It’s been an unusually warm fall in the Midwest.
I know because my dog seems to have no problem telling me that it is too hot to take a walk — even when the temperature is only in the high 60s.
I think the weather has made him feel extra secure around me and I can tell by the way he walks with his ears back and tail tucked between his legs that he feels safe and comfortable around me.
But every once in awhile, he will lower his head to me and look up at me as if to say, “Hey there, buddy!
How about we get outta here?”
My dog has never done this before, but now it happens all the time.
It’s not like he’s doing it in any sort of threatening manner or growling at me.
In fact, he’s always happy to see me and wants to play.
He just lowers his head to me whenever I approach him.
A sign of submission
One of the most common reasons for dogs lowering their heads to humans is to show submission.
This is usually the case when a dog approaches its owner from behind, especially when it is being approached from the front.
The dog may lower its head to make itself smaller and more submissive.
In this instance, the dog is showing its submissiveness by making itself smaller so that it won’t appear bigger than its owner.
The dog may also be attempting to avoid confrontation with its owner by lowering its head and making itself smaller.
Another reason for lowering its head could be to communicate that it needs to relieve itself.
Dogs often lower their heads to signal their need to urinate or defecate.
The dog may also be showing its submission by lowering its head to avoid conflict with another dog.
When two dogs are walking together, one dog may lower its head to allow the other dog to pass without having to fight.
A dog may lower its head to indicate that it wants to be petted or scratched.
Some dogs do this when they want to be praised for something good they did or when they want to be patted on the head.
Another reason for lowering its head could be to communicate that it wants to lie down.
A dog may lower its head to show its submission when it wants to lie down.
Dogs sometimes lower their heads to show that they are ready to play or to beg for food.
Lowering its head shows that the dog is ready to play.
If a dog is begging for food, it will often lower its head to display its vulnerability.
Dogs may also lower their heads to show that they are hungry, thirsty, tired, or sick.
A sign of respect
There are two main reasons why dogs lower their heads to us — one of which is a sign of submission and the other of which is a sign of respect.
I’ve found that most dogs who do this are usually trying to express some form of submission.
They are showing respect for us because they recognize our authority over them.
This is especially true of large dogs who might not want to show submission to smaller people.
If you’re walking through a crowded park with your small dog and a big dog starts barking at you, the big dog might lower its head to you in order to show you its submissive nature.
The same thing goes for dogs who are used to being walked on leashes.
When they see another person approaching, they will often lower their heads and look up at them as a sign of submission.
If your dog lowers its head to you, it could also mean that she’s feeling overwhelmed.
This is common among nervous or fearful dogs.
She might be feeling threatened by something she sees happening or someone coming near her.
This is especially true of dogs who live in multi-dog households.
If you notice that your dog is lowering her head to you more frequently than usual, it could be a sign that she’s anxious or afraid.
Another reason why your dog might lower its head to you is if she’s trying to communicate something specific.
For example, if she’s doing this while playing with you, it could be a sign that she wants to play with you again.
Or maybe she’s trying to let you know that she needs to use the bathroom.
If she does this while you’re walking down the street, it could be a sign that she wants to go home.
A sign of affection
One day while I was walking him on a leash, I noticed that he had lowered his head to me and looked up at me.
This happened three times in a row and each time he did it, I petted him and said hello.
This went on for about 10 minutes until he started looking away from me again.
Then one day after work, I came home and found my dog sitting next to my chair.
When I got closer, I saw that he was laying down and looking up at me with his eyes closed.
I picked him up and sat down in the chair next to him.
Then he opened his eyes and looked at me with a big smile on his face.
He laid down and we cuddled together for a few minutes before he walked off with a very satisfied expression on his face.
The next morning I woke up early and got ready for work.
Before leaving the house, I took a quick glance at my dog who was still sleeping soundly.
I smiled and thought, “He must really like me.” As soon as I left the house, my dog jumped up and followed me outside.
The first thing he did was lay down.
When I got close to him, he gave me a kiss and then rolled over onto his side so he could give me another hug.
From that point on, he kept giving me kisses almost every time I went out to the car.
I’m sure some people would think he was being a little weird, but I don’t mind.
We both seem happier than we have since I adopted him two years ago.
So, what do you think it means when your dog lowers his head to you?
Is it a sign of affection, respect, or dominance?
Let us know in the comments below.
A sign of a dominant personality
A lot of dogs do this kind of thing, especially large breeds who are more likely to be perceived as dominant.
They lower their heads to make themselves smaller so they don’t look intimidating to other dogs.
This behavior can also occur when a dog is approaching another dog from behind – which is what’s happening here.
This is actually normal for most dogs, but some people worry that even though the dog is looking up at you, that means he’s aggressive toward others.
If you notice this behavior, it could mean that either you need to pay more attention to your dog’s social interactions, or that you should consider getting a new dog.
Another possibility is that your dog is simply showing you dominance.
Dominant animals often show their strength and confidence by lowering their heads to show submissiveness.
If you’re having trouble identifying what your dog is trying to communicate, try asking yourself these questions:
- Is this behavior occurring when your dog sees someone else, or only when he sees you?
- Does the behavior occur more often when your dog is with friends or strangers?
- Does the behavior happen more frequently when your dog is alone or with other dogs?
- Does the behavior change depending on how close you are to your dog?
Is it different when he’s sitting next to you versus standing right next to you?
- Does your dog respond differently to different people?
For example, does he lower his head to you but not to your husband?
Or vice versa?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then your dog may be displaying signs of dominance.
On the flip side, sometimes people assume that because a dog lowers its head to them, that means they’re being friendly or submissive towards the dog.
In reality, however, it’s possible that your dog is just checking you out or saying hello.
A sign of insecurity
A lot of people assume that dogs lower their heads to show submissiveness.
This isn’t necessarily true.
Dogs lower their heads to show deference, much like humans do when they bow to one another, but it doesn’t mean they are being submissive.
They could also be showing that they want to be closer to you.
There are several reasons why your dog might lower his head to you.
- He might be looking for reassurance from you.
If he senses that you aren’t paying attention to him, he may try to draw your attention by lowering his head so that you will notice he needs you.
This may happen when he sees a cat or other animal in distress, or if he senses that you are distracted by something else (such as a television).
- He may be trying to communicate something specific to you.
Some dogs lower their heads to indicate that they need to go outside.
Others lower their heads to show that they need to go to the bathroom.
Others lower their heads to show that they need to lie down.
These are all signs that your dog may be feeling insecure or anxious.
- Your dog may be showing an inappropriate amount of affection toward you.
One common misconception is that dogs will lower their heads to show that they don’t care about you.
However, many dogs do this to show affection, especially puppies who are learning how to interact with humans.
- Some breeds of dogs, including some German Shepherds and Pit Bulls, often lower their heads to show dominance over other animals.
Owners should keep in mind that this type of behavior is more likely among these breeds than others.
Other breeds may lower their heads to show submissiveness, but this is less common.
A sign of learned behavior
There are several possible explanations for your dog lowering his head to you.
Maybe he was raised by wolves and learned how to do this from them.
Or maybe he read somewhere that dogs should lower their heads to people they trust.
But most likely, it’s a sign that he’s feeling insecure around you.
You might find yourself having similar experiences with your own dog.
That doesn’t mean you need to worry about it.
Instead, try to figure out what your dog is saying through his body language.
If you can do so, then you can help relieve some of his anxiety.