Why Do Dogs Lean?

People keep dogs for a variety of reasons. While some breeds work for a living, majority of these four legged friends are primarily kept as companions. Dogs are truly wonderful creatures as apart from showing an eagerness to please its people, dogs are very loyal and protective animals as well. Dogs are social animals thus pet owners would always be exposed to the affectionate nature of the pet. Dogs are considered as members of the family because of these most valued human-like attributes.

The dog’s inability to speak is not considered as a handicap as dogs can very well communicate with humans by using a variety of body movements. Any dog owner would know that the dog has the propensity to lean. To gain balance, a dog scratching its body would usually lean on the masters legs. On the other hand, a dog would lean on people not only to prop the body when scratching an itch. The dog’s tendency to lean is basically a manifestation of its affectionate however, the attitude can also be a sign of the dog’s dominant, possessive and protective nature.

Dogs would constantly show their affectionate nature to their human family because these are very sociable creatures. A walking dog that sees the master would veer away from its original direction to sidle and lean on the master’s legs. Dog owners would provide the pet with comfortable beds and crates but the pet preferring to be close to the members of its human family would prefer to lean and sleep on the master’s feet.

The leaning habit of the dog can be a manifestation of its protective and possessive behavior. Dogs can easily discern danger. The dog would stand between the perceived danger and lean on the master’s legs – ready to protect its favorite person. Dogs, especially those that have formed strong ties with their owners would be possessive of their masters. The leaning gesture is the dog’s way of broadcasting to everyone that the person it is leaning to is already taken.

A dominant dog has the tendency to lean not only on people but on other animals as well. Dogs, being pack animals would lean on humans and on other animals to assume a dominant role. A dog with a dominant behavior will be hard to manage and control. Pet owners would always value the affectionate nature of the pet but if the dog’s tendency to lean is an exhibition of a dominant behavior then the dog’s tendency to lean must be stopped.

Find out more about why dogs lean, dog first aid and dog behaviour at Sarah’s Dogs.