If you’re lucky enough to be a Greyhound owner, you will know that they are notorious for leaning on people. Sometimes it’s almost like they want to become a part of you, leaning in with all their weight and sticking like velcro, almost like they are being pulled by invisible magnets towards your body. It’s also common for dogs to lie with parts of their body against yours, like their head or paw in your lap whilst you're relaxing on the couch. This behaviour is particularly common in larger dog breeds.
Have you ever wondered why they do it? The simple answer is because they want to be close to you (insert heart explosions). Since dogs are social pack animals, they enjoy physical closeness and contact with humans which is usually a sign of comfort and love.
Some other reasons why dogs may lean on you include:
- Seeking security: If your dog is prone to anxiety, they may lean on you for physical and emotional support in tense situations. Dogs get a boost of positive chemicals in their brain when they are in your presence. If they associate you with happy feelings, they will also seek comfort and safety from you in stress-inducing situations.
- Seeking warmth: Dogs with short coats may seek body warmth from you when their fur becomes cold and wet - particularly during winter.
- To get you to move: Dogs may lean on you to get you to move from your current position when they’d like to steal your spot. If your pooch is consistently trying to steal your warm spot on the couch or chair, you may need some additional training to change this behaviour.
- To get what they want: Similar to thieving your spot on the couch, dogs may lean on you to prompt for other things such as meals, snacks, petting or needing to go outside.
If your pooches leaning is becoming a problem and they are using it as a tool to get what they want, you need to stop rewarding this behaviour. This will take time as your dog will be confused as to why their tactics are no longer working.
Next month, we will provide you with some tips and tricks to stop problem leaning behaviour - watch this space!.