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What Does "Leaning" Really Mean?

Chaser
July 31st, 2008, 10:57 PM
So I have found that Kailey is a "leaner". Chase has never done it...he's pretty small, but Kailey isn't a whole lot bigger than him. I have heard many different interpretations of why dogs do this, and was wondering what others' opinions happen to be on it.

I have been told three main possibilities:

1. Affection
2. Dominance (as in, dog trying to be bossy with human)
3. That for some breeds, (i.e. Danes), it is just simply to help them get comfortable.

So I don't know if it means nothing or something, and if so, what? Kind of curious, so let me know your thoughts!

wolfcat
July 31st, 2008, 11:37 PM
Maybe the dog got into the beer ?
:laughing:

I've seen drunk doggies (pitbulls) in pubs in England where patrons buy him a bowl of bitters....

meg4050
August 1st, 2008, 06:29 AM
My Morgan used to do it ALL the time, definitley seemed the an affection thing!!

Barkley's started doing it too - whenever I'm home to visit on the weekend he'll sit beside me on the couch, sit facing away from me, lean, back, and look over his shoulder at me for HOURS with his puppy eyes :laughing:

bendyfoot
August 1st, 2008, 08:25 AM
My neighbour's golden is a leaner...the message is clear..."I'm in love with you, please pet me!:lovestruck:"

Jaida leans, but I'm sure for her it's a physical comfort thing more than anything else.

Chris21711
August 1st, 2008, 10:12 AM
Iggy does it all the time with Ethel, and he clearly adores her. Junior from next door is an extreme leaner, so much so that if you move an inch he ends up falling over :laughing: Clearly Chase Mom Kailey is trying to adopt you. :lovestruck:

aslan
August 1st, 2008, 10:59 AM
My Quincy is a leaner too, and the more you touch him the harder he leans.

Frenchy
August 1st, 2008, 11:12 AM
3. That for some breeds, (i.e. Danes), it is just simply to help them get comfortable.



I don't know why Nelly does it but , she usually will do this to me when there's people around :shrug:

babymomma
August 1st, 2008, 11:19 AM
The german sheperd/lab mix that i walk daily leans. and its definatly the affection thing:cloud9: I love her and she loves me (If it werent for me she would be tied on all day long with no food or water, But i go down and take her when i please and bring her back when i please, how responsible are her owners? :frustrated:)

Chaser
August 1st, 2008, 12:09 PM
So the general consensus seems to be affection :lovestruck: I was highly doubting the dominance theory I had once heard.

I wouldn't be surprised if Kailey is trying to adopt us - between the leaning and all the cuddling she's getting pretty attached! If we sit on the floor she'll crawl over and lay down right in our laps. :cloud9:

BenMax
August 1st, 2008, 12:13 PM
So I have found that Kailey is a "leaner". Chase has never done it...he's pretty small, but Kailey isn't a whole lot bigger than him. I have heard many different interpretations of why dogs do this, and was wondering what others' opinions happen to be on it.

I have been told three main possibilities:

1. Affection
2. Dominance (as in, dog trying to be bossy with human)
3. That for some breeds, (i.e. Danes), it is just simply to help them get comfortable.

So I don't know if it means nothing or something, and if so, what? Kind of curious, so let me know your thoughts!

It is confusing to determine exactly what the 'lean' means. You have to really know the dog and the messages that he/she is relaying.

Take a look at the 'Rottie Lean'. This has nothing to do with dominance.

Most trainers have different ideas on what this means. In all honesty I have never put importance on it unless it makes me 'uncomfortable' to be leaned on. It is really a case by case thing.

Are there any other trainers that can address this? There is always room to grow and get other opinions.

Rottielover
August 1st, 2008, 12:17 PM
Take a look at the 'Rottie Lean'. This has nothing to do with dominance.

Depends on the dog, I have 2 rotties, and when Harley tries, it definetly a dominance issue. Not with me, but with others....

Purpledomino
August 1st, 2008, 12:32 PM
My Dane Abby is such a bad leaner that I should have named her "Eileen" :laughing: I too have heard that it is dominance, but totally dissagree in my dogs case anyway. She doesn't have a domineering bone in her body, is just in love with anyone who gives her any attention, and leans on EVERYONE. I know she is just doing it to get attention and pats. :lovestruck:

BenMax
August 1st, 2008, 12:55 PM
Take a look at the 'Rottie Lean'. This has nothing to do with dominance.

Depends on the dog, I have 2 rotties, and when Harley tries, it definetly a dominance issue. Not with me, but with others....

Exactly as I said above - it is a case by case. Rottie lean however is pretty much a trait (but then again open for discussion). Knowing your dog, means knowing what the lean really means. I have had 2 Rotts and both were leaners.

I am curious to hear the opinions of other trainers as well.

14+kitties
August 1st, 2008, 01:09 PM
I don't know why Nelly does it but , she usually will do this to me when there's people around :shrug:

Frenchy - I know why Nelly does it to you when there's people around. She is saying "Mommy will protect me" pretty clearly.

Every one of the dogs I have owned have leaned. Probably half of my cats lean as well. They look to me to protect them. :shrug:


BenMax - I have been thinking about maybe getting into some animal behaviour/training for my later years when I have nothing left to do. :rolleyes: Could you tell me what qualifications you need to be a trainer? Are there classes? Is it a night course thing or do you have an actual school course? Who teaches them? Where did the teachers get their qualifications? Sorry for all the questions. If I decide to pursue this later I would like to know the best avenue to take. Thanks for your help!

BenMax
August 1st, 2008, 01:19 PM
BenMax - I have been thinking about maybe getting into some animal behaviour/training for my later years when I have nothing left to do. :rolleyes: Could you tell me what qualifications you need to be a trainer? Are there classes? Is it a night course thing or do you have an actual school course? Who teaches them? Where did the teachers get their qualifications? Sorry for all the questions. If I decide to pursue this later I would like to know the best avenue to take. Thanks for your help!

It will be a pleasure.

Another person who can assist is LuckyPenny. She has many sources and has ideas on how to go about it. Equally she is very well versed on some training techniques and knows all the right people. Together we can come up with something to help you.

Lissa
August 1st, 2008, 08:06 PM
I personally do not believe that it is a dominance related behaviour.

Affection, comfort, support/confidence boost or security net are what its all about IMO.

However, I think it can lead to problems (which is probably why there is so much about it being a dominant gesture!). Leaning can become a problem if your dog starts to demand attention, guard you or becomes a velcro dog (and gets anxious, fearful or even reactive if they aren't touching you). It's up to the owner to decide if its appropriate or in the dogs best interest to encourage such behaviour.

For example, Dodger will lean if its suits his need to be comfortable... But he also leans if he's in a new environment and wants to leave. While I find it perfectly fine to be his human cushion in a relaxed situation, the last thing I want to encourage is leaning on me when he's unsure or bored. I'd much rather run through some OB exercises, release him and then leave because leaning in the latter incidence would backfire!

Frenchy
August 1st, 2008, 08:30 PM
Frenchy - I know why Nelly does it to you when there's people around. She is saying "Mommy will protect me" pretty clearly.



:laughing:

It's not dominance with Nelly either !! :p she always does it at the vet when I'm paying, so I get squeeze between her and the counter :laughing:

We do weight the same now :laughing:

sugarcatmom
August 1st, 2008, 08:44 PM
Could you tell me what qualifications you need to be a trainer? Are there classes? Is it a night course thing or do you have an actual school course? Who teaches them? Where did the teachers get their qualifications? Sorry for all the questions. If I decide to pursue this later I would like to know the best avenue to take. Thanks for your help!

Here's some info for you from the Association of Pet Dog Trainers: http://www.apdt.com/po/career.aspx

And the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers: http://www.cappdt.ca/public/jpage/1/p/BecomingATrainer/content.do

14+kitties
August 1st, 2008, 08:50 PM
Here's some info for you from the Association of Pet Dog Trainers: http://www.apdt.com/po/career.aspx

And the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers: http://www.cappdt.ca/public/jpage/1/p/BecomingATrainer/content.do

Thanks Scm!! BenMax and I spent a great afternoon pming back and forth and I gathered tons of info. I will add this to it. I might never get a chance to look into it but it would be great if I could! :thumbs up