Why does my dog lay his head on me? Well, this is a question that most dog parents ask and one that brings a lot of mixed reactions. Some dog owners like it when their dogs lay their heads on them, while others are irritated by the behavior. Where do you lie?

dog laying on owner

Regardless of your position in this, it's vital to understand why your dog may lay his head on you. Like humans, dogs, too, have different triggers for certain behaviors.  And this explains the many reasons behind your furry canine friend laying his head on you.

In this article, we'll discuss the top 7 reasons why your dog might lay his head on you. Keep reading to learn whether you should allow this behavior or not. So, let's dive in!

He Wants Attention

Pups are social animals that crave attention from their parents. So, one of the main reasons your pooch may lay his head on you is to get your attention.

This mainly happens if you've been away from your pup for some hours. Typically canines can't stand being alone for long, but this depends on the breed.

And even if you leave your pup under the care of a pet sitter, family member, or friend, he'll always crave your attention because he sees you as the alpha.

In a nutshell, we can say your pup may lay his head on you to show that he misses you and wants to spend some time close to you.

For Protection

According to recent statistics by Statista, there are over 471 million pet dogs worldwide. And while you may want a canine friend for various reasons, one of them is always for safety and protection.

Typically, canines have innate protective instincts, which they express differently. Some bark aggressively while others lay their heads on their loved ones.

So, a dog may lay his head on you to protect you from physical or emotional harm.

On the other hand, he may do this to get protection from you. Because of his pack mentality, your dog sees you as the alpha, and laying his head on you leaves him feeling safe and comfortable.

To Express Affection

The main reason behind the high number of dog pets globally is their affectionate and loyal nature—they are little furballs of love.

Due to their affectionate nature, some canines tend to be too clingy to their favorite humans.

And since your favorite canine friend can't verbally express his love and affection for you, he's likely to do it by getting physically close to you, for example, by placing his head on you.

Such a sweet love gesture, right?

dog showing owner affection


Another reason your dog may lay his head on you is to alert you of his compromised health.

Like humans, sickness leaves canines weak and drained. And since they can't talk, they mainly express themselves by barking and through their body language.

In some cases, your dog may be too weak to bark, and the only way to inform you of his state is by laying his head on you. So, if your dog suddenly starts laying his head on you, seems weak and withdrawn, it might be a sign of sickness.

According to research by Webmd, the common types of illness likely to affect your pooch are infections and metabolic diseases. The common infections include kennel cough and heartworm disease, while the prevalent metabolic and organic diseases among dogs include diabetes, heart, and liver problems.

In case you notice any signs of sickness in your dog, consult a pet vet immediately.


Your canine friend may also lay his head on you to express his trust. Whether in deep slumber or just resting after a meal or exercise, your dog will always sleep in a place where he feels safe and comfortable.

By laying his head on you, your pup shows that he trusts you to give him the protection he needs as he sleeps.

If you've recently adopted a pooch, laying his head on you means he's warming up to you, and your bond is growing stronger.

Wants to Feel Your Warmth

When temperatures drop, your dog may seek warmth by laying his head on you.

In most cases, if you have more than one canine in your home, you'll see them snuggle upon each other for extra warmth.

However, if your pooch is alone or sees you as his alpha, he's likely to turn to you whenever he feels cold.

Laying his head on you regulates his body temperature helping him feel warm. You can go the extra mile and cover him with a blanket to make him warmer and more comfortable.

Capturing the moment of my daughter hugging her best friend, Oreo, in the woods

To Offer You Support

Your pup can also lay his head on your to offer emotional support.

For example, if you're sick or had a rough day at work and came home looking pale, your canine friend will detect you're not okay. He will try cheering you up by laying his head on you.

And now that he can't talk and assure you that everything will be okay, this little gesture is all he can do to show he cares. A study revealed that dogs are empathetic; they feel your pain and will try all means possible to rescue you.

Should You Allow Your Dog to Lay His Head on You?

Now that you know why your dog lays head on you, should you allow this behavior? Typically, if it doesn't create problems, allowing this behavior fosters a stronger bond between you and your pup.

However, if it becomes too much, for example, your pup becomes too clingy and even keeps you from getting out of the house, you should consider stopping it. When correcting your pooch, don't be overly physical, be gentle and patient because it'll take some time for him to stop this behavior.

When he lays his head on you, ignore him or use a word like 'No' to show him you don't like the behavior. Also, consider redirecting him to lay his head on another place, say his mat.

Bottom Line

Dogs are among the most affectionate and loyal pets you can add to your family. However, their primary means of communication is through body language, which explains why your pup may be fond of laying his head on you.

If you're so attached to your pooch that you can't stand being away from him for long, we have some good news for you. We have the smartest dog collar Fi, a GPS tracking collar that provides 24/7 location and activity tracking.

With this smart dog collar, you get to track your dog anytime, anywhere, connect with a wide community of Fi dog owners, and keep your dog in the best shape. Get your Fi dog collar today for a first-hand experience.