Why Is My Dog Sitting on Me? Five Possible Reasons

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Ever ask yourself, "Why is this dog sitting on me when there is a comfy spot right next to me?" Is it just funny or could there be some real motivation behind your dog sitting or lying on you? The truth is, some dogs just lay on you for fun, while others have a driving force leading this behavior. Here are five reasons why your dog may sit on you rather than next to you, and tips for when to encourage, and when to discourage, a dog from sitting on your lap.

Spreading Their Scent

Some dogs will sit in "your spot" on the sofa or even roll around all over your sofa as a way to spread their scent and show that you belong to them. When they don't feel that is enough, they move to sitting on you. Most dog parents don't think much of this behavior at first, but it's important to notice if this behavior is happening in a pattern. If your dog is doing it after another dog has visited your house, or after he's been outside, dog parents may want to give their pup a little more attention. Some extra attention will help your dog feel confident that he is all yours and may prevent unwanted marking inside the house.

Black great dane sits on boy's lap at the park.Behavior of the Breed

Certain dog breeds are very affectionate and feel a need to be in your space at all times. Great Danes, for example, are considered gentle giants and have been known to favor children. So, it may be perfectly normal for a large dog to try to sit on a tiny lap as a way to bond with and protect his playmate.

Asserting Dominance

When encountering a new dog, you may want to ask yourself if the dog is sitting on me to assert his dominance. If you recently added a new dog to your pack, one of them may sit on you to assert that he's the top dog. By sitting on people, dogs often feel higher and more in control. If you notice your dog barking or growling at other pets while sitting on your lap, it may be a sign that your dog is feeling the need to assert his dominance. If the behavior gets more frequent or aggressive, PetMD suggests it may be time to talk to your veterinarian about ways to deal with the issue. However, for most dogs, it's a once-in-a-while occurrence, so there's no need to be worried.

Brown dog sits on a lady's lap sitting on the floor.They Just Wanna Have Fun

Both female and male dogs sometimes sit on their pet parent just for fun. The sitting might be accompanied with some rolling around in your lap and even playful noises. This may be an opportunity for a little light wrestling and tumbling with your pet, possibly followed by your dog kissing you to death. So, go ahead let him sit on your lap, and have some funny moments together!

Cuddle Time

Sometimes pet parents think to themselves, "I wish there was a dog sitting on me." After a long day at work or a stressful event, many dog parents enjoy the comfort of having a dog in their lap or in their arms. Dogs and humans can spend quality time bonding when they're sharing space on the sofa. So rather than encourage your dog to lay next to you or on the floor, embrace the cuddle and enjoy your time together.

Dogs may sit on you for a variety of reasons, but one thing is for sure: having a dog anywhere near you makes every day better!

Contributor Bio

Chrissie Klinger

Chrissie Klinger


Chrissie Klinger is an educator, writer and mother of two children, three dogs and three cats. Her dog Jake loves sitting on her lap every chance he gets! She enjoys living an active and eco-friendly lifestyle in rural Pennsylvania.


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