Lean On Me

Does your Boxer ever lean on you?

Leaning is a common trait among Boxer’s. It goes along with another thing they are known for, cuddling! Although often it can be comforting and sweet, sometimes it can be annoying! Like when you are trying to cook dinner and can’t move without stepping on your pooch. But if you take a few minutes to learn why they do it, it may help with controlling this behavior.

First, let us point out that this is inherently a good thing to have happen, because it means your dog trusts you. Every Boxer will only do this with someone they can trust. They would never lean on strangers. Also, keep in mind that this is a form of communication. He is trying to tell you something, it’s up to you to figure out what. It could be any of the following reasons:

  1. I need to have contact with you. As we said, Boxers are a cuddly breed, they desire loads of attention, praise, belly rubs, play time. Try to figure out ways to have focused attention with your Boxer.
  2. Maybe he’s saying, “Don’t leave me”. You can read about the separation anxiety that Boxers suffer in our other Blog. If you are spending more time away from home than in it, your pup may just be wanting you to stay home. If you have no choice in the matter, try to figure out a fun interactive area your Boxer can be occupied by in his alone time, or consider Doggy Day Care to help him from being too lonely.

There are other types of leaning as well, watch your dogs body language for the following:

  1. Leaning forward when approaching another dog. This is often a sign of aggression, especially if the feet are planted and they look “ready to spring”. In this case, both dogs should be led away from the situation.
  2. If your Boxer is leaning forward and appears alert yet calm, this often is a sign that something has piqued his interest. Whether it is the sound of a group of voices as you chat with your friends or he is staring into yard, seemingly at nothing, he IS interested in something that you may or may not hear yourself.
  3. Leaning back in a rigid way is often a signal that the dog is fearful of something. Often this points to a guarded feeling; a dog is feeling vulnerable and fearful while he figures out what he is hearing or seeing and decides his stance regarding it. If a dog is truly frightened, there will be other signs such as the tail being tucked in (for those without docked tails), shivering, dilated pupils and sometimes cowering, as the leaned body is positioned closer to the ground.

Taking all this into consideration, if you notice excessive leaning, or if your dog seems uncoordinated or off balance it could be a sign of something that your Veterinarian should look into. We hope this helps you in communicating with your Boxer.