Why Does My Dog Lay His Head on Me?

Having a dog is like having a walking, talking giant, furry bean bag in your house. He's there for you to cuddle up with whenever you're down, and whenever he’s tired, he looks for you to offer the same comfort. Your dog may curl up into a ball at your feet, might cling to your back, or may lay his head on your lap. 

dog resting head on person

As a result, dog parents are often curious about what triggers a dog to let himself loose and lay his head on you completely. Want to know what brings your dog to this state? Well, there is a variety of causes, such as:

12 Reasons Why Your Dog May Lay His Head On You

1. Affection

Dogs can't speak. Their verbal gestures, therefore, come into play whenever they need to express their feelings. And let's be honest, when your dog comes to rest his head on you, you do find it adorable, don't you? That gush of affection is mutual between you and your dog, and just like you may give him a big hug whenever you want to express your appreciation, your dog adopts the exact mechanism to express his affection.

2. Attention

Your puppy wants to play tag! Maybe you've been too occupied to listen to his whines and growls, so he just decides to come over and give you a friendly reminder that says ‘Hello, I'm here?!’. In other cases, your dog may be feeling emotional, or lonely, or may just be bored, so he grabs your attention in the best manner he knows: physical probing!

3. Marking

You're just as special to your pet as they are to you. Neither would want another person (or pet) to get between the bond you share. So, when you pat another dog or any other pet, your dog won't rest until he has rested his head and other parts all over you. He's going to ensure that you're strongly smothered with his scent and that other dog knows their limits. Talk about innocent jealousy!

4. Support

Dogs are emotionally quite receptive and responsive. They can sense when you're at your lowest or highest and provide you with emotional and moral support according to the requirement. So, if you've had a bad day at work and have returned home in a grumpy mood, your dog will only need one cue to hop up and rest himself on you to provide comfort and calmness.

5. Protection

Building on all those affectionate and possessive instincts, your dog may also feel the need to guard anything he finds precious, including his favorite human beings! Even though you may not always be in mortal peril, your furball might still want you to know that he’s there by your side, whenever and wherever you need him!

6. Fear

Just like your dog wants to protect you, he also wants to find the same protection from you because he trusts you. This is why he would want to stick near you when he feels insecure or afraid for any reason. He may feel intimidated by other dogs or humans. He may have gone through a near-death experience. Or he may even feel fearful during bad weather, such as thunderstorms!

7. Fatigue and Lethargy

If your dog is feeling tired or spent, he would like nothing more than to just crash on top of you and cuddle for a quick nap. He's the same as you used to do when you were young; your parent would come to pick you up from preschool, and you'd doze off in their arms, remember? Dogs tend to behave the same way when they're tired or lazy. They may also experience fatigue when they're hungry and haven't had anything good to eat in a long time.

8. Depression

Depression and other mental health disorders are pretty common in dogs and puppies alike, which is why they often seek to curb their signs through physical closeness and intimacy with their parents. However, unlike other reasons, a depressive dog indicates a problem for which you need to get in touch with a vet and figure a way out.

9. Danger

As you've read above, dogs are big on gestures. So if they sense any danger, whether it's a fire in the house or their sixth sense predicting something, they'll do their best to make sure you pay attention to their source of worry. And for this purpose, they'll lay their head on you for that instant response! 

10. Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is another reason why dogs are so physically needy. These creatures crave closeness, and if they're denied your companionship for hours at a time, it can trigger intense feelings of loneliness and consequently lead to separation anxiety. This is why when you reach home, your dog wouldn't want to let go of you for even a moment!

11. Illness

A dog acts almost like a human child when he falls ill. He wants constant coziness for which he finds you as the best source. So yup, you're your puppy's comforter on his sick days. Cheers!

12. Warmth

Cold temperatures and chilly nights call for a lot of cuddling, primarily because dogs don't usually wear as many warm clothes as we do. So when you're wearing that super cute knit jumper, just be warned; your dog is surely going to try to nuzzle in your lap for a bit.

Which Dogs Do It More?

Big and small dogs alike are commonly affectionate, so laying their heads on you isn’t strange. However, certain breeds might be clingier than others, such as the Vizsla, Maltese, Labrador Retriever, and Modern Collie.


A dog laying his head on you is usually nothing to be worried about, but dog parents are naturally curious as to why these cuties behave this way. Well, to all our dog dads and mums, this is all you need to know!

Here are some other common questions about dogs that may also be helpful:Why Does My Dog Scratch My Bed Sheets? Why Does My Dog Bury His Head in Me? Why Does My Dog Sleep Between My Legs? Why Does My Dog Lick My Pillow? Why Does My Dog Stand Over Me? Why Does My Dog Stretch So Much? Why Does My Dog Put His Butt on Me? Why Does My Dog Sleep With His Tongue Out? Why Does My Dog Lay On My Clothes? Why Does My Dog Nibble My Ear? Why Does My Dog Hump the Air? Why Does My Dog Lick Other Dogs Pee? Why Does My Dog Push Against Me? Why Does My Dog Lick My Legs? Why Does My Dog Lick My Eyes? Do Dogs Get Tired Of Barking? and if you are after our pet portraits, you can see themhere.