Dog Club Life is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more
If you’re anything like me, you love your dog dearly and can’t imagine life without them. But even the best of friends have their quirks, and one of my dogs is sitting on me.
It’s not that I mind- most of the time, it’s actually quite endearing. But I have wondered why she does it, so I did some research and here’s what I found.
They want to show their love
One of the most likely reasons your dog sits on you is because they love you and want to be close to you. Dogs are very affectionate creatures and some show their love by sitting on the people they care about.
They learned it (You may have rewarded your dog for sitting on you)
If your dog has a habit of sitting on you, it’s possible that you inadvertently taught them to do it. Dogs are very good at picking up on our cues, both verbal and nonverbal, and they learn quickly what behaviors we like and will reward.
So, if every time your dog sits on you, you give them attention or a treat, they’re likely to continue doing it because they’ve learned that it gets them what they want.
They want to play with you
Many dogs love to play, and if yours is one of them, sitting on you may be their way of asking you to play with them. If you have a young, high-energy dog, this is especially likely to be the case.
They have separation anxiety
If your dog only sits on you when you’re about to leave the house or have just come home, they may have separation anxiety. This is a real condition that some dogs suffer from, and it can be very distressing for them.
They want to cuddle
Some dogs just want to cuddle, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If your dog likes to snuggle up close to you, they may see sitting on you as the best way to do it.
If your dog is sitting on you and seems restless or bored, they may just need more exercise. A tired dog is a good dog, so make sure you’re giving them enough opportunities to run, play, and burn off energy.
They want to show dominance
It’s also a way of claiming you as their own- after all, you’re their favorite person in the world, so they want to make sure everyone knows it!
They want to mark you as their territory
This is closely related to the previous point, but it’s worth mentioning separately. Dogs have a natural instinct to mark their territory, and sitting on you may be their way of doing that.
They feel safe with you
Dogs are social creatures, and they like to feel safe and secure. If your dog feels comfortable and safe when they’re with you, they may sit on you as a way of grounding themselves.
They don’t want you to get up
This one is pretty self-explanatory! If your dog sits on you, it’s likely because they don’t want you to get up and leave them. This is most likely to happen if you’re trying to get something done that your dog doesn’t want you to do- like leave the house! Sitting on you may be their way of stopping you from going somewhere they don’t want you to go.
They think you’re in the way
It’s possible that you’re sitting on his spot. Dogs are very particular about their sleeping spots, and if you’re in the way of theirs, they may sit on you to try to get you to move.
They want to comfort you
Dogs are very intuitive, and they can pick up on our emotions. If you’re sad or upset, your dog may sit on you as a way of offering comfort.
It’s in their breed’s behavior
Some dogs are just bred to do this- think of the classic image of a sheepdog herding a flock of sheep. Breeds that are known for this behavior are those who are very affectionate and love to be close to their people. My dog Ozzy, an American Bully, and his brothers love asking for cuddles. He tries to sit on me every chance he gets.
How can you train your dog not to sit on you?
If you don’t want your dog to sit on you, the best thing to do is to ignore them when they do it. Don’t give them any attention, positive or negative, and eventually, they’ll get the message that sitting on you isn’t something that gets them what they want.
You can also try using a cue like “off” or “down” to get them to get off of you. But, just like with ignoring them, you’ll need to be consistent with this cue and only give it to them when they’re actually sitting on you. Otherwise, they’ll just get confused.
And, as always, make sure you’re giving your dog plenty of exercise. A tired dog is a good dog, and if they’re too busy running and playing to sit on you, that’s a good thing!
There are a few reasons why your dog may sit on you, but it’s usually because they want to show affection or claim you as their own. If you don’t want your dog to sit on you, the best thing to do is to ignore them when they do it.
You can also try using a cue like “off” or “down” to get them to get off of you, but you’ll need to be consistent with this cue. And, as always, make sure you’re giving your dog plenty of exercise.