Why Does my Dog Sit on Me When I’m Laying Down?

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dogs sitting on girl when she is laying down

Dogsare known for exhibiting some quirky behaviors from time to time. Here’s a scenario that you’re probably familiar with:

After a long day of work, you set up shop on the sofa or bed to relax. The moment you lay down, your dog quickly jumps up and plops itself right on your lap or stomach! Most owners will simply laugh it off or give their dog some cuddles.

But have you ever wondered why your dog does this?

It turns out that there are several reasons why canines participate in this oddball behavior. Here are 8 potential answers to the question, 

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

#1. A Strange Breed Behavior

In many cases, sitting on your lap is simply an instinctive behavior! Some breeds like to pile on each other. In the wild, dogs frequently sleep in packs.

Their backs touch so that the entire group is woken up if something happens. That constant contact is an important survival mechanism.

Your dog could have some of those leftover instincts driving them to stay as close to you as possible!

Great Danes are notorious for trying to sit on people as a form of bonding. The giants will even sit on small children! Other breeds are lap dogs through and through.

Many smaller posh breeds like Shih Tzu, Bichon Frise, and Pomeranians will jump onto their owner’s lap whenever the opportunity  rises.

Also read: Why Do Dogs Sleep on your Feet?

#2. Marking Their Territory with Scent

We all know that dogs like to spread their scent with urine. However, they can also do so by rubbing their bodies all over the place.

If that’s the case, why is your dog suddenly sitting on you? Well, your pooch might feel a bit threatened. Maybe you had another dog over or visited the dog park and got some attention from nearby playmates.

Your canine companion might not like that too much, so they’ll try to spread their scent onto you to let others know that you belong to them!

Usually, dogs will do this by wriggling around on your spot on the sofa or bed. However, they’ll resort to sitting on your if they feel that their scent isn’t spread enough.

To address this behavior, you’ll need to pay a little more attention to your dog. Don’t ignore your dog. Otherwise, Fido might resort to messier tactics to mark their territory.

#3. You’re in the Way

Does your dog have a preferred spot? Maybe it’s on the couch or a specific part of your bed.

If you’re blocking your dog’s path to get to their favorite lounge spot, don’t be surprised if they sit on you. They’ve spent a lot of time infusing that spot with their scent.

They’re not going to give up that easy!

It’s a good idea to adopt some training techniques to put an end to this behavior. Train your dog to sit elsewhere so that you don’t “give in” and weaken your position as a pack leader.

#4. Separation Issues

Separation anxiety is a genuine issue that you can’t ignore. When dogs have problems being alone, they’ll want to spend every waking moment by your side.

Whimpers or cries might also accompany the strange sitting. Most dogs will resort to sitting on you when you usually leave. It’s a way to keep you home.

Of course, you can’t just gloss over separation anxiety. We recommend going to a professional trainer to help your dog get through its problems.

Doing so will help your pup feel more confident even when you’re not around.

#5. Sheer Boredom

If your dog isn’t getting enough exercise throughout the day, you can see this strange behavior as an act of boredom. Please take it as a plea for some much-needed stimulation!

Dogs can’t communicate by traditional means, so they have to resort to odd actions like sitting on your while you lie down. Your dog is trying to tell you something!

Take it on a walk and have a fun play session. Expending your pup’s energy should address the behavior directly.

#6. A Need to Cuddle

Sometimes, your dog wants to cuddle! They can sit on you to initiate a bonding session. There’s a lot to gain from spending time with your dog on a couch or sofa.

As long as it’s not interfering with your schedule or training, embrace the message! It never hurts to lay with your dog and show some love.

#7. A Quest for Dominance

On rare occasions, dogs can sit on you to show their dominance. This doesn’t happen very often, but it’s still a possibility.

Sitting on you while you’re lying down does a couple of things. First, it takes advantage of you in a moment of perceived vulnerability.

From your dog’s point of view, laying down opens you up from an attack. Sitting on you is like your dog is implying it has to protect you.

Secondly, the act puts them in a higher position. As a result, they feel more in control of the situation. In addition to sitting on you, your dog might start to bark or growl at any other pet that approaches.

Clearly, a quest for dominance in your house is not a good thing. Consult with a trainer to see what kinds of techniques you can adopt to establish yourself as the pack leader.

#8. Looking for Attention

If you’ve been ignoring your dog for several hours, don’t be surprised if it sits on you to get some attention! Dogs are always down to have fun.

Your dog’s sitting might be an attempt to initiate play. Usually, the sitting comes with rolling around, strange noises, and tons of slobbery kisses!

As with the need for cuddling, don’t be afraid to indulge your dog a bit! Relish in fun and shower your dog with love


There you have it! As you can see, your dog’s train of thought can be all over the place! Usually, sitting on your body when you lay down isn’t a significant cause for concern. But if it’s causing trouble, consider adopting some new training methods.

 You can teach your dog to find other places to sit. If that doesn’t work, we recommend going to a professional trainer or behavioralist for help.

Also Read: When will your Puppy Start to Calm Down?

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