Why Does My Dog... Lean on Me?

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Dog leaning on owner's legs
Dreamstime

Is your dog a leaner? It’s a common enough issue. Most serial dog owners are likely to have lived with one at some point.

But it’s not just leaning. It’s also standing on your feet, hugging your legs during a walk, and sleeping with the maximum amount of shared surface area in contact.

Some authorities would have you believe your dog is trying to dominate you with her weight. Others might say you’re being manipulated by a poorly socialized, misbehaving suck-up who knows how to push your buttons. But the truth is something else.

In most cases this is affection-seeking behavior, plain and simple. Dogs love to cuddle. And if the person you want to cuddle with is always sitting and standing, then cuddling takes the form of leaning on her or sitting on her shoes as she taps away at the keyboard.

Add that to the fact that dogs –– pack animals that they are –– are fond of close contact as a safety measure, and you’ve got a great rationale for your dog’s lean-on-a-leg approach to life.

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