If your dog likes to sleep with his head on your neck, he does it for a purpose.
He could be expressing his love for you, protecting you from harm, to get some warmth from you, to give you his sympathy, to check your health (heart beats), to tell you his needs (potty or hunger), to check on your new scent, or he is simply feeling bored or find it to be a rewarding experience.
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He Is Showing You His Love
When your dog goes near you and places his head on your neck, he is displaying his affection for you.
Just like when your child comes up to you and hugs you, your dog couldn’t possibly hug you, so he does it through this approach.
It’s his special way to show that he loves you. And this is very common with dogs.
He could also be licking your hand or any other part of your body and even wagging his tail.
This is a sign of affection. He is showing you his love.
He Is Trying To Protect You
You would likely see this behavior if you have a new pet or member in your home and your dog perceives them as a threat to you.
He is trying to protect you from harm by keeping you close to you, resting on your neck.
You would also observe that he barks or growls at the intruder when they come near to you.
This is your dog’s way of saying “I am here for you”.
When he feels that you will be threatened, he will instinctively do whatever he can to protect you.
He will warn you with his body language when he perceives something bad is about to happen.
He Is Feeling Cold
Your dog is letting you know that he is cold and is trying to get some warmth from your body.
He may be shivering or even yawning to “tell” you that he wants you to wrap him in a blanket.
This action will be more frequent in winter times when the weather turns cold, and you do not have a house heater system to keep your home warm.
He is going to jump on your bed at night when you are ready to sleep. He simply loves that body warmth of yours.
So, consider getting your dog a coat or blanket to keep him warm, along with a heating pad under the blanket.
To Offer You His Comfort
It is no surprise that your dog is good at reading your emotions and knows when to offer his comfort or sympathy to you.
If you are sick and need to stay in bed, he might want to give you his comfort by sleeping on your neck and giving you some warmth.
He is giving you his love.
If you are sad or lonely, he will probably sit close to you, pushing his head into you and look into your eyes with a comforting expression.
He is giving you his sympathy.
If you are happy, he might want to share your joy, wagging his tail vigorously.
To Check Your Health Status
As you are probably aware, dogs possess not only a highly developed sense of smell but also a sharp sense of hearing.
By simply sleeping on your neck, he is able to detect any changes in your heartbeat or breathing.
If he senses any change in your breathing, he will immediately wake you and call for assistance.
He Needs Your Assistance
When your dog does this, he is telling you that he needs something from you and if he does it several times in succession, then it means he is very much in need of it.
He could be feeling hungry or have to go potty.
The same thing happens when a child cries or wants something. If you are the parent of a baby or toddler, you will know what I mean.
It’s the same principle.
To Check On Your New Scent
If you have just applied perfume on the base of your throat, that could explain why your dog is resting his head on your neck.
He is sniffing your neck like a detective who is trying to figure out a mystery.
This is very natural for him, as he wants to find out what that new scent is about.
Once he is used to the perfume scent, it is quite possible that he will not rest on your neck anymore.
He Is Feeling Bored
What would a dog do when he is bored?
He will likely look for some entertainment and, if you are around, he will want to get your attention to play with him.
This is when you will find him coming over and resting on you, hoping that you will spend some time with him.
What you can do is to plan some physical and mental simulation activities for him to help him release his pent-up energy and keep him tired.
As the saying goes, a tired dog is a good dog!
Physical games such as tug-of-war, flirt poles and playing fetch are all great activities to help relieve boredom in your dog, and he gets a chance to run around and stretch his legs.
This will give him an opportunity to play and burn off his excess energy.
Mental stimulation games can be fun too.
You can introduce him to puzzles and other toys that have different sounds or patterns for him to explore with.
You Had Encouraged This Behavior
You may have unknowingly encouraged him with this behavior.
Did you ever praise and pet him when he sleeps with his head on your neck?
If you do, you are actually positively reinforcing this behavior. You may have unknowingly caused it.
Your dog starts to associate sleeping on your neck with affection.
This association can be very strong, and will be difficult to correct.