Why Does My Dog Sit on Me? 13 Reasons
Your dog likes to sit on you but you can’t figure out why they do it? Dogs are our best companions who enjoy being around us!
There are several reasons why our dogs sometimes like to sit on us. If you’ve ever wondered why that happens, keep reading to find the answer.
Why does your dog like sitting on you?
Dogs have many unusual habits: they roll in the dirt, sniff your crotch, lick themselves, and even eat garbage (something you shouldn’t let your pet do). Most of these behaviors seem strange, at least to us, since we expect our dogs to have human impulses. Even if there’s a perfectly nice empty spot on the couch or a warm dog bed for them, these furry creatures often prefer to sit right on their humans.
While most of us like this behavior because snuggling up to our pets is one of the many benefits of owning them, if your pupper is too big, noisy or seems overly attached, you can train him not to sit on you.
So, why does your dog sit on you? This might be the sign that they are demanding your attention or trying to protect you. Perhaps your furry baby is bored or feels you are ready to leave. You may be sitting on their favorite spot.
You should be well aware of your dog’s desire to sit on you and why this happens. This will help you decide how to respond to his behavior.
Here are some possible reasons why.
They want your attention
Your dog cherishes your attention and will always try to get it, especially if you haven’t been paying much attention to them lately. When you feed your dog, they will naturally pounce on you or get sad and squeal when you leave the room.
However, some habits, such as your dog following you around the house, always sitting right at your feet, pawing you and barking for no apparent reason, are considered excessive attention-seeking.
Admittedly, it’s hard to ignore your dog when they are sitting right at your feet, especially if they are barking and constantly moving around. You might want to change this behavior by simply giving them attention and treats when they are not fighting for your attention. You don’t want an uncooperative and obnoxious dog who whines when you’re too busy to play or walk.
When your dog sits on you to show their dominance over you or others, it’s a cause for concern and the pet needs to be weaned from this habit. It’s a dominant behavior, and it’s unpleasant, to say the least. Especially if they sit on you and start displaying signs of aggression, such as growling at you or at other people or animals who try to get close to you.
If your dog behaves this way, take them down or restrain them. When other pets are around, it’s normal and there’s nothing wrong in them wanting to be on your lap. But they should never be aggressive about it. Any annoying barking or growling should not be encouraged or rewarded.
They experience separation anxiety
When dogs sense that their owners are ready to leave for a long time, they usually sit on them. This is common in dogs suffering from separation anxiety.
If your dog senses that you are ready to leave for work or leave them alone for a few days, they will sit on you. During this period of anxiety, they will become increasingly restless, anxious and dissatisfied. They might even start whining once you leave the room.
Your dog has a request
Imagine that you sit down at your desk to complete a long overdue project. You check the digital clock on your desk and see that it’s 3 p.m., the time you normally take your dog for a walk, but you can’t do it because your boss just gave you a new deadline.
Your dog sits under your feet and you sit at your desk getting ready to get to work. You begin to wonder what that might mean.
You have to find out whether your pet is going to sit at your feet (or right on them) because they want something and are trying to communicate with you. If your dog only does this regularly at certain times of the day, that’s probably the case.
For example, if your furry friend only sits under you during meal times, it might be expecting morsels and goodies. Or they might be there whenever it’s time to go for a walk.
They are there for safety and comfort
In the company of their owner, dogs tend to feel safe. They are more relaxed and at ease in your presence. The reason why your puppy sits on you might be that they just want to be near you.
This is especially common for puppies or dogs who are introduced in a new home or if you have recently moved into a new apartment and your dog is adjusting to their new surroundings.
Also, think about when your dog sits right at your feet to see if it can help you understand what is causing this behavior.
Is it true that your dog only sits on you when other people are present? Some dogs are hesitant to approach strangers because they are confused by new smells they don’t recognize. Did you recently get a new pet or had a baby? That may be another reason why your pet sits on you.
They are bored
Whenever your dog gets bored with their usual activities like playing with toys, bones, they’ll want to sit on you. You need to make sure that your dog gets enough exercise and engages in other fun activities so that they won’t do that at every opportunity they have.
Meanwhile, you should know that all breeds require different activities. Try to find out from your veterinarian what level of activity is appropriate for your dog.
It’s normal behavior for their breed
Some breeds tend to sit on their humans more than others. The majority of them are small dogs like Bolognese, Shih Tzu, Maltese, or Chihuahua. They are the right size to fit on your lap and have a calm demeanor that allows them to sit quietly.
Smaller breeds can also snuggle on your lap to get a higher vantage point from which they can clearly observe their surroundings because they want to keep warm or avoid other dogs, noisy youngsters or other people.
In fact, some larger breeds of dogs seem unaware that they are much bigger than your lap, and yet they try to snuggle up to you any chance they get. They might continue to cuddle because they were allowed to do so when they were puppies and wanted to be on your lap.
To show affection
After a long day without you, your dog will just be happy to see you. Many dogs often spend time with you sitting next to or on top of you.
If you praise your dog for their positive behavior by petting and cuddling them, they might have realized that that’s the right thing to do.
They want to mark their territory
Dogs want to sit on you to share their smell with you, which allows them to mark their territory and claim you. This is not so much a warning to others that your dog has taken you as it is a warning that you have been captured!
Sitting on you is a very harmless way to claim their territory as opposed to certain other ways of marking their territory, such as urinating.
If there are other pets or children or if you have recently returned from somewhere smelling like other animals, dogs might become more aggressive.
They want to deepen their relationship with you
By sitting on you, your dog may simply be demonstrating their affection for you. Dogs may sit on your lap because they feel safe there or they are curious about what you are doing. If they are more likely to sit on you after you’ve returned after a long time away from home, it’s probably because they missed you.
When dogs have separation anxiety, they may want to snuggle up to you whenever you come home.
You are sitting in their favorite place
If you’re occupying a place that your beloved pupper considers their own, such as their sleeping place or bed, they may sit on you. Expect them to sit on you to encourage you to move somewhere else.
Many people will tell you that you have to teach your pet to sit somewhere else but it’s better to leave their favorite spot and stop violating their privacy.
They are protecting you
As you know, your dog’s primary mission is to protect you from harm. They believe that sitting on or near you is one of the best ways to keep an eye on their human. This will allow them to keep a close eye on you, trying to prevent any potentially dangerous strangers from approaching you.
If your dog shows no signs of overprotective behavior, in this context, you shouldn’t discourage them from it. Overprotective behavior includes growling, snapping, flaring their nostrils, exposing their teeth, and even lunging at anyone who tries to approach you (especially if it’s a stranger). You don’t want to encourage this because you don’t want your dog to hurt themselves or others.
You’ve unwittingly encouraged them to do so
Your dog is more likely to sit on you because you often encourage them when they behave this way. You either offered them a nice reward (a tasty snack or a toy) when they came up to you, or you petted them.
This is called positive reinforcement even though for all the wrong reasons. If you keep treating your dog every time they sit on you, they’ll continue to do so.
How do you get your dog to stop sitting on you?
Sometimes our dogs do things we don’t want them to do or do things we don’t like. To get your dog to stop the undesirable behavior, you, as a dog owner, will have to take conscious and deliberate action.
This shouldn’t be a problem if you follow these steps:
- Train them. If you take the time to train your dog, they will behave the way you want them to behave. Tell them to sit on the floor while you are sitting on the bed. The more often you tell them to sit on the on the floor, the faster they will understand what you are saying.
- Stop rewarding them for sitting on you. When they sit on you, you have to stop encouraging them. When they sit on your lap or under your arm, you shouldn’t give them what they want. Instead, tell them to take a seat elsewhere.
- Give them your attention. Your interaction with your dog is extremely important to them. This means that you should give him as much attention as possible. Take them for walks, take active part in their training, and be sure to play with them every chance you get. These things will help them avoid boredom, and they won’t need to sit on you to get your attention.
There might be a lot of various reason why your dog tries to sit on you. Try to understand what this reason is and remember to be patient. More often than not, they do it because they love you and need your love and appreciation.