If you’re a dog owner, you’ll know that ‘personal space’ isn’t a concept for a lot of dogs. Whether it’s following you around, jumping on your bed in the morning, or simply just laying on top of you, it’s no secret that a lot of dogs like to spend their time with their owners.
But if your dog likes to sit or lay on top of you, you might be wondering why?
Luckily, we’ve got all the answers you need right here! In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the most common reasons why your dog might be sitting on you, as well as if this is something you need to be concerned about.
So let’s jump right into it!
Why Does Your Dog Sit On You? Six Reasons Why
There are several reasons why your dog might be sitting on you. Don’t worry – most of these reasons are nothing to be worried about, and in fact are normal dog behaviors. Here, we’ll break down the top reasons why dogs like to sit on their owners.
1) To Cuddle
One of the most common reasons why dogs like to sit on their owners is because they enjoy the love and attention it provides them. Dogs like physical contact and presence, and sitting on top of you to cuddle is a great way for them to stay happy and content.
Younger dogs are more likely to want to cuddle up, but a lot of older dogs also enjoy spending time cuddling up with their owners.
2) For Protection and Security
Many dogs like to keep track of their owner’s movements and some dogs want to know where you are all the time. This is because they rely on you for protection and security; this can also go the other direction, where your dog feels responsible for keeping you safe.
Sitting on top of you means that your dog can keep track of you and can feel like they’re being protected and are protecting you in turn.
This is especially important if your dog has anxiety or abandonment issues. Being able to cuddle up with you will help your dog feel safe and protected, and make sure that they know where you are at all times.
3) To Spread Their Scent
Dogs, like many other animals, use scent to mark their territory. Don’t worry – this doesn’t mean that your dog is going to pee on you! Simply sitting on you is enough to spread their scent on you. Sitting on you is your dog’s way of saying “this is my human!”.
This is why your dog might be more cuddly if you have new visitors, if you’re visiting a new place together, or if you’ve been away from home for a while; by lying on top of you, they can spread their scent and let everyone know who’s owner you are.
4) Breed Behaviors
Many species of dogs are just naturally more likely to sit on their owners. Lap dogs like chihuahuas, terriers, and Pomeranians like to spend time in their owner’s laps as this is where they feel comfortable.
This also helps them feel safer as they fit right in your lap, and gives them extra height which gives them even more security and comfort.
Lapdogs aren’t always small, however, and a lot of large dog breeds also like to spend their time sitting in their owner’s lap. Mastiffs and Great Danes are also renowned for being cuddly despite their large size, and if you own a big dog you may find yourself being squashed on the regular!
5) To Get Attention
Sometimes, your dog just wants some more attention. If they feel like they aren’t getting enough, your dog might jump up onto your lap and sit down to force you into giving them fuss and attention. Dogs can be clingy animals, and most dogs want you to give them love and care a lot of the time.
Dogs are social, and rely on you to give them the attention they need. So if your dog is trying to sit on you, try giving them pets or play so they don’t feel left out!
6) To Show Dominance
Sometimes, your dog might sit on your lap for the wrong reasons. If your dog is acting aggressively when they’re on your lap, either towards you or to other people and animals that approach, this is their way of showing dominance.
This is bad behavior and can lead to your dog acting more aggressively. If your dog starts acting overly possessive when they’re on your lap (eg. by growling, or snapping at passersby), then you’ll have to take action to stop them from sitting on your lap to show dominance.
Put your dog off your lap, or put them in time out if need be. Your dog shouldn’t be acting aggressively towards anyone, so nipping this bad behavior in the bud as soon as they start showing it will keep them from getting out of hand.
So there you have it – there are many reasons why dogs like to sit on their owners, but most of these are nothing to worry about. Most of the time, your dog will sit on you because they want the comfort and security your lap provides, as well to get fuss and attention.
It’s only an issue if your dog starts to act aggressively towards you or other people; in these cases, you’ll have to put your dog in time out to nip this behavior in the bud.
Otherwise, you should simply enjoy spending time with your dog and give them the love and attention they deserve!