Why Do Great Danes Lean? (On Me)

Why Do Great Danes Lean? (On Me)

Last updated on March 22nd, 2023 at 01:07 am

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Great Dane Leaning, Why?

Great Danes often catch people by surprise when they suddenly lean against them with all their weight. But the question is ‘Why do Great Danes lean?

Quick Answer

Great Danes lean on you when they miss you and want affection. They also learn when they’re sick or feeling scared. While a Great Dane hug or lean may feel more like a tackle thanks to their impressive build, it’s usually with positive intention.

The way a Great Dane leans on you and the accompanying behavior changes can indicate the reason behind their constant leaning, which are shared in this article. Let’s dive in!

Why Do Great Danes Lean? 4 Reasons! 

Great Danes typically lean on you when they want attention, but there may be other less obvious reasons. Here are listed a few of them such as:

1. Want Attention

The most common reason for your giant pup leaning on you is its craving for attention.

You may feel a nudge or a tackle temporarily if your Great Dane wants your attention. This is typical behavior for dogs when you’re busy doing chores or working. If that’s the case, your Great Dane won’t lean with full-body force.

While your Great Dane will mostly lean on you, your family members, or close friends, don’t be startled if they do it with strangers as well. Sometimes your pup immediately takes to a person and wants to win their affection. This is their way of showing love.

However, be sure to keep an eye on your dog if they’re trying to get someone’s attention. Not everyone is comfortable with dogs, much less a gentle giant knocking them over.

Why Do Great Danes Lean? (On Me)

2. Are Afraid

Great Dane leaning may be a sign of it getting scared of something. Even though they’re pretty big, Great Danes are gentle souls and can easily get scared of unknown situations.

Many dogs are scared of fireworks, sirens, critters, etc. Some are even scared of balloons or giant toys. It’s best to comfort your dog in this scenario, and if possible, try ridding them of irrational fears through training.

3. Feel Threatened

Great Danes are incredibly loyal and keep their guard up most of the time. If they feel a threat near you or your family, they might lean on you hard. They also won’t let you out of their sight. Your pup may bark a bit as well.

In most situations, this natural protective instinct is unfounded, and you just need to assure the Dane that everything is alright.

Avoid encouraging this protective behavior in family dogs, as it can intimidate others. Great Danes may also consider other pets or strangers threats, which is a dangerous trait.

4. Health Complications

Great Danes are susceptible to several health issues, and all of them can lead to your dog leaning on you, trying to tell you he doesn’t feel well. Hip dysplasia is a common issue in growing dogs, so if you find your Dane constantly leaning on you, get in touch with a vet. They’ll take an X-ray and diagnose the issue.

Bloat is the most common health problem for dogs of this size, in which the stomach twists and seems full of food and gas. This is an emergency and needs to be checked out. Touch your dog’s belly and check how they react.

Cardiomyopathy and osteosarcoma are other problems in large dog breeds. Regular vet check-ups are essential. Lastly, check for cataracts, ear infections, or toothaches.

Can Great Dane Leaning be an Issue?

While a Great Dane leaning is normal and healthy, be cautious when encouraging this trait. You don’t want to encourage a pup of their size to become overly protective of anyone. Avoid teaching the dog to lean on strangers as it catches them off guard. Your pup shouldn’t lean on children or older people either.

Why Do Great Danes Lean? (On Me)

Why Do Great Danes Sit on Everything? 4 Reasons!

Besides leaning on you, another curious behavior exhibited by Great Danes is them sitting on everything.

Most dogs, especially those you’ve raised since they were a puppy, usually love sitting in your lap and having favorite areas in the house. But dogs sitting everywhere can be considered strange, and there are a few reasons for this behavioral change.

1. Your Pup Wants Affection

If your dog has suddenly started sitting in your lap or snuggling next to you, regardless of how uncomfortable it may be, then he wants your attention. Great Danes don’t have the idea of how big they are and consider themselves small enough to curl up in any spot.

Noticing the pattern of your dog sitting on furniture is another way to confirm this. If your Dane sits in the exact spot you sat in, he may want to cuddle. If you come home and find your pup relaxing on your bed, he’s definitely missing you.

2. They Feel Cold

Great Danes don’t do well in the cold and are always looking for a warm spot to relax in. If you just had the first wave of frost and the temperature is dropping, your pup may find its old sleeping spot uncomfortable. Your dog will try different spots around the house- your bed, couch, on a table, near a fireplace, etc.

If you see your dog snuggling to feel warmth and sleeping on everything in winter, move its bed to your bedroom or near the fireplace. A blanket should cover great Danes sitting on the couch.

3. They May Be Anxious Or Worried

Great Danes are emotional dogs, and their sitting on everything may be a sign of feeling anxious or disturbed. Dogs panic and feel anxious when left alone for a long time, especially when they’re not used to it. They might be stressed or afraid of a bug or loud noise, which makes them run around the house and jump onto everything as well.

A major sign of anxiety is your dog chewing improperly and leaving food. In that case, assure your dog that everything’s fine, and give them more affection after coming back home.

4. Your Great Dane May Be Ill

Besides leaning on you frequently, another sign of hip dysplasia, bone cancer, or musculoskeletal injury is your dog sitting all around the house in awkward positions. Sick Great Danes try to find a comfortable angle, so you’ll find them sitting on everything in unusual positions. Take your dog to the vet immediately.

Do Great Danes Like to Cuddle?

When your dog leans for attention and snuggles up next to you, it may lead to questioning do Great Danes like to cuddle or not?

Well, the answer is a short but mighty YES! Great Danes love to cuddle. They are one of the most affectionate breeds of dogs. Don’t go by their large build, a Great Dane thinks of itself as a small puppy that can curl up in your lap for hugs and cuddles, so reciprocate by snuggling as well. Depriving them of this affection can cause behavioral changes.


Great Danes are gentle giants who aren’t aware of how big and strong they get as adults. So they will often lean on you and sit on everything to demand your attention and affection. Play with your dogs and give them hugs. However, keep an eye on other signs mentioned, as constant leaning can indicate fear or underlying health issues.

About The Author

I'm a content writer and researcher. But bottom line, I loveee animals. I had my first animal which was a guinea pig at age 8. Later had a bunny, dog and a lot, a lot of fish. Writing about what I know about pets will allow me to share my knowledge and love for them with everyone else. Dealing with dogs my entire life, I know a lot.

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