Dogs may lie on people for a variety of reasons. While some of them might be cause for concern, the vast majority of them pose no threat.
One of the pleasures of your relationship with your favorite dog may be cuddling with them, especially if you’re a dog lover or dog owner. But whether you sit on the couch or unwind in bed, you might have observed your dog lying across or on top of you.
Dogs may lie on you for a variety of reasons, such as their need for security and comfort, to reduce anxiety, to feel physically warm, to attract attention, to guard you, or to express their love. It’s typically acceptable to let your dog lay on you if you don’t mind.
If you’ve ever wondered why your dog lies on you, you might be surprised by the different explanations, ranging from nervousness to warmth. Learn more about dog behaviour and the reasons your canine friend lies on you by reading on.
When a dog lies on you, what does that mean?
To begin with, dogs are pack creatures descended from wolves who lain with their pack for warmth and security. Although not strictly necessary for a domesticated dog’s existence, our canine friends nonetheless exhibit the evolutionary self-preservation tendency. Dogs are born into litters, just like wolves, and as a result, this habit is encouraged from an early age. Puppies sleep in dog heaps beginning on their first days of life, giving them the security and comfort they require to develop into healthy, robust adults. Domesticated dogs still have their two-legged group mates to curl up against even though they don’t have their six or eight pet siblings to do so when they become older. Dogs desire to lay on top of their owners to show them that they are a part of their family and pack, as well as to give and receive comfort and security in the process. Even when there is no real threat or danger, lying close to their owner is another way that they guard what they value. This leads us to the second motivation, which is love. When dogs feel close to or bonded to a person, they will lay next to or on top of them. Allowing your dog to lie by your side or on your lap deepens your relationship and is regarded as a gesture of love.
The majority of dogs simply like being with the person they love, which can help them relax, feel secure, and maintain their happiness. Most of the time, the owner shares these sentiments and appreciates the opportunity for companionship. In other words, for company and cuddles, our furry friends frequently lie on top of us. No matter what breed they are, all dogs exhibit affection in some way. However, some dog breeds are reputed to be more affectionate than the ordinary dog and exhibit this by attempting to occupy as much of your space as they can. Despite their big size, family dogs that adore nothing more than to lie on their people include Great Danes and Labrador Retrievers.
Why do dogs tell you lies?
When you have the chance, observe a litter of newborn puppies. You’ll see that they usually sleep in a “dog pile” with their littermates when they aren’t nursing or crawling around. Dogs have an innate desire to seek out and feel safe and secure among their packmates from the moment they are born.
Being a part of a pack makes navigating the unpredictable, dangerous environment much simpler.
Your dog is letting you know that you are a part of its pack when it snuggles up next to you. Your “furkid” is expressing its comfort in being with you by displaying affection, intimacy, and connection. It’s an extension of the bonding process that you and your dog started when you first met. Your dog needs continual reassurance that you are there for him since his presence reassures him. Allow your dog to stay close to you for at least a few minutes to provide this confidence and affirmation. If you push them away too often, your dog may begin to question your place in its life. They are content, safe, and comfortable when they are close to you. Never forget that your dog sees you as an odd, two-legged member of his pack rather than as a human.
Why do you think your dog loves you?
You can know if your dog is loving you by looking for the following signs:
They can’t wait to see you. This scene is one that all dog owners have seen. When you open your front entrance, a playful fur storm greets you. It’s possible that your dog will leap up on you, lick your face, and wag its tail. One way to know someone loves and misses you is by their excitement and joy when they see you.
They want to be touched. The infamous lean, a short nuzzle, or a cuddle are all examples of this. These are all indications that your dog wants to demonstrate affection. The best course of action is to let them complete this on their own terms, so resist the impulse to tightly hug them.
They wish to rest close to you. Dogs naturally sleep adjacent to each other in packs. They put their noses to the breeze to detect any odors that might indicate danger. Your dog is expressing trust and security when it curls up next to you or wants to sleep in your room.
They look at you sweetly. Dogs reserve the ability to maintain eye contact with someone they love and trust since it is a huge move. Direct eye contact is an aggressive action in the wild. They employ this strategy to scare one another and assert their supremacy. Your dog is staring affectionately in your direction when they meet your right in the eyes and maintain eye contact without their pupils expanding.
They inquire after you. cooking, watching TV, and using the restroom Your dog tries to be there for you throughout the entire experience. Your dog might visit you in bed once or they might follow you around the home all the time. One of the many ways your dog displays affection is by checking in on you. They are checking on your wellbeing!
When they lick you. There are a variety of reasons why your dog might lick you, but in the end, it’s always out of affection. They want to talk to you and get your attention. They can be getting ready to play or simply giving a kiss before a snuggle. They want to let you know they care in either case.
Their toys are shared. When your dog wants to play, they may occasionally tease you with their toy, but when they truly want to show their love, they’ll give it to you as a gift. They want to give the person they care about their most precious thing. It certainly sounds like a lot of love.
Only when there is food involved are you second. A dog that loves you will put you before everything—even a full bowl of food. Only then will they fall head over heels in love with anything else.
How do dogs choose their human?
During their critical socialization stage, which lasts between birth and six months, many dogs form their strongest bonds with whoever is in charge of taking care of them. Puppies’ brains are very reactive at this age, and their early social interactions shape who they become for the rest of their life. Because of this, it’s crucial to make sure your puppy interacts well with a variety of people, locations, and objects.
For instance, dogs who are not exposed to people wearing hats may subsequently develop a fear of headgear. Radar and I didn’t meet until he was six months old, so I don’t fully recall the details of his early socialization. He does, however, favor guys, which makes me think he had a more good upbringing with male caregivers.
Don’t panic if your dog was an adult when you got them; it’s still possible to win them over. Early encounters are significant, but ongoing socialization through activities like doggie daycare, play dates, and regular walks is crucial as well!
Attention (and affection) increases the bond
I’ve already said that my own dog wants to be cared for by someone other than their primary caretaker. However, most dogs tend to form close relationships with the person who pays them the most attention. For instance, in a household with two parents and two children, the dog might choose the parent who gives them water in the morning and walks them in the evening.
The link between a dog and a person is also strengthened by physical affection. A dog will become distant from a person if they are distant toward them. However, if you offer your dog a lot of affection, grooming, massages, and love, they will probably want more.
For some dogs, the type of love and care they receive matters more than the quantity. Although I spend the most of my time with my dog Radar, I may be a little reserved and rigorous when it comes to letting a 40-pound Pit Bull sit on my lap. On the other hand, my brother is content to wrestle and let Radar crawl all over him. It makes sense why Radar flips over (sometimes literally) everytime he sees Jacob.
Positive association is key
Dogs use associations to make decisions about who they like to pay attention to outside of their favorite individuals. In other words, a dog develops a link with a person when they are the provider of pleasant things.
Considered carefully, it makes a lot of sense. A dog will undoubtedly adore the person who consistently engages in tug of war with them or generously provides them with their favorite stinking beef liver treat. They are also aware of how significant a role the person who feeds them most frequently plays in their lives.
On the other hand, dogs frequently display negative behavior toward persons with whom they have negative connections (you’ll never see Radar befriending a doctor). Positive associations result in positive interactions between dogs and people. Positive association is a useful tool for socializing and training your dog.
For instance, I make sure that guests who are new to my home greet the dogs in the yard and offer them treats. This creates an immediate favorable association—new person = delicious treats—which facilitates the introduction.
Wherever you go, there they are
Are you your own personal shadow, your dog? In your house, is it impossible for them to follow you from Point A to Point B? Then there’s a good chance that you’re one of your dog’s top favorite people.
Similar feelings can be reflected in the following, just as positive attention and associations strengthen the link between dogs and pet parents. As I indicated before, why wouldn’t your dog prefer to follow you over other people if you are the provider of walks, treats, food, and stroking sessions?
However, it’s critical to remember that a dog with separation anxiety differs from a “velcro dog” that appreciates your company. In contrast to velcro behavior, which has good traits like licking and playing, separation anxiety is not an indication of preference and has bad traits like accidents in the potty and melancholy.
What about dog licking?
Perhaps your dog just can’t resist giving your hands and face a short tongue bath. And while a dog licking you might not be intended to convey the same message as a kiss between two people, you may have pondered.
The response is perhaps. The portions of our bodies that are exposed to air and contact from the various places we go during the day are our hands and faces, which produce a salty perspiration that dogs adore. This is like a taste and odor feast for dogs!
Dog licking may also result from a food-seeking behavior between a mother and a young puppy, as well as being a show of submission or an act of communication. But it’s true: in some circumstances, dog licking can also be an expression of welcoming or love. Therefore, even while we can’t guarantee that those licks indicate that you are the dog’s favorite, there is a good possibility that you aren’t the least favored if your dog frequently licks you.
Human personality and dog breed play a part
Have you ever seen a dog that resembled its owner in both appearance and behavior? Dogs frequently select a favorite person who matches their own energy level and personality. I’ve definitely found that my more reserved, cautious dog is more closely bonded to me, while my more outgoing, boisterous dog is very attached to my more active brother. This proves that the adage “like attracts like” applies to both dogs and people.
Additionally, some dog breeds are more prone to form a close attachment with a single human, increasing the likelihood that their favorite person will also be their only person.
The early months of a puppy’s existence, also referred to as the “socialization stage,” have a significant influence on its growth. As a result, during this crucial period, dogs frequently develop strong, lifelong ties with whoever feeds, plays, and generally looks after them the most.
Even if the person they developed a link with has passed away, a dog may still appreciate those who are similar to them. For instance, even if their new human parents are women, they can seem to prefer men if their primary carer while they were puppies was a man.
Are you concerned that your adult dog might have been raised to prefer someone else? The following element may help you win your dog’s approval.
Time, attention, and affection
Dogs tend to form deep relationships with those who provide them the greatest affection and attention (such as through feeding, training, and playing). And keep in mind that in this case, quality matters more than number.
A fun game of fetch or a demanding workout will have a greater positive impact on your relationship than binge-watching Netflix together and other idle pursuits. Check out our breed-specific guide on speaking your dog’s love language if you’re unsure of the kinds of things your dog would find meaningful.
Probably familiar with the adage “what gets rewarded stays in fashion. This adage holds true whether you’re trying to teach your dog a new trick or just improve your relationship with them. There is a reason why vets are so eager to hand out dog treats; they are attempting to foster goodwill because what follows may not be very pleasant.
The easiest approach to train your dog to link you with pleasant things is to always have a tasty reward available when you greet them. Additionally, you want to avoid negative interactions like stern correction or reprimanding. (In addition, the majority of dogs react far better to praise.)
Have you ever observed that dogs frequently bear some resemblance to their owners? It has been scientifically demonstrated that individuals favor dogs that are physically similar to them in some way; this is not just a coincidence.
The same is true for personality, which is strange. Dogs often have personalities that are similar to the individuals they enjoy spending time with. A Golden Retriever, for example, might get along best with an outgoing, vivacious individual. However, a Basset Hound would probably feel more at ease with a distant or reserved person.
The more in common you have with a dog, the more likely it is that you will develop deep friendships, much like in human relationships.
Let’s discuss about breeds while we’re talking about personalities. Dogs have been developed for specialized tasks throughout history, from eradicating pests to protecting property. As a result, depending on their ancestry, pups frequently have different temperaments. This affects both how they develop relationships with humans and the types of pets they produce.