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NancyH, Pet Health Care, Rescue,Train,Breed
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience:  30+yrs pet vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior & training, responsible breeding, small animal care
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why do great danes lean on people

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I have a great dane puppy and a characteristic of the breed is that they lean on their owners and loved ones. It's very endearing but what is it in their genetic/adaptive backgound prompts their behavior?
Leaning can either be for security of the touch or as a dominance move to block your movement. It might just be an easy way for the dog to shift its weight to be more comfortable like leaning on a counter is for a person.
If you wish to cure the dog of leaning (it can be hard on knees and balance!) simply step away when the dog leans. The dog will catch itself upright and cease to see you as a sturdy post to lean on. Usually it doesn't take too many times of doing this before the dog figures out leaning doesn't work well anymore.
Hope this helps you!
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I really wasn't needing help with the problem, I was just mostly curious as to why this is so pronounced in this particular breed. I've had dogs all my life and never had one do this and other great dane owners tell me it's a breed characteristic, as is their habit of "sitting" on your lap (butt in lap, front paws on the floor). I was just trying to figure out what in their genetic or adaptive makeup contributes to it.
Every single dog I've had wanted to do this so I don't feel its just a breed trait.
My Danes did it, my Wolfhounds did it, my chow corgi mix did it. I see Greyhounds doing it and Labradors and Golden Retrievers etc. My small dogs tend to stand on my toes or shoes and lean or press on my ankles. (You can probably tell why I learned a 'cure' just to stay up on my feet!)
I think its just really more obvious when its a giant breed doing the leaning. Danes being so elegant, tall, and heavy its harder to miss when they do a Dane lean on you! But I can assure you an Irish Wolfhound or Mastiff lean is as common and also as attention getting!
So to me its a dog trait rather than a breed trait. Though it is interesting to see it in ancestral breeds of the Dane such as the Mastiff and Greyhound I think you are seeing a 'dog' trait rather than just a Dane phenomemon.
The question might be why do Dane owners enjoy it more than owners of other breeds? or is it just more discussed among Dane owners because it has such an impact?
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