Dogs are affectionate, this we know. There is hardly a moment that goes by where our enthusiastic pups don’t want to follow us, lick our hands, and engage in any way they can. Canines develop unique ways of communicating with us; whether we are standing in the kitchen or sitting on the couch, many dogs like to lean on their owners. This might seem needy or just plain lazy, but in reality, your pup is just trying to tell you something.

Reasons why dogs like to lean

Affection: Canines are notorious cuddle machines. They lean against us to communicate that they love us, want to be next to us, and stay as close as possible. They don’t mind when we are sweaty after a workout, or dirty from gardening in the yard; dog affection runs deep, and they like to show it.

Security: You are the dog’s provider, his companion and favorite person in the world; therefore it should be no surprise that your dog looks to you for stability and comfort. When a dog feels afraid or insecure, he likes to feel you close by. Many pet parents find that dogs like to lean often when there may be a thunderstorm, or unfamiliar people in the house. When a dog wants to remember that they are loved and safe, sometimes they rest against us for the reassurance.

To get our attention: Yes, those little manipulators know that if they lean against our legs long enough, we will pay them heed. They like to control us, and definitely vie for our attention, whether we are distracted by talking to another human, or are petting another dog. The steady “here I am, here I am!” pressure on your leg is a patient reminder that the pup wants your attention and might be a little jealous. Dogs also sit against us to work as a reminder that we need to feed them or let them out. When licking, running around, or barking hasn’t done the trick, sometimes dogs will go for a more subtle approach by leaning until we get the picture.

Stop the leaning

Not everybody appreciates this type of affection, or the idea of having a furry Huskey stack all 80 pounds of him against our new slacks. While some people have no wish to train their dog to stop the leaning, others can’t bear the habit. If you are the latter, simple add a few basic training commands  such as “lie down” or “go to your bed” when the leaning gets to be too much for you.