When someone we love and trust sits on our lap, it feels good. We are physically close to them and it shows how emotionally close we are.
The same goes for when our dog sits on us. When our relationship with our dog is good, we love letting them sit on us because it allows us to be physically close while showing how emotionally close we also are.
However, we might not always know why the dog is sitting on us. Their intentions might not be always be clear.
At AnimalWised, we not only help you understand why your dog likes sitting on you, but we also provide solutions if there happens to be an issue.
We reveal some of the reasons why this happens, and show you a few ways to solve the problem.
Reasons dogs sit on us
Although they have been domesticated for a long time, we are still learning so much about how dogs think and feel – especially when it comes to how they interact with us humans.
Dogs communicate with us through various means, such as vocalizations (barking, crying) and body language. The latter is particularly important, as it conveys a wealth of information.
Some canine body language is subtle, such as using calming signals to communicate. This is related to how they act in the wild.
A dog’s actions, including their body language, are often misinterpreted by humans. For example, when a dog drops a ball at our feet, they usually want to play fetch.
However, some actions are much more subtle. This is the case when a dog comes to sit on us.
While it might be interpreted as affection, there are several other reasons why dogs might do this behavior. Let’s explore some of the main reasons below.
Our dogs love us. It’s in their genes to be loyal to us. They may be jealous of other dogs, but they just want our attention. We might not spend as much time with them as we’d like, but they are always happy to see us.
1.They love us
Dogs sit on us for many reasons, but one of the main reasons is because they love us. They want to spend time with us and be as physically close as possible, and sitting on us is about as close as they can get.
If we meet a scared dog, they will often back into a corner to get away from us. But as we slowly get to know them and earn their trust, they will start to get closer. They’ll smell our hand and eventually allow us to pet them. Although not all dogs behave this way, for many of them sitting on us is the culmination of earning that trust.
2. It’s in their genes
How different dog breeds came to be depend on various factors, but most were bred for specific reasons. These reasons were both physical and behavioral.
For example, hunting dog breeds were bred to be able to seek prey, retrieve it or perform various tasks related to the hunt. Other dog breeds, like the poodle, were bred for certain physical characteristics their owners found appealing.
Poodles, for example, were originally bred in Germany to be hunting dogs. But over time, they were bred specifically for their curly coat, which was seen as a sign of wealth and sophistication.
While there are certain breeds which have a reputation for being lap dogs, it’s important to remember that all dogs have lap dog potential.
It’s really just a matter of size and personality. For instance, working dogs were historically used by both the upper and lower classes, but it was only the upper class that developed the tradition of keeping lap dogs.
This is likely because they were the only ones who could afford to carry around these small companions and have them spend their time lounging on their owner’s lap.
Dogs have been bred for companionship for centuries, and lap dogs are no exception. These dogs are usually small breeds like the Maltese, Shih Tzu, Bichon Frise, or Pug, but there are many others.
Lap dogs tend to sit on their guardians’ laps more often than other breeds because of their genetics, but it also depends on the individual dog’s preference.
3. They are jealous
Dogs sitting on us is often seen as a sign of affection. However, there are some situations in which this behavior can be unhealthy. These situations are rare, but it’s important to be aware of them.
Dogs are territorial animals, and they usually see us as part of their pack. This can be a positive thing, since dogs make great companion animals.
However, there are times when this behavior can have negative consequences. This happens when the dog is possessive.
Some dogs may exhibit jealous behaviors, such as sitting on their owners, when other dogs or people are present. This may be due to insecurity that the other party will take attention away from them.
By sitting on their owners, they are asserting to others that the person belongs to them. They may also be preventing their owner from getting up and moving away.
Healthy dogs shouldn’t be this possessive. While it is great they are close to their owners, possessiveness is a sign they feel insecure and owners need to prevent this.
Our article on a dog being possessive with toys can help you know how to do this.
4. They want something
Dogs communicate with their humans in a variety of ways, but one common way is through touch. When a dog puts their paw on you, it’s usually a request for something.
For example, if a dog sees you eating food they think looks delicious, they may put their paw on you in hopes of getting a taste. Another common example is when a dog sits on you.
This is usually their way of asking you for something they want, like attention or love. To understand what your dog is trying to communicate, it’s important to look at the context and other signs.
For instance, if it’s around the time you normally take your dog for a walk, they may be trying to tell you that they want to go outside. Or, if their bowl is empty, they may be trying to tell you that they’re hungry.
5. We don’t spend enough time with them
Although dogs can be possessive, their insecurity is sometimes justified. If we’re not around enough, our dog can get separation anxiety.
They start to fear that we won’t come back when we leave them alone. This is common with people who work and leave their dog at home during the day.
When we return, they often sit on us to express that they don’t want to be left alone again.
If you have a dog that tends to get attached to you and follow you around everywhere, you might need to set some boundaries so they don’t become too dependent.
This could involve investing in some toys or games to keep them occupied, or making sure they have plenty of space to move around.
If you’re going to be away from home for extended periods of time, it’s a good idea to have someone check in on them or take them for a walk during the day.