Why Does My Dog Put Its Head On My Chest 

Why Does My Dog Put Its Head On My Chest 

About the Author: Nettie Finley, the Professional Dog Trainer at MyPetDoggie. Specializing in behavior rehabilitation, Nettie leads our team with her effective training techniques. As a certified canine behaviorist, she brings transformative change to challenging behavior cases. Her experience and expertise elevate our content, providing practical, insightful training advice for our readers. Also, she loves her Cavapoo!

What is more wonderful than spending some time with a four-legged furry best friend?

But, sometimes the dog puts his head on my chest makes me wonder sometime like what could be the possible reason behind it.

There can be a number of reasons why dogs put their heads on us. Maybe he wants attention or he wants to seek comfort, he might be facing anxiety or he wants something from you.

So, there are a lot of reasons why the dog puts his head on your chest. Once you figure out what the possible reason is, it would be helpful to work out what to do about it. So,

Why Does My Dog Put Its Head On My Chest? 

Your dog putting its head on your chest is a sign of affection and trust. It seeks comfort and security by being close to your scent and heartbeat as its pack leader. It’s a bonding behavior that strengthens your connection.

chest lay (1)
A dog sleeps peacefully on his parent’s chest

During my study, more reasons that I found worth including in this blog post are:

He wants to make his presence felt:

One of the common reasons behind a dog’s putting its head on the chest can be an approach to seek your attention. He wants to make his presence feel around you. He simply wants to be near you.

You should not approve of such behavior (if it happens on a daily basis) as it can lead a dog to become clingy and dependent. Rather than endorsing such a manner, I suggest taking some time out of your busy schedule and trying to spend time with your dog.

In case you are busy, redirecting his focus to something else like a stuffed toy can also be helpful. In this way, your dog won’t go around seeking your time and attention by laying his head on your chest. 

He is facing anxiety:

Sometimes the best way to find solace and feel safe is to be near a loved one. It is the same for animals as well. Whenever they feel anxious, they go to their owners. Sometimes, the dog may lay his head on your chest wishing to seek comfort. 

This pattern is very common when the owner is busy or not paying proper attention to the dog. I discovered that if it is not addressed timely, it can lead to separation anxiety. Dogs can become stressful and hard to handle. 

It is important to consider that separation anxiety is a serious concern. In this regard, it is important to notice the pattern. Sometimes, dogs feel anxious when their owner leaves for work. It should be treated timely with an effective approach otherwise when dogs face constant anxiety and distress, it can potentially lead to the development of unfavorable or destructive behavior.

He is protective of me:

Dogs might put their head on your chest because he is protective of you. I feel that dogs can feel threatened easily and laying down their heads is a way to warn about incoming threats or intruders or it can be one of the dog’s tactics to tell in the face of an intruder that he is not afraid of him and he will protect his master at any cost. 

It is wonderful to have a protective dog, but the problem arises when the dog can’t distinguish between friends and intruders. The bright side of this behavior is that you can coach the dog and easily persuade him. The best technique  to turn down his protectiveness is to  introduce him to your friends and acquaintances

He is inflicting its domain:

Dogs are usually defensive and inflict their authority when he is around other dogs. A dog might spread his scent all over you so that other dogs can be aware of his prized possession.

He appears to be jealous if you pet other dogs in front of him. Sometimes dogs make sure no other dog pokes his nose into their household. That way he declares his authority and domain and allows no intruders.

In order to treat his irrational behavior, you should start his training. The best way is to make the dog sit on particular spots in your home and practice sit-and-stand commands. Prohibit him to sit on your chest and encourage him to sit somewhere in your home.  

He is fond of my warmth:

During winter, dogs usually put their head on your chest to get cozy. I believe that the warmth of the body makes dogs comfortable and relaxed. Make sure to put your dog’s bed right next to the radiator so that he can sleep peacefully.

However during my research, I discovered that every dog has different tolerance levels of cold. It is significant to have adequate knowledge about breedings and their tolerance level.  

He wants to declare authority : 

Another likely motive behind his sudden shift in his behavior can be that the dog wants to show some power over his owner. Putting its head on your chest gives him an upper hand. It gives him a chance to show his power over you.

Putting his head over chest can also suggest whether the dog respects you or not as it clearly indicates that he does not wish to respect you or he thinks of himself that he has some dominance over you.

After having some observations, I developed this sense that dogs love to organize themselves in some kind of social ranking order or hierarchical structure. The commander in charge or alpha is the one that every dog is bound to follow the lead.

That’s the core reason why trained dogs still showcase this particular behavior in households as well. 

If your dog sits on your chest, you are giving him the chance to be bossy around you or be the alpha of the home. Anyone would avoid such a thing. Therefore, the best solution is to train a dog to rectify that. Timely action is the best remedy otherwise it can cause bigger problems. The worst scenario is that the dog becomes clingy and he will panic if you are not around. 

What To Do About Your Dog Putting His Head On Your Chest?

What To Do About Your Dog Puttin
A dog put his head down on the cushion

Recognize Gesture:

I firmly believe that it is essential to recognize the gesture in order to figure out why a dog behaves the way he does. Notice that usually, dogs develop a pattern of getting things whatever they want if they lay their head on your chest.

It is recommended to break his habit by redirecting his focus to something else. AGAIN, The easiest way to break his habit is to provide him with different toys to play with. 

Building  Boundaries:

Make sure to provide the dog with a safe and comfortable environment by creating some boundaries. It’s important to let dogs know when and how they can do activities. And never let him violate this boundary. 

I have observed how dog sends their message to other dog to announce their territory with the help of their body language as well as energy. They don’t need to be too dark to declare their place or rank.

Use this technique in your daily life as well. If you don’t want your dog to sit on your couch, simply go and stand over it. That’s how you can declare your territory and claim your place.    

Create a comfortable environment:

Having a dog is not an easy task but it is a rewarding experience. That’s why creating a comfortable environment should be a top priority so that you can make fun memories with your dog. Maintaining a healthy routine which includes plenty of physical and mental exercises is a good way to create a comfortable home for dogs.

Create a comfortable environment (1)
A dog sitting and showing his comfortability sign to his parents

Make sure to provide your dog with healthy and safe toys. For example, this “Petstages dogwood chew toy”  which comes with MINT FLAVOR is a perfect substitute for dogs who love to chew wood.

Do Dogs Put Their Heads On Their Favorite Persons?

During my research, I  found out that one of the core reasons why dogs put their head on their master is that he is his favorite person.He loves your scent and warmth. Dogs love to put his heads in during the cozy season to find warmth. This can be his way of telling you that you are  his best friend.

Do dogs put their heads on their
A dog joying the softness of a couch

Quality time

So, how can I become a dog’s favorite person? There are a couple of ways to be your dog’s favorite person. Firstly, make sure to spend some good quality time with your dog. By spending some quality time together, I didn’t mean to only take the dog with you on morning walks. Spending good quality time means trying a bunch of new games and having a quick check on his training sessions of sit and stay commands.


Dogs have different ways of showing affection towards you. Some dogs are fond of physical affection, that’s why he loves to put his head on your chest. Don’t refuse whenever he puts his head down. Consider this as one of the best ways to strengthen the bond between you and your dog.

Positive Association

Creating positive associations and creating beautiful memories is one the best ways to be a dog’s best friend. Make sure to provide the dog with his favorite food and keep him out of the sight of strangers. keen an eye on the activities he loves most and make sure to play those particular games daily with him. Avoid raising your voice or showing anger in front of him. Try to remain calm around his dog.

What Else Happened When Your Dog First Starts Putting His Head On Your Chest?

Dogs are said to be exceptional partners. Dogs can detect human emotions easily. Dogs can tell whenever you are depressed or feeling anxious.

If your dog finds you in any hopeless situation or when you’re feeling miserable, he might put his head on your chest to show his support and sympathy.

This might uplift your mood in seconds. This is his way of telling you that he has your back and he will be there for you. 

When a dog is feeling upset or depressed, he usually comes to your side and puts his head on your chest in order to seek comfort and support. Don’t straight away discourage the dog. His mood can be uplifted and he will be more cheerful than before. This activity proves to be quite relaxing for both.

Expressing emotions to each other is the best way to strengthen our bond. By showing emotions to each other you can communicate with each other and seek comfort in each other’s company. 

When Dog Lying On Your Chest Becomes A Problem

Laying his head can be his way of showing fondness and devotion towards you but after some time you will notice that your dog has developed new behavior. With the passage of time, it can bother you and can cause a lot of problems.

When Is A Dog Lying On Your Ches
A dog hides his face from his parent’s chest

So, the best way to handle the situation is to make some changes in the dog’s behavior. Start spending some time with him in a separate room to make sure that the dog is aware that he’s safe while keeping a safe distance between you and your dog. Also, make an extra effort to make sure that the dog is not anxious whenever you leave home. 

A dog might lay his head on your chest whenever he is in need of something. He either wants your attention or he might be hungry or he wants to go on a walk with you.

Either way, I conclude that you should not encourage his behavior because before you even realize it, he could enforce his demands on you. That’s why it is best to train dogs to listen to your directions. 

What is more rewarding is to have a loyal best friend who has your back, but sometimes his behavior becomes problematic. A dog becomes extremely possessive whenever he is around strangers or friends that he is not aware of.

Although it is best to have a loyal dog, at times the dog becomes very violent and difficult to handle. To cope with this, it is best to prohibit his habit of sitting on your chest whenever around friends or family.

The major problem is caused when a dog starts depicting authority over you. Putting his head over your chest is a way of sending the message that the dog is the boss over here (as said above) and he is the master of the household. It will enable him to think of you as his best friend, not an object to control. 

To curb this, it is recommended to make him look at you as a friend, not to rule over you! Start playing games that require the dog to do something over a command (like fetch games) to overcome his sense of superiority over you ask him to sit in different spots in the house, I know it might sound cruel but believe me it’s not! it is part of good behavior training. 

Common Question:

Why does my dog sleep with his head on my chest?

He wants to feel comfort and warmth from you. The most common reason why dogs put their head on your chest during sleep is that they detect some danger and they want to feel secure.

Why does my dog follow me everywhere?

The primary reasons are that he wants your attention or he is feeling anxious and does not want to be separated from his owner.

Why do dogs lick you?

Licking is one of the dog’s ways to express their love and affection for the owner. They express their desire and want your attention.

Why does my dog force his head into me?

Some dogs force their head because they are protective of their owner. Another common reason is that your dog feels anxious whenever you leave. In this case, it is best to redirect their focus.

How do you tell if your dog is happy living with you?

One of the major signs of whether your dog loves you or not is that your dog follows your tail all day long. An increase in sleep is another example that you love and trust.


There is no hardcore reason why a dog puts his head on you. It might be one reason or it might be a combination of several other reasons. I believe that it is crucial to figure out exactly why a dog puts its head on you. Either it is a way of grabbing their master’s attention or they are feeling anxious. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to pay attention to why dogs develop such behavior and try to solve it with effective means.

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