Why does my dog lay on me?
It’s a question many dog owners would love to know.
In short, the reasons why your dog lays on you are to show you affection, get your attention, feel warm, comfort you, feel safe and ease stress and anxiety.
To go into further details, keep reading.
Why does my dog always lay on top of me? – Here are the reasons why
1. Doggie Instincts
First of all, it is the natural instinct of a dog to lay on its owner. Dogs are pack animals and by nature, they want to be close to the ones they love. When a dog lays on his or her owner, it’s a sign of trust and affection. The dog is saying, “I feel safe and loved when I am close to you.” and he knows that physical contact is the best way to get your attention.
Check out this video for example.
2. To comfort you
When you’re feeling down, it can be really comforting to have a dog cuddle up next to you. Dogs are natural comfort animals and they often lay on their owners to provide physical and emotional support. If you’re feeling stressed or upset, the warmth and presence of your dog can help to ease those feelings. In fact, many people find that having a dog around actually lowers their blood pressure and stress levels. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed or need some TLC, let your dog give you a big hug!
3. To feel safe
When a dog is scared, he may look for a way to feel safe and secure. For many dogs, that means curling up next to their owner. By laying on top of their owner, the dog is physically close to the person he trusts the most. This can help to comfort the dog and make him feel safer in a scary or unfamiliar situation.
If your dog is scared, try to stay calm and comforting. Speak softly to your dog and pet him gently. This will help reassure him that everything is okay. If possible, try to get your dog into a safe, enclosed space where he can relax. With time and patience, your dog will learn to trust you more and will be less likely to rely on his instinctive behavior of laying on you when he’s scared.
4. He or she is anxious or stressed
i. Separation Anxiety
If your dog lays on you, it may be a sign that he’s anxious or experiencing separation anxiety. Dogs often lay on their owners as a way of showing they need them. In some cases, dogs will bark, chew, or urinate in inappropriate places when their owners are away as a way of expressing their anxiety. If you think your dog may be experiencing separation anxiety, it’s important to get help from a qualified trainer or behaviorist.
Another reason your dog may be so clingy and prone to lay on you is that he or she is stressed. This is especially common in dogs from rescue homes. This stress can manifest itself in many different ways, including clinginess and excessive licking. He or she will therefore usually seek out physical contact as a way of feeling better.
If you think your dog may be stressed, there are a few things you can do to help him feel better. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise and playtime. Provide him with plenty of toys and puzzle games to keep him busy, and make sure he has a comfortable place to relax when you’re not home. Most importantly, give your dog lots of love and patience.
5. To feel warm
Your dog may lay on you because they are looking for warmth. This is especially true for small dogs who have a difficult time regulating their body temperature. Laying on you provides your dog with the warmth it needs to feel comfortable and relaxed, especially during winter and fall. When this happens, offer your doggie a blanket or try to raise the temperature of the room.
6. He or she thinks you are feeling cold
Your dog isn’t just trying to be a lap warmer when they lay on you. They may be trying to tell you that you’re cold.
Dogs have a keen sense of temperature and can tell when their hooman is chilly. If your pup sees that you’re shivering, they may lay on you to help warm you up.
Of course, your dog may also just enjoy the closeness and warmth of being next to their favorite person. But if they seem to be particularly insistent on cuddling up when it’s chilly out, it’s likely because they want to make sure you’re comfortable too.
7. To show you affection
Dogs are very intuitive creatures and can sense when you’re sad, anxious, or feeling down by hearing and distinguishing small differences in your voice. Laying on you is your dog’s way of showing you he cares.
8. They missed you
If you’ve been away from your dog for a while, they may be thrilled to see you come home. One of the ways they may show their excitement is by laying on top of you! This is a way of showing you that they missed you and are overjoyed to have you back.
9. They are trying to protect you
When your dog lays on top of you, it’s their way of showing that they care and want to protect you. Dogs have a natural instinct to protect their pack (aka their family) and will do whatever they can to keep you safe. So when your pup is cuddling up next to you, they might just be trying to give you some extra love and protection.
3 other reasons why your dog may lay on you.
- He or she is bored.
- He or she has done something wrong.
- He or she just thinks that you love it!
When you should NOT allow your dog to lay on you.
I know! I know!
You love your lil’ doggie way too much to tell him no.
But there are times when it is not a good idea for your doggie to lay on top of you. Here are some of those times;
- When your dog is suffering from separation anxiety. Allowing him to lay on you will just prolong the problem.
- When your dog is doing it as a way to assert dominance over you. He or she usually displays aggression towards you at that moment.
Such behavior traits in dogs usually call for a professional. Probably a dog behavior specialist or a vet.
How to train your dog not to lay on you
As much as we love our doggie buddies so so, some owners would not prefer their dogs to lay on them.
This is perfectly understandable.
Most dog owners have experienced their beloved pet curling up on their lap, only to be covered in fur a few minutes later. Your dog could also be large and heavy.
Here are a few tips to help train your dog not to lay on you:
- Be consistent in your commands – every time your dog tries to lay on you, tell them “no” in a calm but firm voice. Over time, they will learn that this behavior is not allowed.
- Reward good behavior – whenever your dog obeys your command and doesn’t try to lay on you, praise them and give them a treat. This will reinforce the desired behavior.
- Be patient – training your dog not to lay on you can take time. Be consistent with your commands and don’t give up.
Why does my dog lay on me – The summary
In summary, there are various reasons why your dog lays on you. The key is to observe and identify that specific reason and address it if need be.
But remember your doggie loves you and most of the time all he or she wants to do, is just show you some love. Be gentle.