Why Does My Dog Bury His Head in Me? What You Should Know!

In a perfect world, our dogs would just sit at our feet or by our side and look at us with big, adorable eyes while we pet them and tell them how wonderful they are.

However, in the real world, dogs often do things that mystify us. One of the strangest behaviors is when they bury their heads in us.

So why does my dog bury his head in me? What should we know about it?

Let’s take a closer look!

Reasons Why Do Dogs Bury Their Heads

Most dog owners love it when their furry friend rests their head on them. It’s a sign of affection and trust.

But have you ever wondered why your dog does this? Here are 7 of the most common reasons:

#1 – Show Affection

Dogs are highly social creatures and need physical contact to feel loved and secure. When they rest their heads on you, it’s their way of showing affection. It’s their way of saying, “I love you!”

They’re physically close to you and create a strong bond. This is especially important for puppies who need extra reassurance and security.

It’s also a sign of trust. By putting their head in your lap or on your chest, they’re vulnerable and trusting you not to hurt them.

#2 – Looking for Comfort

Sometimes, dogs will bury their heads in their owners for comfort. This is especially true if they’re feeling anxious or stressed.

Dogs have a strong sense of smell and can pick up on our emotions. If we’re feeling anxious or sad, they’ll often respond by trying to comfort us.

Resting their head on us helps them feel closer to us and provides some reassurance.

It can also be a way of seeking attention. If your dog is feeling neglected, it may try to get your attention by burying its head in you.

#3 – Displaying Empathy

Dogs are very in tune with our emotions and can often sense when we’re sad or upset. When they see us crying, they may try to comfort us by resting their head on us.

This is an example of empathy, which is the ability to understand and share the emotions of another.

It’s one of the things that makes dogs so special and unique. They have the ability to feel our pain and show compassion. A dog burying his head in us is a sign that he cares about us and wants to make us feel better.

#4 – Afraid

Another reason your dog may bury his head in you is that he’s afraid of loud noises.

brown dog peeking from his bed

Dogs have much sharper hearing than we do, so loud sounds can be incredibly overwhelming and scary for them. If your dog is hiding his head during a thunderstorm or fireworks, it’s likely because he’s trying to block out the noise.

Hiding his head in you provides him with a sense of security and safety. He knows you’re there to protect him, so he feels calmer when he’s close to you.

If your dog is afraid of loud noises, it’s important to provide him with plenty of reassurance and comfort. Stay calm and keep him close to you until the noise has passed.

They may also be afraid of being left alone and may try to bury their head in you as a way of seeking comfort.

#5 – Separation Anxiety

Some dogs suffer from separation anxiety, which means they become anxious and stressed when they’re away from their owner.

This can manifest in many different ways, including hiding their head in you or another person.

Dogs with separation anxiety often become clingy and always want to be near their owner. They may follow them around the house and become agitated when they’re left alone.

If your dog is showing signs of separation anxiety, it’s important to seek professional help. A behaviorist or veterinarian can offer advice on how to manage the condition.

A good way to start is by getting your dog used to being away from you for short periods of time. This could mean going into another room and closing the door for a few minutes, or leaving the house for a short walk.

Gradually increase the amount of time you’re away from your dog until he’s comfortable being left alone. This will take patience and time, but it’s important to help your dog overcome his anxiety.

#6 – Warning The Owner

Dogs have a strong sense of smell and can often pick up on things that we can’t. If they smell something dangerous, they may try to warn us by burying their head in us.

For example, if there’s a gas leak or a fire, your dog may start sniffing around and then bury his head in you as a way of telling you there’s something wrong.

This is their way of trying to protect us and keep us safe.

So, if your dog starts burying his head in you for no apparent reason, it’s worth taking a look around to see if there’s anything that could be causing them to act this way. They may also do this if they smell something that they don’t like, such as another animal.

Related Articles: Find out why your dog insists on digging holes and what you can do to stop him. Read more and discover: ‘why do dogs dig holes‘ in this blog.

#7 – Marking Territory

When dogs bury their head in us or another person, they’re often leaving their scent behind.

golden retriever putting his head on woman's lap

Dogs have glands in their heads that release pheromones, which are chemicals that communicate information to other dogs.

By burying their head in us, they’re marking us as their territory. This is a way of saying “this person belongs to me” and can help to keep other dogs away.

It’s also a way of bonding with us. When we allow them to do this, it shows that we trust them and are comfortable with them being close to us.

What to Do If Your Dog Buries His Head in You

We all love our dogs, and they bring us so much joy. But sometimes, they do things that leave us scratching our heads in confusion. Some dog behaviors, like burying their head in you, can be a little unsettling.

If your dog likes to bury his head in you, and you don’t particularly like it, don’t worry. There are a few things you can do to discourage this behavior.

Never Encourage It

If you laugh or give your dog attention when he buries his head in you, he’ll think it’s something you want him to do. Instead, try to ignore him or gently push him away.

If he persists, you can say “no” in a firm voice. Once he stops, give him a treat or some verbal praise.

Refocus Their Attention

If your dog is getting too excited or seems like he’s going to bury his head in you, try to refocus his attention. Get him to sit or lie down, and give him a treat.

You can also try asking him to perform a simple trick, like “shake” or “rollover.” This will help redirect his energy and give him something else to focus on.

Determine What Causes Anxiety

In some cases, dogs bury their heads in their owners as a way to self-soothe. If your dog seems anxious or stressed, try to determine the source of his anxiety.

If he’s afraid of loud noises, such as thunderstorms or fireworks, try to create a safe and quiet environment for him. This may mean putting him in a crate or room where he feels safe and playing calming music to help him relax.

If his anxiety is caused by separation from you, try to gradually increase the amount of time you’re away from him. Start with short periods, and then slowly increase the duration. If possible, have someone stay with him so he doesn’t feel alone.

You may also want to consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist to see if there are any other ways to help your dog cope with his anxiety.

Our Readers Favorite Questions

Should You Allow Your Dog to Bury His Head In You?

Most dog owners have had the experience of their furry friend burying his head in their lap or chest. While this can be a sign of affection, it can also be a sign of stress or anxiety.

brown dog resting his chin on a woman's knee

It is up to you to decide if you want to allow your dog to bury his head in you, but it is important to be aware of the potential causes so that you can help your furry friend feel better.

What Does It Mean When Dogs Bury Their Head Into You?

There are a few different explanations for why your dog may bury his head in you. The most likely explanation is that he is seeking comfort from you.

Your dog sees you as a source of comfort and security, so he may bury his head in you when he is feeling anxious or stressed. Another possibility is that your dog is trying to get your attention.

Why Does My Dog Nuzzle Her Head Into Me?

If your dog is nuzzling her head into you, it is likely a sign of affection. Dogs often nuzzle their owners as a way of showing them love and appreciation. Nuzzling can also be a way for dogs to request attention or ask for something, such as food or a belly rub.


Dogs bury their head in their owner for a variety of reasons, including seeking comfort, asking for attention, or showing affection.

If you don’t want your dog to bury his head in you, try to discourage the behavior by ignoring him or redirecting his attention.

If your dog seems anxious or stressed, try to determine the cause and address it accordingly. You may also want to consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist for additional help.

Does your dog like to bury his head in you? Why do you think he does it? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo of author

Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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