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Why Does My Dog Bury His Head In Me?

Why Does My Dog Bury His Head In Me?

Dogs can sometimes exhibit some interesting behaviors when they want to get our attention.  If your dog is coming up to you and burying their head in your lap, you may be wondering what they want when they do this.

This article will dive into the question of why does my dog bury his head in me to help you better understand this doggie behavior.

Why Does My Dog Bury His Head In Me?

Your dog can bury their head in you for a variety of reasons. Most commonly dogs exhibit this behavior to show affection, to mark their territory, to get your attention, to seek comfort, or because they have learned this behavior gets them something desirable.

Common Reasons Why Dogs Bury Their Heads In Us

There is more than one reason why dogs can bury their heads in their humans.  Below are the most common reasons and explanations:

To Show Affection

One of the main reasons your pup is burying their head in you is to get your affection.  Just like humans enjoy and get pleasure from affection, so do dogs.

Some dog breeds are more affectionate than others, but generally, all dogs enjoy a good rub every now and then.  When your dog buries their head in your lap or another part of your body, they are seeking to be close to you and wanting some love.

Dogs show affection in many ways, such as licking you, being close to you, through their body language, tail wagging, and snuggling with you.  Burying their head in you is just another way of exhibiting their love for you.

To Get Your Attention

Another big reason why dogs bury their heads in humans is to get attention.  Sometimes we get busy with our schedules we may noy pay as much attention to our dogs as they would like.

When this happens, our pups will find a way to let us know they need something.  One of the ways this can present is by burying their head in you to get your attention.

Your dog may want attention for a variety of reasons, they may need a potty break, want to play, need food or water, or just want a quick rub. 

If your dog is suddenly burying their head in you, think about if you forgot to do something for them that you normally would do if you weren’t so busy.

To Be Comforted if Scared/Anxious/Nervous

Another reason your dog could exhibit this behavior is to seek comfort.  Some dogs more easily become anxious or nervous while other dogs are more confident.

You know your individual dog best.  If you have a more nervous dog, your dog could be burying their head in you because something or someone is making them scared or anxious.

Try to determine the cause of the anxiety.  Is there a thunderstorm?  Is there a new addition to their environment?  Are there strange noises around?

If you take a few minutes to examine what has changed, chances are you’ll quickly determine what is bother your dog.

It Is Learned Behavior

Head burying can also be the result of learning that this behavior gets your pooch what they want.  Dogs are very smart, and they quickly learn that certain actions lead to desirable results.

Thus, if they want to go outside to play, and every time they bury their head on you, you get up and take them out, they will have learned this behavior equals an outside trip.

This applies in all sorts of situations!  If your dog gets the desired attention, they are seeking from head burying they will keep doing this behavior over and over again until it stops being rewarding.

Marking Their Territory

Dogs also bury their heads in us to mark their territory.  Dogs use scent to mark items or locations as theirs.

Dogs also use scent to portray to the outside world that a specific location or item has been claimed as their own.  Although we aren’t “items” in the traditional sense, our dogs want everyone to know we are claimed.

Thus, sometimes a dog will bury their head in their owner to mark them with their scent.  This could be occurring if your pup senses a threat and wants to make sure that threat knows who you belong to.

For example, if you got a new pet, your dog may want to claim you if he or she feels threatened by the new pet’s presence.

Should You Be Concerned About Your Dog’s Head Burying

Generally, head burying is an innocent way of your dog getting your attention or showing affection and is nothing to be concerned about. 

However, if you have noticed that your dog is exhibiting this behavior because of anxiety, or because it has become a learned way of getting what they want, you may want to reduce this behavior.

You will know your dog the best, pay attention to what is going on when your dog buries their head in you.  Doing so will help you determine whether it is innocent or something you should try and correct.

How to Stop Excessive Head Burying

If your dog is burying their head in you all the time, you may want to reduce this behavior.  Here are a few tips to use:

Don’t Give Them Attention for the Behavior

Once you have determined that your dog is exhibiting head burying to have you wrapped around their paw, it is important to not give them attention when they display this behavior.

Giving them attention for head burying is what taught them to do this to get you to react in a certain way.  In order to fix that you have to stop responding positively to this behavior.

So, when your dog buries their head in you, ignore the behavior. Then give them attention only when they have stopped.  This will show them that sitting patiently is the way to get your attention.

Solve the Problem

If your dog is burying their head in you because they need something from you, the easiest way to solve it is to prevent the need from occurring.

Try and predict what your dog will need before you get busy.  Give your dog plenty of attention, maybe take them for a walk, play fetch, play with a toy, and make sure they have water, food, and a potty break.

If your dog has had sufficient mental stimulation and physical exercise, they will be less likely to get bored.  Accordingly, they will be less likely to seek out your attention when you are busy.

Also, make sure to take breaks at regular intervals to spend a short amount of time with your dog. This will also prevent them from needing something from you as well.


You can also try to redirect this behavior to something else.  Give your dog a fun command or tell them to go get a toy.  Basically, have them shift their focus from the unwanted behavior to something else more desirable.

Just don’t let them get intrenched into head burying before you try and redirect them.  This may take some time, but with consistency and patience it will pay off.

Final Thoughts

Our dogs will bury their heads in us for a variety of reasons.  Normally, this is just an innocent dog behavior that doesn’t need to be fixed.

However, if you notice your dog is displaying this behavior too frequently you can try the above tips to reduce or stop the behavior.

Otherwise, enjoy the extra doggie affection!

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