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Johan and Rodrigo, Dog Leaning, Why Dogs Lean

A couple of years ago I was at the dog park with our littermates, talking to man about the joys of dog ownership and his dog kept leaning on him and he thought that it was his dogs way of showing dominance.  I actually used to think this too and it may be the case with some breeds, I honestly don’t know, but with our dogs, it’s a show of affection and a show to other dogs that I’m their human.

Recently, our dogs were allowed off leash at the end of a walk to greet another dog.  I was so proud of each of them, because they’ve all come a long way.  One thing I noticed was that each time Rodrigo made a good decision (not humping his new friend), he came to me for praise and then to the other dog parent.  He gave us both a lean, happily wagging his tail in celebration of his accomplishment (not humping his new friend).

Why Dogs Lean

Our dogs lean to show affection, solidarity, and when they need to feel secure (like at the park or during a thunderstorm).  They show affection every day and I relish in every moment and have even gotten behind on my blog at times, simply because I didn’t want to pass up on a good sofa snuggle.

  • Our dogs follow me from room to room, waiting at the bottom of the stairs when I head up.
  • When I come home, there are lots of barks, tail wags, and jumping; we’re working on the jumping.
  • I love it when Rodrigo sits close to me and lays his head on my chest, occasionally lifting up for a kiss.
  • Sydney either lays across my lap or at my feet, while Blue is on the back of the sofa like a cat, with his head on my shoulder.
  • Our dogs lean when they’re trying to get me to focus on them or when they need a hug.

And when our dogs lean? It’s wonderful.

  • Rodrigo leans against both of my legs.  He prefers to lean with is left side over his right – not sure why.
  • Sydney likes to walk between my legs so that I have easy access to her tummy.  Yes, I’m looking down at her bum, but she’s my baby, so I don’t mind.
  • Blue does a Rodrigo-Sydney combo with his leans.

Recently, I met a woman who had a gorgeous, sweet Australian Cattle Dog she’d recently adopted who did a wiggle lean, rubbing against your legs like a cat.  She learned that this was a common Cattle Dog greeting and welcome into the pack.  Within 10 minutes, I was a pack mate.

I love it when our dogs lean; with our dogs, it’s all good.  And if you want to learn more about why dogs lean, check out this post on ThatMutt.com.

Then come back and tell me, why do your dogs lean on you?


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