Why do dogs lay on you?
Your chest may be one of your dog’s favorite places to lay when it comes to you. This may have to do with the fact that feeling you breathe makes your dog feel close to you.
When your dog snuggles up with you, they are acknowledging that you are indeed a member of the pack. Cuddling is a sign of closeness, affection, and connection, and most of all it’s a sign that your dog feels safe to be with you.
Snuggling is a continuation of the bonding process that began when you first brought your dog home. Your dog needs constant affirmation that you are there and present for them.
Your dog will lay on you to show their love, security, and comfort. Because dogs are affectionate animals that consider their owners to be family members and part of their pack so to speak, they tend to mark their territory.
So think of it this way, your dog feels like they are protecting and cherishing their loved one, even though there’s no danger in sight.
Dog Lays on Me: What It Means
Dogs are pretty intelligent beings. They know how to get what they want from their owners. Dog laying on you could mean the following:
- Your dog wants your attention
- He/She feels sad
- He/She is bored
- He/She is scared
- Your dog feels like protecting you
- Small puppies do this when they miss you and any siblings they may have
- Separation anxiety
- Your dog feels the safe position
- They think you like it
It is a little tricky to figure out exactly what your dog is trying to say, as their intentions could also be sneaky. Aha, sometimes our sweet little mischievous companions could be trying to hide something they did wrong, and they don’t want you to see!
Perhaps they’re just waiting on you to do something, and they’re giving you time to figure out what that is. That could be a back scratch, a belly rub, a treat, going outside, or just a little playtime.
Here are a few other reasons:
- They feel comfortable sitting atop your chest
- They want to get warm
- Your dog is trying to tell you that he/she is sick or not feeling well
- They just want to show you love and affection
Now that we’ve discussed all the reasons why your dog loves to lay on top of you, let’s discuss what you can do about your dog laying on top of you if you rather that they didn’t.
Ask the following question: What was happening right before your dog began laying on top of you?
It’s important to note the difference between a dog that has been laying on you since they were a small puppy and a dog who developed the behavior later in their lives in maturity. Dog’s that have had the behavior since a pup will have a harder time breaking the habit.
Dogs respond much better to positive reinforcement. In other words, yelling and swatting are not exactly the way you want to act towards your dog to get the best results. Instead, you should reward them for good behavior.
Start out trying to get your dog to sleep in its bed. Try to make them comfortable and give them attention when your dog manages to stay in their bed and reward them with treats.
The trick is not to hyper-focus on “why your dog sleeps or lays on you”, and focus more on getting your dog to believe that sleeping in their spot is the best way to get access to your love and attention.
Moreover, remember that your dog is not trying to be rude or aggressive when they lay on you. Most likely they are seeking affection or acknowledging you as part of the family.
If you change the way you look at the behavior it may help you when you go to change your dog’s behavior for the better.