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Why Your Dog Likes to Sit on You

I am a Dog Mom of puppies Austin(Golden Retriever) and Choco(Pug) and love to share their stories, images, puppy training and behavior tips.

Does your dog jump into your lap whenever you sit down? If so, you are not alone!

Just like people, individual dogs have different personalities and preferences. Some may prefer to have their own space but other furry creatures seems to have a constant craving to sit right on top of their owners. Here are some reasons why your dog may be performing this behavior:

Choco in his mom's lap

Choco in his mom's lap


Your dog may sit on your lap to show other pets or family members that they are in control or in charge. Sitting on you or your feet gives them a leg up and is essentially a passive way for them to assert their dominance on you or other pets. In this case, your dog may view the perch of your lap as a position of power. In extreme cases, your dog may take things a step further and behave aggressively towards anyone who comes near while he is sitting in your lap. This behavior should be discouraged, with professional help if necessary.

Spreading Their Scent

Dogs use scent marking to communicate various messages to other dogs. One of the most common uses of scent is to claim or mark the dog's territory. 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 satisfied, they move to sitting on you.

You may notice this behavior occurs more frequently in the presence of other dogs or children or if you have just returned from somewhere with the scent of other animals on you.

Behavior Of Breed

Certain dog breeds are very affectionate and feel a need to be in your space at all times. It makes perfect sense for smaller dog breeds to want to sit on you. Breeds like Pug, Shih Tzu are called lap dogs for a reason, they fit right in your lap. Sometimes larger breeds like Great Danes and English Mastiffs are known to try to sit in their owner's lap despite their larger size.

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To Show Affection

Have you ever laid down on a bed or settled in on the couch to watch TV and wished your dog was there to snuggle with you? If your dog is a particularly loving and affectionate breed, they may like to sit in your lap to bond with you. Sometimes they just want the simple joy of your presence. For most canines, physical contact is key to keeping them happy and emotionally satisfied.


Your dog likes to know your whereabouts for his own security, as you are his main source of food and love and he will in your lap so he can know anytime you make a move. Some dogs think that it's their job to protect you and feel like you are both safest when you are together.

Playtime And Have Fun

If you are sitting on the floor or the grass outside, your dog may sit or wriggle into your lap as a way to entice you into a game. You will probably find them nuzzling or licking you and whining. Your dog will come sit on you and may bring a toy or showing his belly for attention and playtime.


Sometimes your dog may sit in your lap because he is fearful or anxious. In that case, the dog will try to get as close to his owner as possible. This may occur during a veterinary visit or when he goes to unfamiliar place. Some dogs may exhibit this behavior at home when they hear certain noises such as fireworks, thunder or construction noises. When your dog is scared or uncertain, simply maintaining contact with you may help them feel more confident.

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