Great Danes are one of the biggest breeds around that look genuinely threatening and sound fierce when they bark. However, a Great Dane’s look and bark usually belie a gentle, caring, and sometimes even timid nature. Many Great Danes are big, furry babies that get scared of silly things and act like children when they don’t get their way.
One fascinating movement many Great Danes like to do is bury their head in their pet parent’s lap, chest, or under their arms. If that’s what your Great Dane is doing and you’re not sure why, you can examine the eight typical reasons Great Danes bury their heads.
The 8 Typical Reasons Great Danes Bury their Heads
1. Your Great Dane Has Separation Anxiety
Even though they are one of the largest dogs, the average Great Dane is a big scaredy-cat and doesn’t like to be alone. If you’re planning to leave and your Great Dane catches sight of you, it might bury its head in your lap while sitting down to put on your socks or shoes. That’s the Great Danes’ way of letting you know they don’t want you to go anywhere. When you consider their size, it can be a persuasive tool and one you might need to train out of them.
2. Your Great Dane is Marking You as Its Territory
We all know that dogs like to leave their scent by urinating on things they consider “theirs.” However, dogs have a very keen sense of smell and can also smell themselves and other animals on your clothes and hands. If a Great Dane smells another dog, cat, or animal on you, it will bury its head in your lap, your side, or another place on your body. Great Danes do this to replace the other animals’ scent with their own, so you again smell like they do.
3. Your Great Dane Is Afraid of Something
Like most dogs, Great Danes are often afraid of loud noises from fireworks and celebrations. Because of their gentle and childlike disposition, some Great Danes are afraid of many other things, including the dark, scary music, and more. When it’s scared, your Great Dane will bury its head in your lap to ”get away” from the noise or other things that are scaring it. The best thing to do when your Great Dane buries its head because of fear is to let it have its way, which will calm it down until the scary thing stops.
4. Your Great Dane Needs Some Comforting
Great Danes are very affectionate dogs that love to be around their adopted family and get hugs, pets, and attention. They also tend to be very emotional dogs that will let you know when they aren’t happy. If your Great Dane is feeling blue, for whatever reason, it might bury its head in your lap so that you’ll give it some comforting pets, hugs, and words. Remember, most Great Danes have the maturity of teenagers and the mood swings to match.
5. Your Great Dane Is Trying to Comfort You
As much as Great Danes experience their own emotions, they are very empathetic dogs and can feel when you’re not happy. When they do, your precious pet will try to cheer you up or at least make you feel better by burying its head wherever it can on your body, usually with some nudging and friendly pushing included. Great Danes are very comforting in this way and always try to make sure their family is happy.
6. Your Great Dane Wants to Let you Know They Love You
If you’re the lucky person with a Great Dane, you’ll notice that they bury their head into your lap just because they love you so much. Of all the reasons Great Danes bury their heads, this one is probably the best.
7. Your Great Dane wants some Affection
Everybody needs some love and affection, but Great Danes need a lot more than most dogs. To get it, they will bury their head in your body until you start to scratch, pet, or otherwise caress them, and they won’t stop until they’re satisfied. If you’re sitting and watching TV or just relaxing, a Great Danes head lying in your lap can be very comforting and good for the soul.
8. Your Great Dane Wants Something Besides Affection
The last reason Great Danes bury their heads is that they want something from you. It might be a snack, it might be dinner, or it might be that they want you to come outside and play. Whatever it is, your Great Dane will bury its head and won’t stop until it gets what it wants. They can be very persuasive that way.
Is Burying Their Head Bad for Your Great Dane?
In most cases, a Great Dane burying its head in your lap or another part of your body isn’t a cause for alarm. However, there are a few things you should note if your Great Dane suddenly starts burying their head more than usual.
For example, your Great Dane might be trying to tell you that they don’t feel well. It might be that their tummy is upset or something worse, so if the burying persists and is accompanied by whining, you might consider taking your pet to the vet.
Most of the time, when your Great Dane is burying its head in your lap, it’s because of something that’s not inherently negative. Usually, they want attention, affection, or something else that shouldn’t cause any alarms. In short, burying their head is usually normal for your Great Dane.
Should You Stop a Great Dane From Burying Its Head?
If you punish your pet or make them stop, it might cause anxiety or other psychological problems. Most vets recommend that, as long as it’s not bothering you or because they’re being pushy or aggressive, there’s no real need to stop your Great Dane from burying its head in your lap or on other parts of your body. Most Great Dane parents get to love this unusual trait, and some even look forward to it! With time, you’ll know precisely why your grandiose Great Dane is burying its head.
Great Danes are wonderful pets, companions, and protectors and will repay the love and care you give them threefold, if not more. Their large size and commanding bark can be a little scary, it’s true, but the average Great Dane is a big softy with a heart of gold.
When they bury their heads, Great Danes are communicating with you and doing their best to let you know what they need, how they feel, and to make you feel better. If a Great Dane is burying its head in your lap, you’re lucky because it means they love you.
Featured Image Credit: Elle Ocon, Shutterstock