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Why Do Mastiffs Sit & Lean on You? (Answered)

Perhaps you have noticed your Mastiff dog come and sit on your lap or onto your back while you are lying down.

You must have also seen them leaning on you while sitting next to you. So, such behaviors of your Mastiff can lead you to think of a question that why do Mastiffs sit and lean on you. 

Therefore, let us learn about the detailed explanations concerning this topic. 

Why Do Mastiffs Sit & Lean On You?

Mastiffs usually sit on their owners to spend some time cuddling with them. Also, to show dominance over master or others, Mastiffs sit on their owners. And Mastiffs lean on their owners to display their love and to say that they are comfortable around their masters and want to stay close to them. 

Do Mastiffs Sit & Lean On You? 

For your knowledge, this section has prepared and included short rationales about the most popular Mastiff breeds regarding their sitting and leaning on behavior. 

Tibetan Mastiff:

Despite having a massive size body and guard dog instincts, Tibetan Mastiffs are the sweetest and lovable of all. They are really affectionate and thrive in the best way possible in the presence of their owners.

Therefore, to stay closer to their owners while they are at home, Tibetan Mastiffs lean on their owners with all their weight against them. By leaning m, Tibetan Mastiffs show their endless affection towards their owners. 

And when Tibetan Mastiffs want a little extra attention from their owners, they don’t hesitate to sit on their masters. 


Bullmastiffs sit on the owners by blocking the way due to their natural guard dog instincts. By sitting on the owners/others and blocking the ways near to them, Bullmastiffs try to protect their master/other family members as they take any unknown person/object as a threat. 

Bullmastiffs prefer human contact, particularly because they enjoy staying near their owners. So when they feel like having some snuggling time with their family members, they lean on them to say that they want to cuddle with them. 

English Mastiff: 

Leaning and sitting onto the master or other family members is a common behavior of the English Mastiff breed. 

As a result, English Mastiffs anywhere sit on their owner or other members by leaning their body weight against that person. 

English Mastiffs not only sit on the lap but also sit on the feet of their family members while they are sitting on the couch. It’s also due to the English Mastiff breed’s biological “leaning and sitting on people” habit.

Neapolitan Mastiff: 

Neapolitan Mastiffs are affectionate towards their family members. So to display their love for them and to get love in return, Neapolitan Mastiffs sit on their family members.

Neapolitan Mastiffs have a real craving for attention. So whenever they see a family member or their owner relaxing without paying attention to them, they go up and lean their body against their family members to get attention. 

French Mastiff:

French Mastiffs love their owners the most, therefore, they sit on their owners to mark the owners as their own. Also, when there is a presence of other pets around their masters or in the home, French Mastiffs go and sit on their owners to display dominance over the other pets. 

Besides, French Mastiffs are a friendly dog breed so when they are comfortable staying around their family members, they lean on them to express their comfort. 

Italian Mastiff:

Italian Mastiffs or Cane Corsos are not a clingy breed of Mastiff dogs. So they are seen to sit or lean on their masters only when they are feeling insecure about any issue. As at that time, Italian Mastiffs want love from their family members to feel assured. 

Also, when Italian Mastiffs are attached to their favorite person in their human families, they lean on them while sitting next to the person. 

Pyrenean Mastiff: 

Pyrenean Mastiffs prefer spending time with their family members. Therefore, to enjoy some relaxing time, Pyrenean Mastiffs sit on the lap or feet of their family members.

Sometimes Pyrenean Mastiffs lean their side body on to their family’s members back to say that they love those people. 

Why Do Mastiffs Sit & Lean On You? 

There are some very common and exact reasons that can make your Mastiff sit and lean in you. This section has added explicit explanations to enlighten you with the main causes behind such behavior of your Mastiff. 

To Seek Attention: 

Mastiffs surely are an independent breed of dogs but they do like getting plenty of attention, especially from their owner or their favorite person.

So at times when your Mastiff will realize that he is getting less attention and affection, he will go up to you and sit on you while leaning their back or side body against you. 

Since Mastiffs can’t verbally express their need for your love and affection, by sitting on you while leaning his body, he simply asks for spending time with him, for belly rubs, and for attention from you 

Breed Behavior: 

Sitting and leaning on family members is somewhat a breed behavior of Mastiffs. Particularly the English Mastiffs, even though they are massive-sized Mastiff dogs, they think of themselves as tiny lap dogs and try to sit on their master’s lap.

So if you are an owner of these gentle giants, know that breed behavior is the main reason. 

Also, your Mastiff will lean on you if you have trained him to sit next to you leaning their body on you instead of sitting. 

To Feel Secure: 

 Like any other breed of dog, your Mastiff will yearn to feel secure and loved even though he is a giant baby and has an independent nature.

Therefore, to sense that he is secured, adored, and valued, your Mastiff will make a spot near you to lean and sit onto you as the increased height gives him a sense of security. 

You may notice your Mastiff wanting to sit and lean on you frequently if he is feeling threatened or is afraid of something. 

To Dominate: 

Your Mastiff will sit and lean on you to express their dominance over you. As sitting on a higher place gives Mastiffs the sense that they are dominating over their owners or the other pets (if there are any) in the house.

And that time leaning on to you with all their body weight is an expression to say “you are mine” to them.

To Cuddle: 

Cuddling is the most obvious and common reason that can Make your Mastiff sit and  lean on you. 

Physical contact/cuddling with owners gives Mastiffs a sense of relief and emotional satisfaction.

Therefore, when your Mastiff will be in the mood of getting cuddles from you, he will sit on your lap with his body weight against your chest/body so that you can hug him or give him some belly rubs. 

Besides, to show that your Mastiff admires you and he is comfortable being with you, he will lean his body onto you as a sign of expressing affection.  

Why Does My Mastiff Push His Body Against Me?

Mastiffs are social animals that prefer physical contact with their owners or other family members. So to get some snuggling time, picked by you, or to stay closer to you, you Mastiff will push his body against you. Sometimes to express his desire to be a part of your family and to affection, your Mastiff can push his body in a leaning position against you. 

However, if your Mastiff has separation anxiety issues, at that time he can get clingy and push his body against you. 

Why Do Mastiffs Paw At You?

Your Mastiff dog will paw at you as a signal of his demands to get some instant extra love from you. Particularly if you are playing with any other pet of yours, he will paw at you to convince you into showering him with extra affection. 

Why Are Mastiffs So Needy? 

Mastiffs are usually not needy but they can be clingy and huge attention seekers if they are suffering from loneliness or even worse separation anxiety.

Because at that time, Mastiffs want to feel secured and adored by their owners. So they tend to get clingy and demand for attention all the time. 

Do Mastiffs Like Cuddles?

Mastiffs absolutely love cuddling but only with their owners, favorite persons, and family members. So when they want a little extra love, they tend to place their head on the owner’s/family member’s lap to indicate that they want to spend some time cuddling. 

Sometimes Mastiffs even sleep on their own by the side of their masters so that they can get hugs. 

Are Mastiffs Clingy?

Mastiffs pretty much are a clingy breed of dogs. They can get the clingiest when they want to make you do something to fulfill their demand. For example, when Mastiffs want treats or any specific toys or compassion. 

If Mastiffs are afraid of anything, they can get clingy too whenever they will encounter that object or person. 

How To Stop Mastiffs From Being Clingy? 

6 simple and effective ways to stop your Mastiff from being clingy have been suggested below for you. 

  • Stimulate your Mastiff’s mind with mind-stimulating games and toys
  • Build a special place for him to pass time instead of following you
  • Increase exercise 
  • Desensitize your movements 
  • Train the stay command 
  • Discourage his unnecessary demand for attention

Final Thoughts: 

Mastiffs love getting attention and cuddles, to vocalize their desire, Mastiffs sit and lean on their owners or other members of the family. Also, to express their admiration towards their owners, Mastiffs lean on them. Sometimes Mastiffs lean and sit on due to breed behavior or to show authority.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can Mastiffs be Service Dogs?

Can Mastiffs go Hiking?

Can a Mastiff Live in an Apartment?

Are Mastiffs Good with Kids? Are They Good Family Dogs?

Are Mastiffs High Energy or Lazy Dogs?

How Big Does the Mastiff Get?