You may have asked yourself the question, why do dogs sit on you? Dogs use body language, signs, and behavior to communicate with their owners. Sitting on your lap or chest is no different. The action can mean different things. There are also myths about why your dog sits on your lap, such as trying to show dominance. In our community blog, you will get a good understanding of what your pet is trying to tell you when she lays in your lap and wags her tail.
Why Do Dogs Sit on You?
Your pet could be sitting on you for a few different reasons. It’s normal to question what it means. Our dogs have become members of our family, and we want to take care of them the best way possible. You can start by first understanding their unspoken language. Some reasons that your dog sits on you are:
- To get attention
You might have heard from your well-meaning (yes, I mean know it all) friends that your dog is sitting on your lap to exert his dominance. They might tell you that you should stop letting this happen before your dog becomes aggressive. As long as your dog isn’t showing any other signs of aggression like growling, snarling, or snapping, it’s unlikely that sitting on you will make him mean.
Dog Sitting on Your Lap is Like Sitting On a Throne
However, he could be showing his dominance to other dogs. Perching on your lap could be your pooch’s way of claiming that he’s the top dog. You might notice him doing this if you have other pets. Or if he’s an only fur-child, he might act this way if a strange dog has come into your home. He’s exerting himself as the one in charge of other dogs.
But he isn’t trying to dominate you. Many people say that if your dog is sitting on you, he’s testing the waters to see if he can become the boss. However, this fact has not been successfully proven. Dogs enjoy being part of a pack, and they look at you as their leader. But he’s not interested in being in the top spot. You fulfill the role of alpha by taking him for walks and giving him food and water. And he expresses his respect for your authority by sitting on your lap.
Dog Sitting on You is Also a Sign of Protection
Dogs are loyal to their parents, and they express this emotion by being protective. We all know how worked up our dogs can get when they hear a loud noise outside in the middle of the night. They’re warning us of any danger, but they’re also trying to warn the threat away. Once a dog claims you as theirs, they want to make sure you’re safe.
They also protect you by marking you with their scent. You may notice your dog rolling around in your lap or digging at your legs with their paws. They’re spreading their smell so that other dogs know not to hurt you. And by sitting in your lap, your pup is still close enough to stop any threats away that may come your way.
Dogs Sitting on You to Get Attention
Most of our pets aren’t shy when it comes to demanding attention. When they want a belly rub, your lap is their favorite spot to be. My Yorkie likes to use my lap as her personal playground slash massage parlor. She alternates between rolling around on my legs, so I’ll chase her and flopping down with her feet in the air, so I’ll rub her belly.
If your dog likes to sit in your lap after you get home from work, but she wants to play too, it’s because she’s missed you. Give her a few extra minutes of affection each day. For small breeds who get separation anxiety, this extra attention is important. Dogs can feel depressed or have anxiety, just like humans.
Dogs Setting on You It’s Part of Your Pet’s DNA
Some dog breeds were designed with characteristics like size and a preference for cuddlings. Such as the Shih Tzu or Maltese. And other dogs like to attempt to be lap dogs, even when they’re bigger than you. If you’ve ever owned a Great Dane or a Pit Bull – both of these breeds are great with kids – you know what I mean.
Hundreds of years ago, breeders began to alter the DNA of dogs so that they could customize qualities that we now see in our domesticated furbabies. If your large dog tends to squish your smaller children, you can use training to stop the behavior. It may be ingrained in their genes, but it is a trait that you can control if it becomes problematic.
They Sit on You For Comfort
After being left alone for hours, your furbaby might find it soothing to curl up on your chest for a power nap. Think of your heartbeat as your pup’s white noise machine. He needs this connection to reassure himself that you’re home and safe. When you’re around, he’s content because everything is right in his world.
In the wild, dogs sleep in packs. Not only are they sharing their warmth, but they’re keeping each other safe from predators. Although your pet is domesticated and not in any danger, he might still find it soothing to recreate a nesting atmosphere.
Your Dog Loves You
As you’ve seen, there are plenty of reasons why your dog might sit on you. But in the end, they all have one similarity. It’s a show of love. Your dog respects you, and he wants you to know it. It may be with a lick, a wag of his tail, or even smooshing you under his enormous weight. But would you want it any other way? Your pet won’t always be in your life, so enjoy the time you get with them.
Kassidy Shepperd is the editor in chief for Canine-Prime.com. She is is a dog lover/trainer, a freelance writer and a volunteer at many pet rescue and shelter centers. Kassidy is based in Colorado and regularly writes for dog related magazines and blogs.