Every wonder why many dogs like to lean on you, or others people around you? What’s in it for them? Does it happen only when they are tired and need a little extra support? How about because they are cold and want to steal some of your body heat. Or, they get the feeling that you like it, so they want to make you happy.
Wow, we can come up with many possible reasons, and since they will never actually tell us, it is all conjecture. Personally, I think they just like it—it makes them happy, sometimes by making us happy. I would imagine that most of you, like me, like it when your dogs lean in to you, so, naturally, you probably lean over and give them a “hug” back—something they like. Often our response to their behavior can, and will, dictate the repetition of that behavior. The pat, hug, or cuddle that you respond with gives them as much pleasure as being given one of their favorite treats. No wonder why they might want to do it again soon!
Sometimes that lean may give them a feeling of security—like an anxiety vest. When a dog is frightened (think of July 4th fireworks) they will often come to you shove their face and head into your lap. They feel secure and protected. That “lean” probably gives them that same feeling. Don’t forget—that animal contact has been proven to be good for our mental and physical health as well, so don’t fight them off.
The truth is, there are probably a few reasons why many dogs like to lean on, or into, us—but none of them really matter. The only thing that matters is that they do it, and we hope will continue to do so.
Enjoy your dogs, and savor those moments!!