Help! Why Does My Dog Bury His Head In Me?
Those who have lived with pets all their lives would tell how affectionate animals are. Just like humans, animals love to appreciate their parents/human family members and tell them that they are being loved.
Dogs are the most expressive animals – they aren’t called a man’s best friend for a reason. If you have a pet dog, you may have noticed, quite a few times, that your dog buries his head in your lap. This behavior may have compelled you to think: ‘why does my dog bury his head in me?’
But let us pop up your ‘aww’ bubble. It is not always ‘cute’ and ‘nice’ to have your dog show this behavior. Sometimes, it indicates a health issue. In this article, we’ll have a look at different reasons for this behavior.
Reasons for Your Dog’s ‘Affectionate’ Behavior
You may find it odd that your dog has started to bury his head in you. There are multiple reasons for your dog’s totally normal behavior.
Show of Affection
As we mentioned above, dogs love to express their emotions. Many pet parents opt for dogs just because they want to get a pet that can show them love and affection time after time. One way for a dog to show love is to bury their heads in its owner’s lap. If your dog does this, you should know that it is trying to say ‘I love you’ to you. Isn’t it just adorable?
But why would they do that to show love and affection? Dogs love the scent of their owners, and the only way to feel close to ‘their home’ is by physically being close to their owners. So, when they are able to catch a whiff of their owner’s scent, they feel that they are developing a strong bond with them.
Do you remember the time when you, as a kid, used to label everything under the sun — your stationery items, books, and other similar things? Do you know your pets share the same trait? Dogs have this weird yet sweet habit of marking what’s theirs. And they also treat their humans/owners as their possession. So, whenever a dog is being close to its parents, it shows that it is interested in labeling them as its own. It is quite emotional if you think about it.
Donning the Role of a Guard Dog
Yes, your dog isn’t trained to be a guard dog, but they cannot fight against their instincts. Even those dogs who are trained from a young age to be domesticated pups can use their gut feelings to protect their owners. Sometimes, your dog will use different gestures to alert you if it senses that there is some danger. Some dogs bark to get the attention of owners, and some just bury their faces in them to let them know that there is something that needs their attention.
Safety and Comfort
When we say that dogs are your family, we mean that your dogs look up to you for comfort and care. For your dog, you aren’t just an owner – but family. When they sleep beside you or just want to be close to you, they do so because they feel ‘safe’ when they are with you. Some pups, especially, have this habit of sleeping closer to their humans to seek comfort. Don’t get alarmed when your dog does it; it’s just its way of telling you that they find comfort when they are closer to you.
If your dog has suddenly started putting his face in your lap, you should see for any external factor. Are there fireworks outside or are you guys experiencing some thunderstorms? Any change in your surrounding is a big trigger that can flare up your dog’s anxiousness. Loud noises – especially that of lightning and fireworks – can make your dog a lot fearful. To seek safety, your dog will come to you.
We have been talking about all that your dog does to feel safe, but there is another important thing that you should know. Dogs also look out for their owners. They can sense if their owner’s mood is down, and then they try to sit close to them to provide comfort. Dogs are good at picking moods like anxiety, stress, and depression. Some therapy dogs also go close to their owners if they sense that their owners are about to have a panic attack.
For owners, it is comforting to know that they have someone for them. Many pet parents have stories about their dogs comforting them whenever they are on the verge of crying. If you are in a bad mood and you see that your dog has come up to you, take a cue that your dog is there to ‘protect’ you, and at that time, your dog doesn’t need you as much as you need them.
Some dogs have separation anxiety. They start getting closer to humans at a time when they know that humans might leave them (near work hours). This, however, is a treatable issue. Professional trainers can help you in this regard. With training, your dog will be able to cope with the situation. However, in case the problem persists, you should get your dog checked by a vet.
If you have recently adopted a dog and it buries its head in your lap quite a few times, here’s what you need to know: your dog is doing this to build a bond with you. New dogs need some time to have a relationship with their owners. So, your new dog’s behavior is just a way to develop a bond with you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is it dangerous to have my dog put his head in my lap?
Ans: Not really. Dogs like to express love to their owners. They also love to sleep with their owners and place their heads on them. Usually, this behavior is not a sign of any worry. And dogs may start acting this way all of a sudden. So, don’t get worried. The key is to observe their actions closely. Most of the time, the habit easily goes away with a little bit of training.
Q: My dog has separation anxiety, is it something to worry about?
Ans: In case you find out that your dog’s newly developed habit is not out of love but out of fear or anxiety, you should get it checked by a vet. Dogs are extremely sensitive animals, and they do suffer from illnesses that are fairly common in humans. Just like in humans, anxiety issues in dogs are manageable. You need to pay attention to your dog’s treatment and ensure that it is taking medicines on time. Timely treatment will help your dog get better.
The Final Word
Learning about your dog’s different ways of talking to you is fun, no? Pet parents should always look out for any new signs that their pets exhibit. Most of the time, they are just a way to show that your dog loves you – isn’t it adorable? But it is always best to get your dog evaluated by a vet in case you have any doubts.