Dogs are known for being loyal and loving animals, and for many dog owners, their furry friend is a member of the family. It’s no surprise then that when we see our dogs do something we don’t expect, like climb up on our shoulders, it can be confusing and even a little bit worrying.
So why does my dog climb on my shoulders? What is he trying to tell me? And most importantly, is it safe for him to be up there?
Dog is trying to get closer to you in order to feel more secure. Dogs often see their owners as a source of security and comfort, and by climbing up on you they’re hoping to get some of that reassuring feeling.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at what’s going on when your dog climbs on your shoulders and explore some of the reasons why he might be doing it.
Why Does My Dog Climb On My Shoulders – Sample Reasons
There are a number of reasons why your dog might be climbing on your shoulders, but listed the most common ones here:
Your Dog Has Anxiety
Dogs can suffer from anxiety for a number of reasons, including separation anxiety (when they’re away from you), social anxiety (when they’re around other people or animals), and general anxiety about the world around them. If your dog is anxious, climbing on your shoulders may be a way for him to seek comfort and reassurance from you.
2. Your Dog Is Seeking Attention
Dogs are social creatures and love nothing more than being around their humans. If your dog is feeling left out or neglected, he may climb on your shoulders as a way of getting your attention.
3. Your Dog Is Trying To Get Closer To You
As we mentioned earlier, some dogs just enjoy physical closeness and contact with their humans. If this is the case with your dog, he may climb on your shoulders as a way of getting closer to you.
4. Your Dog Is Trying To Get To Something
If there’s something your dog wants (like a toy or treat) that’s out of reach, he may climb on your shoulders to try and get to it.
5. Your Dog Is Trying To Show Dominance
In some cases, a dog may climb on his owner’s shoulders as a way of asserting dominance over him. If your dog is always trying to climb on you or jumps up on you when you come home, it may be a sign that he’s trying to establish himself as the alpha dog in the relationship.
6. Your Dog Is Trying To Get Away From Something
If your dog is scared or feels threatened, he may climb on your shoulders as a way of getting away from the situation. For example, if there’s another dog nearby that your dog is afraid of, he may try to get on your shoulders to escape the situation.
7. Your Dog Is Bored
Dogs can get bored just like humans, and if your dog is climbing on your shoulders it may be a sign that he’s bored and needs more stimulation. Try adding some new toys or games to his routine to help keep him occupied.
8. Your Dog Is Sick Or Injured
In some cases, a dog may climb on his owner’s shoulders as a sign that he’s sick or injured. If your dog is suddenly climbing on you more than usual, it’s important to take him to the vet to rule out any medical problems.
What if your dog doesn’t climb on your shoulders?
Not all dogs will climb on their owner’s shoulders, and that’s OK! There are a number of reasons why your dog may not be interested in doing this, including:
1. Your Dog Is Afraid Of Heights
If your dog is afraid of heights, he may not want to get up on your shoulders where he could be vulnerable to falling.
2. Your Dog Is Content Just Being Close To You
Some dogs are happy just being close to their humans and don’t feel the need to climb on them.
3. Your Dog Doesn’t Like Being Touched
There are some dogs who don’t enjoy being touched, and for them getting up on someone’s shoulders may not be a comfortable experience.
4. Your Dog Is Too Heavy
If your dog is a big, heavy breed, getting him up on your shoulders may be difficult or even impossible.
5. Your Dog Is Content Being Alone
Some dogs don’t need or want the attention of their humans and are perfectly happy being by themselves. If this is the case with your dog, he may not see the need to climb on your shoulders.
6. Your Dog Is Well-Trained
If your dog has been trained not to jump up on people, he’s likely to follow that rule even when it comes to you.
7. Your Dog Doesn’t Like Being In Crowds
If your dog gets anxious or stressed out in crowded situations, he may avoid climbing on your shoulders if he knows it will put him in a situation where he’ll be surrounded by people.
8. Your Dog Is A Senior
As dogs age, they often become less active and may not have the energy or interest in climbing on their owner’s shoulders as they did when they were younger.
9. Your Dog Has A Medical Condition
There are some medical conditions that can cause a dog to avoid climbing on people, so if your dog suddenly starts avoiding this activity it’s important to take him to the vet to rule out any underlying health problems.
There are a number of reasons why your dog may climb on your shoulders, and in most cases, it’s perfectly normal behaviour. However, if your dog is suddenly climbing on you more than usual or if he seems to be doing it for no reason, it’s important to take him to the vet to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
If your dog is healthy and you’re not sure why he’s climbing on you, try adding some new toys or games to his routine to help keep him occupied. Whatever the reason, if your dog enjoys climbing on your shoulders it’s a fun way to bond with him and give him a little boost of confidence.