All dog owners know that their pooch is capable of some really funny and sometimes inexplicable behaviors. Their way of communicating with us is very physical and what they do is often just a way to let us know how much they care about us. A classical example is what happens whenever we need to go out and leave them at home. As soon as we get back, we can be sure to find them next to the door wagging their tail, jumping around, and barking because they are so happy to see us. Sometimes though, your dog’s behavior will not be as clear as this and it could have different meanings to the ones you expect.
Why does my dog sit on me?, is a question that doesn’t have a simple and straightforward answer, because this behavior could mean quite a few different things. It is important to remember that most of the things dogs do when they are with us have to do with pack behavior. The way they interact with other members of their group is of great importance to the well being of a dog. Knowing the basic elements of pack behavior is very useful if you are living with a dog. It is something every dog owner should try to learn, because it helps understand the needs of a pooch much better and will avoid misunderstandings.
What Does It Mean When Your Dog Sits On You?
If your dog sits on you, one of the possible interpretations is that he is trying to get your attention and wants something from you. He may be asking for some petting and cuddles or he doesn’t understand why you are watching TV or reading a book when you could be playing with him… And he probably has a point! We must always remember that dogs are social animals and they need to build solid relationships with the other pack members (you and your family).
Your dog is trying to communicate with you more often than you think and, since he cannot talk to you, he needs to use his body language to be sure that you get his message. Licking, wagging the tail, jumping are all ways for your dog to establish a solid relationship with you. Sitting on you could be just another way of letting you know his affection for you and how important you are for him.
The breed of your dog could be another factor to keep in mind when trying to understand why your dog is sitting on you. There are some breeds that, in fact, just love to sit on their owner’s lap whenever they have the possibility to do so. Some dog breeds, such as Pugs, Chihuahuas and Pomeranians, have been selected to be lap dogs. If you have one of these breeds, it is absolutely a normal behavior for them to sit on you. Small dogs are not the only ones that like to sit on their owners. One of the dog breeds renowned to have this kind of behavior is the Great Dane. Despite their size, these dogs just love to sit on their owner’s lap and they just not see anything wrong with that. It’s their way to bond with their human friend.
They Want To Spread Their Scent
Another reason why your dog is sitting on your lap could be to spread his scent on you. The glands dogs have on the anus are used to mark the territory and whatever your dog thinks is his. This is a perfect way of communicating not only with you, but also with other dogs you may encounter while you are walking on the street. Having your dog’s scent all over you is a way to let all the other dogs know that you have a dog that is waiting for you at home and no other furry friend is welcome next to you.
Try to notice if your dog sits on you whenever you come back home or if there have been other dogs that came close to you. If you notice this behavior pattern in your dog you can be sure that he is sitting on you to claim his property and that he doesn’t like sharing you with anyone else.
The last reason your dog might be sitting on you could be to assert his dominance. This is quite rare if compared to the other reasons why a dog sits on a person, but it can happen. As members of a pack, it is quite normal for some dogs that have dominant traits to challenge whoever is in charge so that they can become top dog. Especially if there are other dogs living in the same space, sitting on you sends a clear message to everyone in the household. If you think your dog is trying to establish dominance over you, you must always calmly and firmly make him understand that this is not the case.
Whenever he tries to sit on you, you need to make him get off, by saying off and rewarding him when he does what you have told him. Occasional situations in which your dog tries to establish his dominance over you should not be concerning. At the same time it is important not to ignore these behaviors and make your dog correct them. In the unlikely event that your dog not only tries to sit on you, but he has other dominant behaviors, such as barking, growling or biting you will need to see a professional trainer for advice.
Should You Let Dogs Sit On You?
If you enjoy having your pooch express all his affection for you, then absolutely yes, you should let your dog sit on you. Apart from rare dominant behaviors, there is nothing wrong in having your dog sit on you and it is just another way of spending time with your furry friend. Especially if your dog is of a small breed that was selected to be a lap dog, sitting on you is just something he does to express his way of being. Large dogs can have the same tendencies towards their humans, but in this scenario what you have to consider is just how much of their love (and weight) you can take.