Updated at: 11-01-2022 - By: petstutorial

If your dog won’t stop sitting on you, this post will show you why and what you can do about it.
So, why does my dog sit on me? Possible reasons why your dog sits on you are that it wants attention, is bored, has separation anxiety or you might have inadvertently rewarded the behavior.

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There are a number of nuances that you can consider when trying to understand why your dog sits on you. Once you have a good idea of why it is doing it, you’ll be able to get it to stop more easily.

Why does my dog sit on me?

Each of the different reasons why your dog sits on you will likely come with a number of clues in the way that it does it.

Below, I will mention a number of reasons why it might be doing it and what would make them more likely.

Your dog wants attention

The reason why your dog sits on you could be that it is looking for attention. This would be more likely to be the reason if you tend to give it more attention when it sits on you and if it does it more when you have not been giving it attention.

Instead, it would help to give it attention throughout the day in the form of exercise, training and play. It would also help to avoid rewarding it with attention when it tries to sit on you and to train it to sit somewhere else.

Boredom

The reason why it does it might be because it is boring. The reason why it gets bored could be that it is not getting the recommended amount of exercise for its breed. This would be more likely if it does it more when it has not gotten much exercise.

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In this case, it would help to make sure that it is getting the right amount of exercise. You could also try giving it things to be distracted with such as toys, bones and puzzles for dogs.

You have inadvertently rewarded your dog for sitting on you

The reason why it does it might be that you have inadvertently rewarded the behavior. This would be more likely if you tend to give it things that it wants when it sits on you such as toys, attention or treats.

It is unlikely to be dominance

Many people jump to the conclusion that their dogs sit on them because the dogs are trying to be dominant. However, the alpha/beta dynamic has been disproven in studies showing that wolves take turns in taking the lead.

With that being said, it could be doing it due to bullying behavior which would be more likely if it tries to get you to sit elsewhere and if it shows signs of aggression when doing it. In this case, it would help to avoid giving it reasons to feel threatened and to get it to learn to behave the way you want it to with training programs such as NLIF (Nothing in Life is Free) dog training.

Separation anxiety

It might be the case that your dog has some separation anxiety. This is where it does not like being left alone and the prospect of being left alone causes it to get anxious. This would be more likely if it sits on you when you would normally go out. It would also be more likely if it shows signs of being anxious when you’re leaving such as pacing or crying.

You’re in your dog’s spot

If it only sits on you when you are sitting in a certain place then it might be doing it because it thinks that the spot belongs to it. In this case, it would be important to train it to sit somewhere else when you are there so that it continues to see you as the leader.

Why does my dog sit on me when I’m laying down?

If your dog sits on you when you are sitting down, the cause could be that your dog wants attention from you, sitting on you makes your dog feel safer, or that your dog is waiting to get something from you.

Why does my dog sit on me when I’m in bed?

If your dog sits on you when you are in bed, the cause could be that your dog is hoping to get something from you such as attention, it is waiting for you to get up and give it something, it naturally wants to be around you, or that something is causing it to be scared.

Why does my dog sit on me when scared?

If your dog sits on you when it is scared, it is likely that touching you makes your dog feel safer. In this case, it would help to limit reasons why it might be scared and to reward it when it does not get scared.

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Why Dogs Sit on People

When trying to understand the underlying motivations for this behavior, it’s important to remember that dogs are social animals who have evolved to form close, affectionate relationships with members of their family group. In addition to other familiar behaviors like licking, wagging their tails and soliciting petting or ear scratches from their humans, sharing physical contact while resting is a common way of expressing affection and solidifying social bonds.

As an added bonus, some dogs may learn that sitting on you makes it difficult for you to get up and move—meaning more pets for them! This doesn’t always work, of course, since most of us have to leave the house from time to time in spite of having a warm, furry companion settled comfortably on our laps. But you can’t blame your dog for trying to convince you to stay.

Contrary to what you may have heard, this behavior is not a ploy to gain status in the household or assert dominance over you. Most dogs have no interest in trying to be “alpha” over their humans, and are simply doing natural things that make sense to them.

Finally, especially for young dogs who like to play, sitting on their humans can be a way of asking for more active types of attention. Friendly dogs may whirl around and bump each other with their backsides to solicit a game of chase or a wrestling match, and will sometimes even sit on each other during short breaks in play.

So if your dog likes to sit on you, don’t worry—this is perfectly normal behavior. Take it as a compliment that your dog enjoys your company, and show him that you love him, too.

 

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