As far as we know, dogs can’t express their feelings verbally, so they have to find other ways to do so, such as with their body language or vocals. When a dog frantically wags their tail, you know they are happy, and they didn’t have to tell you so.
Well, they are doing the same when they rest their head on you, they are trying to tell you something. But what is it? Just as it happens with tail wagging, this dog behavior doesn’t have just one meaning. It depends on other factors such as the context the dog is in.
We know you are extremely curious about everything your pooch does and want to find out what this behavior means. That’s why we are going to share with you the possible reasons why dogs rest their head on you.
1. They want to eat
Dogs seem to have an internal clock. They know the exact time when they have to eat, when they have to go for a walk and when you arrive home. This has both a good side and a bad one.
The good one is that they (usually) won’t go potty inside the house because they know that at, for example, 5pm they are going for a walk. The bad one is that if you forget an event of their detailed routine, they will do everything they can to remind you, for example, resting their head on me.
If your pup usually eats his yummy supplements with their food at 7pm, and it’s 7:30pm and for some reason they haven’t had dinner yet, they will find a way to get your attention towards their food, for example, by resting their head on your leg and staring at you with those big puppy eyes.
This way, you’ll definitely never forget their dinner time twice.
2. They want to go for a walk
Just as dogs rest their head on you as a dinner time reminder, they can do so when they want to go for a walk. If your dog is used to going on a walk every day at a certain time, they will want that event to repeat every single day.
If you get caught on work or on an interesting chapter of your favorite series, you’ll have to find the time to take your dog on their daily walk even if it is a short one. Otherwise, you’ll get puppy eyes staring at you.
Dogs depend on routines. If you miss an event of their day, they will find a way to remind you.
3. They are comfortable
Dogs are always looking for the most comfortable position to get some rest. One of the most common ones is snuggling into a roll. Well, believe it or not, laying their head on you is also a pretty comfortable position for them.
If you see that your pup’s body language is relaxed and they have their eyes closed while laying their head on you, then they are probably just resting and feeling comfortable.
4. They want affection
Dogs are social beings, they need their pack, which in this case would be you. They like being around you, and what they like the most is your love and affection.
If your pup gently lies their head on you while staring at you (and you’re sure you haven’t missed dinner time), then they are probably craving attention. They might be asking for a pet or they just want to play with you!
5. They are cold
Dogs have funny ways of regulating their body temperature. One of them is kneading, such as cats do. And another one could be laying their head on something warm, which in this case would be you.
6. They feel stressed
Remember that we said that to know what a dog’s behavior means we have to look at the context? Well, this fact is especially true on this occasion. If your dog is feeling stressed, they can rest their head on you to let you know how they are feeling, but in order to figure out if this is the real reason why they are doing this, you must look at the context.
Are they in an environment that could have factors that stress them, such as other dogs or too many people? Have they shown other signs of stress such as excessive paw licking?
You know your dog better than anyone else, so trust yourself, you’ll know if they’re feeling stressed.