Why does my Dog Climb on my Shoulders?

If your dog loves climbing on your shoulder at every given opportunity and you might be wondering why he's doing do and if the attitude is one that should be encouraged or not.

Many dog owners believe that this attitude is natural and common to almost all puppies who are just a few months old, but the truth is that there are other reasons responsible for this behavior.

So, why does my Dog Climb on my Shoulders? It could be that your puppy wants to get closer to you; he is aiming at things on a higher level, he is displaying his love for you as his owner or he wants a perfect height where he could see everything happening around.

As much as the reasons listed above sound lovely and awesome, some conditions might require you to stop your dog from behaving in such a manner. I will be discussing the conditions later in this post. Before then, let's lay more emphasis on the reasons why your dog loves climbing on your shoulder.

1. He is a young puppy

It is likely impossible to see a full-grown dog wanting to climb on his owner's shoulders because he knows he's older and too big for that.The same can't be said about a young 5-month-old puppy who is only getting to know his environment.

A puppy is more likely to climb on your shoulder as he wants to utilize every available opportunity to perceive your scent, share your breath, lick your face, and stay glued to you.

2. He desires to play with you

Another possible reason why your dog might feel like climbing your shoulder could be that he is in the mood to play with you and the only way to achieve this mission is by getting your attention.Therefore, he believes climbing your shoulder will help him get your total attention as soon as possible because you won't be able to resist him for long.

3. He is aiming at things on a high level

You must have heard of dogs staying on top of a couch as he aims to get attractive things that are far above his reach. The same thing applies to your dog if he is aiming for attractive or important things - such as food, toys, or bone - that are situated at a higher height.

The slight difference in both cases is that your dog prefers your shoulder to a couch or sofa as he wants to reach his target. 

4. He's displaying his affection for his owner

Every well-mannered dog knows that there is a need to have respect, love, and maximum affection for his owner. There are diverse ways in which your dog can showcase his affections towards you - he can sit on your lap, sleep at the foot of your bed, sleep under your bed cover for a moment, and climbing your shoulder is one of the ways he can express it. 

5. He wants to have a clearer picture of everything happening within the vicinity

It's in the DNA of every dog to be protective of his environment or compound irrespective of his age as long as he is healthy. One of the major reasons why your dog often or sometimes climbs your shoulder is as a result of his desire to protect you by being aware of events taking place in the compound.

He prefers to stay on a favorable height that will enhance or boost his sight in order to achieve this protective mission. This is why he loves staying on your shoulder, wagging his tail, and monitoring events.

6. He is running from predators

It could be that your dog is running from an invading predator which you were unable to sense their presence. As you already know, dogs are very quick and smart when it comes to detecting the presence of harmful strangers or predators.

Your pooch might see your shoulder as a protective shield against predators, leaving him with no option but to climb and stay there until the situation returns to normal. 

7. He is comfortable being on your shoulder

You might be asking yourself how can a young dog feel comfortable on my shoulder? However, just imagine the level of fun your puppy derives from licking your ear, staring at your face, and enjoying a warm temperature produced from the neck region.

Now, you see why most young puppies can't stop climbing their owner's shoulders for comfort and pleasure.

Should I Allow my dog to climb my shoulder?

There's nothing wrong if your little puppy loves staying on your shoulder for a while as long as you and your pooch are comfortable with it.

When you should prevent my dog from portraying such an behavior?

As much as it's extremely important you provide your dog with the chance to get close to you, you might be forced to stop him from climbing your shoulder if he is displaying some of the behaviors listed below:

Being too bossy over your shoulder or neck

You are advised to stop your dog from climbing your shoulder as soon as you noticed that he is becoming too bossy over your neck. Growling whenever you shake your head or neck simply means he is exercising dominance over your neck, which could be dangerous in the long run if you don't act fast. 

He is becoming too big to endure

You can't sacrifice your comfort just because you want your mature dog to keep staying on your shoulder. You should endeavor to let him realize that your shoulder is meant for a puppy alone and he is no longer one.

Your dog should naturally stop the attitude when he gets to a certain stage, but you should help him stop it if he still desires to be at the top of your shoulder. 

Dogs naturally want the affection of their owners as they feel comfortable staying around them. So, you should everything possible to make your Fido feel loved and happy.

Nonetheless, be very conversant with your dog's attitude as that will help you detect any unusual and unhealthy behavior as soon as possible.

Do not hesitate to visit your vet doctor whenever conditions call for it. Keep your dog healthy and stay safe. 

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