Why do Great Danes Lean? | 10 Reasons Along with Training

A Great Dane is a delicately gentle giant. It is also known for its affectionate personality. But ever you experience that you are sitting with your Dane and he leans on you? And your reaction might be like, “Aww! My pooche” (just like me, haha). But have you ever thought about why Great Danes lean on you?

   Researchers have found that they want attention and affection; that’s why Great Dane leans on you. Well, there are also many reasons behind their leaning, such as they want something, have anxiety, or might be afraid and lean on you to express it.

   Before you imagine that your Dane is leaning on you for attention or another reason, please read the article to discover more reasons behind their leaning that determine their behavior.

Leaning of Great Danes

   As long the question of leaning is, feel free to show your Great Dane praise and love. I’m damn sure they will lean on you in the future. Remember that I am talking about intentional leaning. Intentional leaning is a temporary leaning to want or give attention. Great Dane leaning does not mean they are injured, sick, or can’t hold up their weight.

   If they have these conditions, take your Dane to the vet for medication. While Great Dane’s leaning is common, do not be astonished if your dog leans on visitors. Sometimes, they want attention from their favorite person.

   Some people know Dane’s behavior, so they are not shocked by the leaning. In fact, they encourage and give love to the Great Dane at that behavior. However, it might be astonishing to some people, so keep an eye on your Great Dane to ensure they are not unintentionally knocking over others.     

A Few Reasons of Great Danes Leaning

A Few Reasons of Great Danes Leaning

   Here are the top reasons for Great Dane’s leaning:


   Mostly Great Danes want to be close to the owner; that’s why they lean. It is one of the ways that Danes show love to humans. So, Great Danes are social dogs; sometimes, they just want to attach to you closely.

Protective Behavior

   Great Danes might protectively lean on you. For instance, if they feel like you are not protective in the family, they might come near and touch you to guard you. It is their natural instinct to protect their beloved ones.

   Sometimes, their fear is unreasonable, and you can console your Dane that everything is OK. So, do not encourage that behavior because their massive size is enough to deter would-be threats.


   Great Dane also leans against you if he is afraid. Such as, if he sees fireworks, he will get scared like mine Dane. So, in this situation, a Great Dane leans for comfort to overcome his fear rather than affection.

Stay Warm

   Another reason is Great Dane leans due to cold and wants to stay warm. So, if you observe your Dane feeling cold, find a solution to keep him warm. For instance, if your Dane love leaning on people or furniture, give him a warm area of the room where he stays warm. It is challenging to keep a Great Dane warm in cold or winter, but still, you can do many things.

   Get a heating pad or blanket for their sleeping. Wear your Great Dane a dog sweater to manage their body temperature all day. If your Dane is shaking out of control due to cold, give him a warm place. Also, if the condition is terrible, visit the veterinarian.

Seek Attention

   Seeking attention is also one of the common reasons for Great Dane’s leaning. So, they love to be close to their master, and their lean meaning is hugging you. They are giving you love and want affection in return. That’s obvious; this behavior is not cheerful, especially when you have a baby at the house.

   The weight of a Great Dane is more than a 25-year-old man, which can cause injuries if Dane leans on a kid. The one way to discourage this behavior is when he leans on you and lays down so that Great Dane realizes that a human cannot afford his weight and you are praising him. Also, give your Dane physical attention and love.

For Playing

   Sometimes Great Dane leans on you so that you play with him. So, give your Dane toys to play with or play with him, such as hide and seek, running, etc. Also, teach him tricks to make your pooch happy and play out what is best for a canine.


   A Great Dane requires food about every 6 hours. Bigger pooch needs more diet to ensure they are getting enough food. So, if your Great Dane leans against you, he might need water. Also, if they are hungry, they will express it. Keep track of your dog’s diet; if he leans, you must understand he needs food.  

   If they have eaten their meal already and still have an appetite, give them healthy snacks or chunks of fruits such as apples, blueberries, kiwi, bananas, grapes, and raspberries.


   Great Danes also lean when they are exhausted, tired, or healing from surgery. If so, then give attention to your pet all day. If your Dane is still leaning on you after resting, he feels discomfort.

Showing Dominance

   If your pet is leaning on you, it might be possible he is showing dominance. It happens when your dog is not neutered. If your Dane leans against you, sit on the floor and check what it does. If he stands for a few minutes, then it is due to dominance. So, overcome this issue as soon as possible otherwise, it will be a danger for your pup.

   You must contact a vet for help. Make sure that you are the dominant one. Otherwise, you might face conflict with your Dane in the future, leading to a severe problem.  


   If you change your environment, Great Dane will lean on you due to anxiety. When a Dane is unsure about a thing, he leans on you to remind you. At the same time, Great Dane will express to you that he is uncomfortable in this environment. In other words, he tries to communicate with you.

   It happens when someone visits the home first time. So, you can control this behavior by socializing with your Dane and building confidence in it. Also, go outside to new places and interact with new people.

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Training for Great Danes who Leans

Training for Great Danes who Leans

   Well, Great Danes masters are okay with his leaning, but I recommend you give your Dane leaning training. Most importantly, they must be trained to stop leaning on commands. So, here are these:

Teach him Leaning Pressure

   It would be best if you taught your Great Dane leaning pressure, such as how much pressure a Dane puts on someone while leaning. There are many methods, but the positive reinforcement approach is best. Usually, Great Dane leans for attention, so stop debating them when Dane leans too much. Just stop petting him and take a step back for not appreciating their weight.

   The first time your Great Danes will rush on you, you will lose your balance (that’s what we want). Then let them again lean on you and give attention just when they lean hard. If it happens again, step back. This way, your Danes will learn you do not provide attention if they lean too hard.

   If there are also other members in your family, all must do the same process so that your Dane does not confuse. Once they are trained, they will manage their leaning force.

OFF Command

   In a leaning situation, use the OFF command. OFF means for Great Danes to stop whatever they are doing. This command is also useful in other situations. For instance, you can use the OFF command to leave the shoe or couch. Some Danes are passionate leaners, so they will be clear when they lean their whole weight on you.

   Even if you and your family are OK with this leaning, strangers or visitors will still not appreciate it. So, they must be trained.

   Remember that these are just tricks or suggestions to train your leaners that we teach our own Great Danes. We are absolutely not professional trainers but Great Danes charmer and lovers.

Health Issues Related to Leaning Dogs

   Here are some health issues that belong to leaning dogs:

Ear Infections

   Great Danes can lean due to ear infections because they are trying to reduce the pain that is hurting them. If you observe that your Dane is leaning on you by tipping his head to one side, he might have an ear infection. So, visit the veterinarian for treatment.

Hip Dysplasia

   Hip dysplasia also causes a Dane to lean from one side to the other. It can be explained by unstable walking. The best way to treat this disease is a precaution which must start when he is puppyhood.


   Anxiety is very common in dogs, including Great Danes. If your Dane is leaning or getting in your lap that he never does, he may be anxious. So, give him time and affection to overcome his anxiety.  

What Should I Do if Great Dane is a Notorious Leaner?

   Do not worry! It is totally normal in Danes. You might see your Great Dane lean on you when they are happy seeing you, want attention, or are tired. One important thing is if Great Dane leans on you when they are scared, it is a symptom of aggression. So, it is best to control it.

   Also, CBD helps to overcome anxiety, so choose a good one. Another thing is if your Dane lens is more than normal, it can be hip dysplasia or ear infection. So, take him to the vet for medication.

Is leaning a problem?

   Honestly, leaning is not a problem. While some say that leaning is to show dominance, in the case of the Great Danes, that is not possible. They love people and express them by leaning on them. Some people love Great Dane lean, but some do not like it if a Dane leans his all weight on someone that can scare them.

   It can be an issue for people with leg injuries. If Great Dane leans his whole weight, it can knock down the person. So, leaning the way to show love to the person. But still, be careful.


Why Do My Great Danes Go Between my Legs?

   Sometimes, Great Danes go between legs for comfort or safety—also, anxiety, confusion, or less confidence cause Danes to be close to the owner.

How Do Great Danes Show Affection?

   These dogs show their affection by tail wagging, leaning on you, licking you, following you, asking for petting, smiling at you, giving you toys, and sighing cheerfully.

Do Great Danes like to Be Cuddled?

   It might seem illogical, but Danes love to cuddle. They are gentle giants and admire snuggling up to their owners; they are affectionate and don’t live without them.

Do Great Danes thinks They are lap Dogs?

   Regardless of their huge size, Great Danes assume they are lap dogs and look for attention from their owners or people. When they lean on people, they are unaware of their weight.

What Does it mean when a Great Dane Sleeps leaning Against you?

   It means that your Great Dane wants to be relaxed. They feel comfortable sleeping next to their master even if they are napping. So, it is a sign of love.

Wrapping up

   So, there are just a few reasons for your Great Dane leaning. In the end, I will say that leaning is normal; you must no need to worry about it. Your Great Dane shows how much he loves you by leaning against you. You should appreciate it and give as much attention and time to your dog as possible.

   But if your Dane is leaning too hard, you should train him. Overall, just enjoy the leaning and snuggles. We hope this article is useful for you. Please share it with your loved ones. We love to answer your questions, so comment below. Thanks for reading!

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Marian Haaz
Marian is a cat adoption expert. She has rescued and adopted several cats herself and helped find homes for dozens of stray cats and dogs.
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