HomeDogsWhy Does My Dog Bury His Head Between My Legs?

Why Does My Dog Bury His Head Between My Legs?

When you’re a pet owner, one of the most endearing yet puzzling behaviors you may have observed is your dog burying its head between your legs. It’s not just a random quirk – this action has some underlying reasons. Let’s delve deep into the canine world to understand this behavior better.

1. Seeking Comfort and Security

Dogs are pack animals, and humans are essentially part of their pack. Burying their heads between your legs can be a way of seeking comfort. This behavior can often be compared to how a child clings to a parent when feeling insecure. Your legs are sturdy and stable, providing a sense of security to your furry friend.

2. The Scent Connection

Dogs have an incredible sense of smell. By burying their head between your legs, they show affection and familiarize themselves with your unique scent. This scent acts as a source of comfort for them. Over time, the more they associate your scent with love, safety, and food, the more likely they will exhibit this behavior.

3. Instinctual Behavior

Canines often show submission in the wild by lowering their heads or placing them underneath another dominant canine. This act of burying their head might be a way for your dog to display submission or respect towards you, recognizing you as the leader of their pack.

4. Seeking Attention

Let’s face it: dogs love attention. When your pet puts its head between your legs, it might be trying to get your attention. This move is pretty hard to ignore and usually results in affectionate patting or scratching – exactly what your dog was hoping for!

5. Checking Your Health

With their keen sense of smell, dogs can often detect changes in our body chemistry. Some studies suggest that dogs can even sense health irregularities in humans. They might be checking up on your well-being by putting their head close to you.

6. Playfulness or Anticipation

Sometimes, dogs want to play. If you’ve trained your dog to expect a game or walk around a particular time, they might exhibit this behavior out of sheer excitement or anticipation.

7. Environmental Factors

Dogs might bury their head between your legs when they feel overwhelmed by their surroundings. Loud noises, unfamiliar places, or the presence of unknown animals or people can cause anxiety. In these situations, your legs serve as a dreamland.

What Should You Do?

Most of the time, this behavior is entirely harmless. However, if your dog is showing signs of distress or this behavior becomes obsessive, it may be a good idea to consult a veterinarian or a canine behaviorist. They can provide insights into any underlying issues or suggest ways to modify the behavior if necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Why does my dog bury his head between my legs?
    • This behavior can be attributed to several reasons:
      • Seeking comfort: Like humans, dogs sometimes seek physical comfort when feeling scared, insecure, or anxious. Your legs can act as a protective barrier for them.
      • Affection: This can be a sign of affection or a way of showing that they are comfortable with you.
      • Attention-seeking: If your dog has learned that this behavior gets your attention, they might do it to get you to play or engage with them.
      • Scent marking: Dogs have scent glands on their heads, and rubbing against you might mark you as “theirs.”
  2. Is this behavior a sign of dominance?
    • Not necessarily. While dogs have social hierarchies, not every behavior is about dominance or submission. Burying their head between your legs might be a comfort-seeking gesture rather than a dominant act. However, if other signs of dominant behavior accompany this behavior, it could be part of a larger behavioral pattern.
  3. Should I discourage this behavior?
    • It depends on the context and your personal preference. If the behavior is disruptive or inappropriate (e.g., when you have guests), you might want to train your dog to reduce or eliminate this behavior. But if it’s a harmless gesture of affection and you’re comfortable with it, there’s no real harm in letting it continue.
  4. How can I train my dog not to do this?
    • Positive reinforcement is key. If your dog starts to bury his head between your legs, redirect his attention with a toy or treat. Reward him when he behaves the way you want. You can also use commands like “sit” or “stay” to prevent the behavior from starting. If you’re having trouble, consulting a professional dog trainer can provide you with specific techniques tailored to your dog’s needs.


Dogs, with their rich emotional tapestry, often communicate in ways that might be foreign to us. Burying their head between your legs is an endearing gesture, rooted in their instincts, emotions, and sometimes even their concern for our health. While it’s essential to understand the reasons, remember that every dog is unique. Your dog might have its reasons for doing so. Always observe the behavior’s context and respond with love and understanding.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments