Your dog comes up to you, you think that he might want to play with you or just lie with you a little, but by surprise, your dog lays his head over your neck. You may be wondering what message your hound is trying to pass across to you by this action.
So, why does my dog lay his head over my neck? The common reason is he's expressing his affection for you or wanting to create some real bonding between both of you. Stress or hunger are possible causes. It could also be an indication of an underlying health condition or just sadness.
Here is an explanation for the possible reasons your dog chooses your neck, out of all parts of your body, to lay his head. It could be:
1. Show of affection.
The same way human beings use verbal and non-verbal means to display their affection for one another is the same way a dog wants to express his affection for you.
He could have chosen other parts of your body to lay his head on, but he chose your neck, as his head on your neck is a very heartwarming position that allows both of you to enjoy the company of each other. If your dog does this regularly, it is a sign that he loves you dearly and holds you very close to his heart.
2. Clue he needs warmth.
Of course, dogs are warm-blooded animals, and unlike their cold-blooded counterparts, they feel cold from time to time and could even get killed because of cold. Your dog can come to you in this position, probably because he feels cold and needs some warmth.
If you notice your dog is laying silently on your neck and there is an air conditioning unit in the room, consider turning it off or adjusting the temperature to suit your furry friend. If it is a cold day outside, layer him up with fabrics to keep him warm up.
3. Indication of Hunger
Your dog can not verbalize he is hungry or ask you to give him food, and so can only call your attention to his hunger by coming to you until you guess he is hungry. Although hunger is known to make some dogs aggressive, the calmer ones will come to you with pleading eyes, hoping you can give them some food.
Some come close and lay their head on your neck, showing that they are weak and want to eat. If you realize that your dog has not eaten for a while, or is just plain hungry, give him food, and you will see his face light up immediately.
4. Sign of stress.
If your dog approaches you looking dull and moody, it could be a sign that she is going through a lot of stress and wants you to ease the stress a little.
This stress could come from his environment, perhaps caused by a new person or thing, or could be caused by something that is bothering him, or even your own stress, because research shows that your stress levels as an owner can negatively affect your dog, making it stressed and moody.
If you notice this in your dog, try to engage him in a fun activity, cheer him up by playing with him or giving him a treat, and find out what is causing your dog's stress.
5. Protecting you.
You may ask, 'What is he protecting me from, is there some kind of danger lurking around that I do not know of?'
There might not be danger in your immediate environment, but remember, apart from being your companion and friend, your dog is also like a bodyguard, always looking out for anything that could harm you. Back in the days when dogs were members of a pack, a 'lower' dog would usually rest its head on its alpha's neck to protect it from any attack at night.
Your dog may just be exhibiting the same behavior on you, as your neck is a very delicate area prone to attack. Anything that wants to harm you, would have to go through your dog first.
However, if your dog's weight is too much on your neck, it could cause breathing problems for you while you sleep. So, if it does not feel comfortable, still keep him close to you, but discourage him from resting on your neck.
6. Feeling sick.
As a dog owner, you know your hound. You know when he is bubbling with joy, you know when he is sad, and you also know when he is sick. Your dog laying on your neck could be a hint that he is feeling sick, or in older dogs, could be a hint that he is about to die soon.
Now, there is no need to panic or state getting sad, as this could just be a feeling. However, you would want to run some checks on your dog to see if everything is okay with his health instead of just assuming the worst. Check his body parts and fluids too for any abnormalities or weird changes, as this could help you discover what the matter is.
7. Insecurity or encouraged behavior.
Your dog may also lay on your neck because he feels insecure and afraid of what the world holds. Even if he does not lack anything, your dog can still be clingy with you, and would not like to leave your side for any reason. If this is the case, take him to a professional to address his insecurity quickly.
Apart from all the reasons above, your dog can also be doing this simply because you encouraged him. Anytime he had his head on your neck, you stroked him or told him nice things, so he wants to keep enjoying that care.
After reading the different reasons why your dog might be laying up his head on your neck, it is important to keep reminding yourself of these points, so anytime your dog does this, you can have an idea of what the problem is.
Of course, these points are not cast in stone, as your dog may lay on your neck for two, even three of the reasons above. As a proud dog owner, it is important for you to notice changes in your dog, especially with his head on your neck, and take action. I hope you enjoyed reading this post!