Why Does My Dog Sit On Me?

Dogs sitting on humans is common, but what are the reasons behind it?

Have you ever wondered why your dog prefers to treat you like a favorite chair and asked yourself, “why does my dog sit on me?”.

Your dog still selects to sit on you out of every possible resting location in every room of your home.

In this article, we will explore the different reasons why dogs sit on their human companions and share tips on how to stop it from happening.

Stay tuned!

The Reasons Why Dogs Sit On Your Lap

brown dog holding paw in human hand

Dogs Sit On Humans To Show Dominance

According to dog behavior experts, the behavior has been long associated with behaviors of dominance.

Specifically, when a dog jumps into an owner’s lap or climbs up on them, they are expressing its authority over the owner and ultimately attempts to show that they are in control.

There have been attempts to combat dog sitting to stop the dominance display and improve the dog-owner relationship, but it generally persists today.

The importance of understanding dog body language is critical here, as instances like this indicate that dogs communicate differently from humans through various subtle movements and displays.

Dogs Sit On Humans To Show Trust And Affection

When dog owners witness the unique behavior that their dog sits on them, it is often interpreted as a powerful display of trust and affection.

This dog-sitting phenomenon is typically observed when a dog feels comfortable and secure.

When sitting on its human, many dog owners feel deeply connected with their pet in a way that no other communication can express.

Additionally, this behavior is most commonly seen in smaller dog breeds, as they need to be physically close to their owner for security and comfort.

While it may not be exceptionally comfortable or convenient for the person being seated, it is an endearing moment between dog and master that should be appreciated and cherished.

They Do It Because They’re Comfortable Doing So

brown dog cuddling with woman in white hoodie

Dogs sitting on their human companions is a gesture of trust and comfort, given that dog sitting is typically associated with moments of relaxation.

Dogs have vital emotional intelligence and physical comfortability, so when they hop onto the couch or settle into a lap, they usually feel safe with their human and want physical contact.

Human-animal bond research has shown us time and time again how dogs are constantly seeking contact and closeness with us to reduce stress and provide them with a feeling of security.

The next time you see your dog seeking lap space, don’t be surprised — it just means they trust you and are comfortable in your presence, they want to get in physical contact.

That Way They Spread Their Scent

Dogs have a fantastic sense of smell, they can even smell sickness in humans.

One such way is the behavior we’re talking about, a behavior known as scenting – the dog’s way of spreading its scent onto another dog or person.

Studies suggest that dogs may be attempting to share information about themselves with their owner and other dogs in their environment when dog-sitting.

This behavior can help dogs to bond with humans, identify their territory and even maintain relationships between multiple dogs in the same social group.

Even more intriguing is that this scenting process helps dog owners form emotional and behavioral connections with their canine friends.

Because They Have Separation Anxiety

white dog cuddling with little girl

Separation anxiety is a fairly frequent cause of your dog sitting on you.

Dogs who have this issue desire to remain by your side constantly.

They will whine, whimper, and occasionally engage in destructive behavior to catch your attention when you leave the house without them.

They will also encircle you from all sides to prevent you from fleeing.

If your dog exhibits other symptoms of anxiousness, such as excessive panting or drooling, you can determine if this is the cause.

You cannot disregard this circumstance.

To assist your dog in overcoming these feelings of anxiety, you’ll probably need to work with a dog trainer.

When you’re not around, he needs to learn how to be by himself, and dog training can help him achieve that.

Dogs Sit On Humans When It’s Playtime!

Dogs have an undeniable ability to understand human emotions and behavior.

A dog sitting on its owner during Playtime is a perfect example of this acknowledgment and affection.

The act of a dog sitting on humans is almost like an offering to draw attention and get the opportunity to receive some love and cuddles – something that most dogs eagerly look forward to connecting with both body language, facial expressions, and adoration towards humans.

This dog-owner interaction also creates a feeling of security for the dog, as it marks its territory in the form of snuggling with its beloved caretaker. 

How To Stop Your Dog From Sitting On You

black brown dog getting touched by human hand

Trying to stop your dog from sitting on you can be difficult.

It requires consistency and patience to achieve the result you want.

Understandably, they want to be close and get some love, but if it is becoming bothersome, there are things that you can do.

Don’t give in when your dog jumps onto the couch or climbs on your lap.

Instead, use a simple command such as “off,” “down,” or “no” while gently pushing them off of you without scolding or punishing them, so they understand they are not allowed to be on top of you.

Additionally, redirect their attention by providing alternatives like dog toys and encourage these activities with positive reinforcement instead of punishing them for jumping up on you.

With some patience and understanding, this dog-sitting habit can be curbed over time.

Start working with a professional dog trainer if you can’t make your dog stop by yourself.

What To Do If Your Dog Sits On You Too Much

If you find that your dog is sitting too much on you and others, it is essential to address this behavioral issue in a compassionate yet firm manner.

While allowing the dog to sit on you as it expresses its affection may be tempting, this behavior can suggest an imbalance of power in the dog’s mind – implying that it is closer to dominating than respecting you.

By taking control of this dog-sitting situation, you can foster positive relationships with both yourself and your dog.

You can start by practicing the “wait” or “off” command when your dog tries to sit on top of you.

Additionally, reward your dog with a treat or verbal encouragement when it does not try to sit.

By reinforcing these boundaries and rewarding good behaviors quickly, you will help ensure that your pup knows who’s in charge!

What If Your Dog Doesn’t Sit On You? 

Sitting lovingly with your dog on your lap is one of life’s greatest joys.

Unfortunately, many pet parents find that their dog does not sit on them for very long or at all.

Rather than becoming discouraged, dog owners should explore different methods and techniques to teach their dogs how to perform the desired dog-sitting behavior.

With patience and a healthy dose of treats, most dogs can be trained to get comfortable sitting with their owners quickly.

Owners should stay positive during the training process while avoiding punishing their dogs if they don’t immediately sit.

Ultimately, following the proper steps will lead dog owners and their pets to enjoy this special moment together in no time!

Why Does My Dog Sit On Me With His Back To Me?

woman in yellow clothes hugs a brown dog

Although it’s not completely clear why dogs sometimes sit on their human companions with their backs to them, there are various theories as to why this behavior occurs.

One approach is that the dog displays dominance over the person they are sitting on, marking its territory.

Another idea is the dog is seeking comfort and security.

By having their owner between them and a perceived source of danger, they feel motivated to protect themselves and their trusted companion.

As a pet parent, we can observe our canine friends for signs of why they may be sitting in this position and make adjustments to ensure everyone’s safety and comfort.

Dogs sitting on their human companions is a gesture of trust and comfort, given that this dog’s behavior is typically associated with moments of relaxation.

Dogs have vital emotional intelligence and physical comfortability, so when they hop onto the couch or settle into a lap, they usually feel safe with their human.

The next time you see your dog seeking lap space, don’t be surprised — it just means they trust you and are comfortable in your presence!

Before You Go…

Now you know the answer to the question, “Why does my dog sit on me?”.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Or watch this video:

Mena Emad, DVM
Mena has a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. His expertise, passion for animal welfare, extensive knowledge, and experience in the field of veterinary medicine make him an excellent resource for our readers.