When your dog stretches out on you, he is saying, “I am your friend, I love you, I am here for you.” But, is that the only reason why your dog stretches on you? Let’s find out in this post.
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He Is Trying to Comfort You
Your dog knows that you are feeling upset, and he wants to comfort you.
He is sensing that you are feeling overwhelmed, your mind is racing, and you are anxious, and he wants to offer you his unconditional love and companionship.
So, if you’re depressed or anxious, he may be stretching on you to let you know he’s always there for you.
The state of your emotions affects your dog’s reaction and behavior towards you!
Therefore, it’s important to take a moment to relax and allow yourself to keep calm on whatever emotion you’re experiencing. And when you do so, this will let your dog know you’re okay, and that you’re safe.
He Is Trying to Get Your Attention
It is well known that dogs are very social animals. As a result, they are receptive and responsive to their owners for their happiness, safety and well-being.
If your dog is feeling unsafe or insecure, he may start to stretch and lie on you to get your attention and stay closer to you.
As he regards you as his pack leader, he is dependent on you to take good care of him.
It could also be the case that he needs to go potty and needs your help to bring him outside.
Another possible explanation is that your dog is telling you that he wants you to get up and play with him. Stretching on you is a form of play bow.
This Behavior Was Rewarding For Him
Your dog can find this behavior very rewarding if you make it so, that is, you reward him for performing this behavior and want him to continue to do so.
This can happen if you have unknowingly rewarded your dog whenever he stretches on you. The reward can be in the form of a small treat, praise or simply a pet on his head.
Your dog will then learn to associate this behavior with a reward.
As you probably know, dogs like to please their owners and will do things that make their owners happy!
This will reiterate to your dog that this is something GOOD that he should continue doing.
He Is Greeting You (An Expression Of Affection)
Animals like dogs are social creatures with feelings, and they will want to interact and be close to us. This leads to them reaching out to us with an intention to engage.
As such, when your dog stretches on you, it is his way of saying “hello”. He is expressing his affection for you and is a greeting or friendly gesture.
You will likely find your dog performing this act in the morning when you are still in bed. In this “stretching” position on you, he can enjoy being closer to you.
His tail will be wagging high and his body is relaxed as he performs this act.
He Wants You To Leave (Evidence of Dominance)
Your dog is trying to take control over you and make sure that you move away from his territory. This is a sign of dominance, and he is trying to assert dominance over you.
It’s easy to recognize your dog’s dominance behavior through his body language — the way he looks and behaves.
Other signs of dominance include:
- Intimidation or hostile reactions towards you.
- The act of herding another dog.
- An unwillingness to obey commands.
- The act of watching over food, toys, or territory.
- The obsession with licking.
- Mounting inappropriately.
- Pushing you with his paw.
- Leaning against you and pushing you away.
- Walking ahead of you or passing through the door before you.
Dominance signs will be apparent if your dog exhibits the above behaviors.
If you want to avoid it, don’t let your dog get away with this behavior. Your role as the pack leader should be clear to him, and he should look up to you.
A Sign of His Submission to You
Dogs are often viewed as submissive animals by many people.This is especially true for submissive dog breeds such as the French Bulldog, Standard Poodle, Basset Hound and Irish Wolfhound.
They’re just waiting for their chance to show how submissive they are to their owners.
Therefore, if you notice your dog stretching on you or sleeping between your legs while you are sitting on the couch, he is showing his submissive side, giving up his power and telling you that he sees you as his Alpha.
This is often accompanied by other submissiveness signs such as his ears will be pushed back against his head and his tail will be lowered to the middle.
There will be an appearance of relaxation on his body as well.
He Is Trying to Connect with You
It has been scientifically proven that dogs have a more developed ‘human limbic system’ compared to other animals.
This means that when they play with you, they are really trying to connect with you in the same way that we humans connect with our friends and family members through touch.
For this reason, you will find your dog stretching on you while he is playing with you. You may even find your dog performing stretches as soon as he sees you’ve returned from work!
He Is Getting Bored
Have you ever noticed that your dog likes to stretch out on you when you are sitting in front of the TV ignoring his presence?
It seems like he doesn’t even care whether you are watching TV or not, he just wants to play with you or to make you take him out for a walk.
This is often the case when your dog is feeling bored and there is no outlet for him to release his pent-up energy.
There is a lack of physical and mental simulation to keep his energy in check.
This leads to his boredom, which in turn causes him to look for ways to alleviate his boredom.
If that’s true for your dog, you can work on making sure that he gets more opportunities for exercise and playtime.
A change in his daily routine by taking him for walks or playing fetch outside would be helpful.
He Is Trying to Ease His Boating Discomfort
Your dog may stretch on you because of an upset stomach or bloat. These conditions are often the case of excessive gas and pressure building up in his abdomen.
When this happens, your dog may begin to stretch out his body. This behavior is instinctual and natural.
He is trying to relieve the pain and pressure and is trying to tell you that something is wrong with him.
Therefore, if your dog is constantly stretching on you, it could be an indication that he is in pain. It is imperative that you take him to see a vet as soon as possible.
He Is Stretching to Relieve His Stiff Joints
A dog that reaches his golden years (more than 12 years old) is likely to experience physical pain and discomfort regularly.
Due to this, your senior dog may spend a lot of time stretching in order to deal with these uncomfortable situations if he has stiff joints in his back legs.
Stretching on you is his way of telling you that he is feeling unwell and needs your help.
He Is Stretching to Make Himself Feel Good
Stretching is a natural behavior for dogs. It’s actually how they relieve pressure in their bodies and help their muscles relax.
This stretch is important for keeping his muscles and joints healthy, and it also helps to improve his flexibility.
Though the stretch may look like your dog is just taking a leisurely bow, it certainly makes him feel good, just as we do our morning stretches. This will help loosen up his muscles and joints.