

Why Does My Dog Lay His Head on Me? – Canine Communication

Dogs communicate in many ways, both verbally and non-verbally.  

Vocal communication in dogs is very well developed, and they can learn to understand hundreds of words and phrases.

The dog communicates with body language including sitting when greeting a human or jumping up on someone for attention; vocalizations including whining, growling, or barking; facial expressions such as wagging the tail which shows pleasure, or an aggressive face that includes bared teeth which mean aggression.

In this case, the dog comes overlays head-on owner’s leg showing affection to the owner.

Dogs are known for their loyalty and love of humans so much so that it has been said “A man will live longer without his dog than he will without his best friend.”  

Humans have always had a special connection with dogs because we share a unique bond based not on communication through words but rather through physical contact (like petting) and verbalization (calling the animal by name). 

They Want Affection

There are few things as pleasant in life as the love of a dog.

Dog owners know this, first-hand; they buy dogs because they want to help give and receive affection.

But certain breeds have different personalities than others, so it’s important to realize that some dogs crave more attention than others—and you need to decide if your lifestyle can accommodate their needs.

Many people who get dogs find themselves surprised by how much time is needed for grooming, exercise, and playtime.

And according to Art Redding of the American Humane Association (AHA), “the owner must be willing to meet those [dog] needs.”

They Are Stressed

Dogs are seen as capable of reducing stress in humans, but what about the opposite?

Can dogs be stressed if they’re not getting enough attention from their owners?

A study done by Martin Seligman and his colleagues at Penn State University showed that petting a dog directly before departing for a brief separation might help reduce separation anxiety in dogs.

In this study, 36 dogs were separated from their owners after being exposed to an unfamiliar person.

Some of them had been petted briefly by their owner right before leaving.

Results revealed that the level of cortisol (a hormone associated with stress) was lower among those who had been petted compared to those who hadn’t.

One explanation could be that touching triggers oxytocin release which boosts trust and reduces fear.

The same principle can apply to your children or students when you hug them goodbye or ruffle up their hair before sending them off on an errand.

Why Does My Dog Put His Head on My Lap?

They Want Attention

Many dogs suffering from separation anxiety will get agitated and jump all over you for attention.

However, others may simply come up to you and lay their head on you.

It will depend on the individual dog and its circumstances.

They Want Food

While your dog doesn’t have the same manners as people, he does still need to know what is socially acceptable and what isn’t.

That’s why it’s important for dogs to know that begging at the table is not appropriate behavior.

Feeding a dog from the table can lead to all kinds of undesirable outcomes, including becoming overweight or developing health problems like diabetes if you feed them scraps too often.

If your dog gets used to eating food while you’re sitting down in front of him, then they’ll expect some when you sit down with a meal again next time.

It can also lead them to jump on tables and counters looking for something good when you eat meals alone – which is equally unacceptable behavior!

They Are Cold

Everyone loves a little bit of cuddling, and dogs are no exception to this.

If your dog comes up and lays its head on you or gets close to you in some way it might just be seeking out a little body heat.

Dogs don’t have many places where they can put their heads when laying down, so if your dog is seeking yours it may actually be for the warmth it provides.

When looking at two pets who sleep stretched out next to each other, or cradled together, we often assume that there is something romantic going on between them; however, more than likely these pets simply feel safer being near one another.

They know that if danger arises in the night there will always be someone else nearby ready to fight with them should the need arise.

While you should never think of yourself as less important than a pet (you are not), they do love having others around them because it makes them feel safe from predators—even those inside the house!

Why Does My Dog Put His Head on My Lap?

They Believe There Is a Problem

Dogs can be trained to alert their owners to specific events, both inside and outside the home.

One of the most common ways this is done is through an electronic collar, but other types are available as well.

The purpose of these collars is not punishment, it is instead an attempt by a dog owner to make his or her pet more aware of their surroundings so that they may warn them off from going into danger such as oncoming traffic or another animal’s territory.

When properly used, these devices can help dogs avoid dangers without putting themselves in harm’s way.

They believe there is a problem if your dog comes up to you and places its head on your leg, they may be trying to alert you to something.

This is one of the reasons why it is important for people who have dogs to get to know their personalities because each will react differently when feeling anxious about a situation some dogs jump up and bark loudly with the slightest provocation such as a letter coming through door others will lay down calmly with closed eyes and ears.

They Have a Health Problem

Dogs are social animals and they love attention.

While we shouldn’t assume there is a problem when an older dog lays their head on us, you need to look out for symptoms of a health problem.

You may have noticed that your dog’s energy levels have decreased or it seems lethargic all the time.

If your pet doesn’t have much stimulus like normal activities, walks or visitors this could be significant as well.

These changes can indicate illness in dogs just as easily as in humans leading up to different diseases associated with old age such as arthritis and cancer among others which sadly often lead to death.

Dogs over 6 years of age should see a vet at least once every six months but ideally more if you notice any signs of change particularly those mentioned above in combination with other things such as vomiting, diarrhea or coughing; increased thirst; loss of weight without reason; redness around eyes or nose, etc…

Why Does My Dog Lay Their Head Over My Neck?

If your dog is big enough to reach up to your head, they may lay their head over your neck just to be close to you.

They are doing this because it’s something that dogs do with other dogs they consider family members.

So if you’re a dog lover, then know that when Fido does it too, he’s saying hello and letting you know he considers you part of the pack.

Final Thoughts, Why Does My Dog Put His Head on My Lap?

In conclusion, there are no behavioral issues with dogs laying with their owners.

They do this because they love to be close to their people.

If you think your dog is doing it out of concern, then that’s a good thing!


What does it mean when dogs put their head down on you?

There are lots of different ways that dogs show their love, and putting their head on you is one of them.

Typically, when a dog puts its head on you, it’s a sign of trust and affection.

Why does my dog put her head between my legs?

There are a few reasons why your dog might put her head between your legs.

One possibility is that she’s trying to get closer to you and is seeking physical contact.

Another possibility is that she’s trying to get your attention, perhaps because she’s feeling anxious or scared.

Alternatively, she could simply be seeking warmth and comfort.

If your dog does this often, it might be a sign that she trusts you and feels comfortable around you.

About the author