Why does my dog always lay on me is a common question I get. Some people do not mind that their dog is always laying on top of them. But others prefer not to have a dog close to them.
Why Having Your Dog Lay On You Is Good?
- Lowers Your Blood Pressure
- Lowers Your Stress Hormones
- Reduces Depression
- Promotes Brain Waves
- Eases Insomnia
- Decreases Loneliness
- Improves Sleep Quality
- Strengthens Bond Which Makes Training Easier
- Promotes A Healthy Heart
- Reduces Allergies Later In Life
- Increases Sense Of Security
- Keeps You Warm
Why Having Your Dog Lay On You Is Bad?
- The Dog Shows Resource Aggression
- Dirty Dog
- Ruin Furniture
- They Lick Too Much
- Hip Issues
- Back Issues
15 Lap Dog Breeds
- Labrador Retriever
- Border Collie
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Jack Russel Terrier
- German Shepherd
- Australian Shepherd
- Bichon Frise
- German Shorthaired Pointer
- Toy Poodle
27 Reasons Why Dogs Lay On You
Dogs love to lay down on us for comfort and safety. They will lay on you in bed, on the couch, or even in the car. Comfort and safety put them in a state of relaxation, which releases hormones to the brain.
It is common for dogs to feel anxious or fearful if they have gone through a traumatic event or are new. In this case, a dog feeling anxious might seek comfort from you. Dogs will do so by laying on top of you and releasing calming hormones, making them feel safe. Examples of when they might feel anxious or scared include:
- Loud Music
- Car Alarms
- Blender Or Grinder
- New Place
A dog who isn’t getting enough exercise and playtime might also lay on its pet parent. Lack of exercise and play can cause a dog to be very antsy, and they might not know how to release this energy. This cause is usually the case when a dog gets up and down a lot.
If a dog has spent time alone and the pet parent is now coming home, the dog might lay on them to greet them and be social.
Dogs who love their pet parents will show affection by lying to them. The only way they know how to show affection is by being close and touching you with their body
Your dog might lay on top of you because they want to pay respect to you. Some dogs will show this sign by laying their head down while facing their owner, usually with the tail up high.
If your dog can smell you are sick, he might lay on top of you because he thinks it will make you feel better. Some illnesses can include Cancer, Diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease, and Epilepsy.
If you feel anxious or stressed, your dog might sense it and want to lay on top of you. Dogs might do this because they can sense that laying on top of you lowers your blood pressure.
When in pain, pain neurons flood your brain. For example, touch sends neurons to the brain. These neurons dilute pain signals which calm us down. For example, you hold your ankle when you twist it to reduce the pain. Scientists have termed this gate control theory.
Touch activates the parasympathetic nervous system, responsible for rest and digestion. As a result, it reduces blood pressure, heart rate, and stress levels.
Petting feels good to dogs. It releases feel-good hormones.
Touch improves the immune response because it promotes the circulation of body fluids. This includes blood and joint fluid and lymph. Lymph carries nutrients and removes toxins from the system.
The three types of rewards include Praise, Food, and Play. If you do any of these three, you are reinforcing the behavior. Dogs are programmed to seek out rewards. Thus, they will do more of a behavior that results in a reward. This biological instinct is what we hack into when we do positive training.
Your dog might lay on top of you if they feel like you need to be protected. Protection instinct is most common among dogs bred for it, such as German Shepherds.
Dogs see you as a resource. You provide them food, water, safety, and play. If more than one animal is in the house, they may lay on you to claim you as a resource. Most people call this jealousy.
Dogs are pack animals, and they need attention to thrive. They want your attention and affection to feel secure.
Your dog might feel a great deal of separation anxiety when you aren’t around. Dogs will do whatever they can to get your attention when you are out of sight. They might fear you leaving and therefore lay on top of you to keep a watchful eye on your whereabouts.
If your dog needs something, it might lay on top of you because it annoys you. When dogs lay on top of us, we become more aware of their needs. Many times, we ask them what they want. “Are you hungry, water, potty’? They usually turn their head, and we give them what they want. If laying on top of you has worked in the past, they will continue to do it. Sitting on you is a way for them to communicate their needs.
Dogs have a harder time regulating their body temperature than we do. They have thick coats and small noses, which means they aren’t good at cooling down. This behavior is especially true when it’s hot or warming up when it is cold. Laying on top of you helps them regulate their body temperature.
If you are cold, your pup might lay on top of you. This action is a natural behavior that dogs do with each other. They are treating you like a pack member.
Dogs are social creatures that rely on each other. So, they may feel the need to bond with you when they lay on your lap.
Tangled hair is painful. Suppose it’s been a while since you last brushed your dog. Your dog may lay on you so you can untangle their hair.
Does your dog have a bed? Is it soft, lifted off the ground, in a dark place? If not, your dog may be trying to create a comfy place to relax.
Dogs are kings of routine. So, if you watch T.V at 7 pm and lie next to you every day, this has become part of their routine. Many dogs will whine at their owner at specific times because it is “cuddle time.”
Humans bred certain dogs to be lap dogs. If this is the case, you should not be surprised if they want to lay on your lap all the time.
Dogs have a keen sense of smell, part of their communication. So, when they lay on you, it leaves a scent behind. Dogs lay scent on things for two reasons. One is to remind them that the place is safe. The second is to assert pack ownership. Ownership does not mean that they ‘own you’ but let other dogs know you are together.
According to Animal Planet experts, dogs respond to pregnancy hormones. So, your dog may have known about your pregnancy before you did!
Dogs lay on top of each other because of instinct. Laying on top of each is a way of communicating affection, companionship, and security.
3 Things That Are Not Reasons
How To Determine Which Reason It Is
What's Your Mood?
What Happened Right Before?
Time Of Day?
What Are You Doing That Encourages It?
How Do They Take Rejection?
How To Get A Dog To Lay On Your Spouse Or Kids
Dogs attach to caregivers. If you want your dog to spend more time with someone, have that person become their primary caregiver. Caregiver activities include doing the following daily.
- Feeding Them
- Training Them
- Walking Them
- Playing With Them
Teach A Dog To Lay On You Without Smothering You
Give Communication Signals To The Dog
Dogs have ways to communicate with each other that they are uncomfortable. For example, do the following behaviors to indicate to your dog that you do not want them to lick or smother you.
- Excessive Blinking
- Turning Head Away
- Lip Licking
- Lean Away
Reward Good Positions
If your dog tries to sit on you and give those calming signals, they will most likely sit down beside you. If this is the case, begin petting them. Petting will reinforce this is the correct position.
15 Most Affectionate Breeds
- Labrador Retriever
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Golden Retriever
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- Old English Sheepdog
- Irish Wolfhounds
- English Bulldog
- Great Dane
- Bichon Frise
- American Eskimo Dog
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Irish Settler
4 Ways To Keep Your Dog From Laying On You
To keep a dog from laying on you, you need to give them an alternative behavior. This behavior could be: ‘Kennel Up,’ ‘Go To Spot,’ or ‘Off.’ But, if your dog is laying on you to demand something like food, water, or play. You need to withhold the reward until they are no longer laying on you.
To teach crate training, we use the lure technique. Throw a treat, and then the dog goes to the spot.
- You need to start feeding your dog in the crate with the door open to teach crate training. Place the food in the back of the crate and walk away. Grab the bowl later in the day and refill it. You do not need to wait now to retrieve the bowl.
- There will be a point when your dog runs to his crate at food time. Once this happens, start shutting the door but not locking it. Keep doing this while you move on to the next stage. Never stop feeding your dog in the crate until they thoroughly learn the exercise.
- Have a special jar with cookies that are for crate training only. Throughout the day, grab a cookie from that jar. Start throwing a treat in the back of the crate. Say ” Kennel Up,” and walk away. The goal is for them to go in and out without worrying that you will lock the door.
- Do not shut the door.
- Your dog should start running into the crate every time you get a treat from that jar. If this is the case, wait until your dog gets in the crate and reward. You can stop throwing the treat in at this point. You moved on too quickly if your dog is not going in without throwing the cookie.
- Repeat this for about a month.
- Shut the door and lock it. Give the cookie after you shut the door.
To teach ‘Go To Spot,’ we use shaping. Wait until the dog goes to the spot, then you throw the treat. Shaping is the opposite of luring. To learn how to use shaping to teach a behavior, go here. In this lesson, you will be throwing the treat on the bed. Never reward from hand.
The shaping behavior steps for teaching ‘Go To Spot’ are
- Sniff the bed
- Motion towards the bed
- Put one paw on the bed.
- Put two paws on the bed.
- Put three paws on the bed.
- Put four paws on the bed.
- Four paws, then sit.
- Four paws, then down.
- Name The Behavior “Go To Spot”
- Move bed 1 inch away.
- Say go “Go To Spot.”
- Move bed 2 inches away, then 3, 4,5, and so on.
- Once the bed is too far to throw a treat on, you need to get up, walk to the bed, and throw a treat. If the dog gets off, restart the activity.
When your dog lays on you, stop petting them, playing with them, or feeding them. Ignore your dog. If your dog is trying to communicate that they want to be fed, or given water, wait until they get off you. Then you can take care of your dog’s needs. Do not forget. Otherwise, this is cruel. Telling you is one thing; demanding is another.
To teach off, we use shaping and then luring. First, we shape the on behavior, lure the off behavior, and then shape the off behavior. To learn more about the shaping technique, visit here.
The steps are
- To sniff an object
- To put a paw on the object.
- To put two paws on an object.
- Name the behavior “Two paws.”
- Ask for two paws, do not reward with food. Say “Good”
- Throw a treat and say off.
- Once the dog is jumping off right away, change to shaping.
- Say off, then throw a treat
- Pick a new object
- Say two paws, wait, reward.
- Say off, wait, reward.
11 Worst Breeds With Separation Anxiety
- Bichon Frise
- Tibetan Spaniel
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Japanese Chin
- Brussels griffon
- Chinese Crested
- Shih Tzu
- French Bulldog
Dog Sleeping Position
This position leaves the vital organs exposed. Therefore, dogs that sleep like this are comfortable in their environment. In addition, this position allows their limbs to move while they sleep. So that you may observe more twitching and leg kicks from a dog resting on its side.
This position protects all the vital organs. It also restricts movement so that you will see less twitching. This position conserves heat. Sleeping in this position is more common in the winter months.
Dogs do this to protect your neck from danger. Female dogs do this because the female covers the male during the conflict.
Sleeping underneath blankets is an instinct for certain dogs like the dachshund. They are seeking comfort and security. Therefore, you should provide them with a den-like crate.
The dog sploot is also known as the superman position. Usually, a dog who is in this position is those who are overheated. They will sleep like this on tile floors to cool down. This position differs from the belly-up position because it allows the dog to get up quickly. Usually, active and unsure dogs will lay in this position during the summer months.
Dogs who sleep in this position are usually hot and inactive. Your dog is exposing their stomach, which allows them to cool down. However, it does not leave much room for romping and playing, unlike the dog sploot position.
Back-to-back is a common position for a dog who wants to snuggle you. It is a gentle touch that provides all the benefits listed above.
The sphynx position is the most alert and least comfortable position for a dog. Most dogs do not sleep in this position but are awake. They usually sit in a corner facing the outside and can launch in any direction at a moment’s notice.
Your dog places his head or snoot on a surface. This position could mean that your dog has breathing issues or their neck hurts. It could also mean they want to be closer to you. My dog does this in the car when I am in the driver’s seat.
Dogs will act out the day they had. For example, if you take your dog to the dog park, they will run, bark, and twitch in their sleep. You should expect these behaviors after a long and enriching day.
A dog will snore if they have limited breathing. This behavior is expected with the smushed nose dogs known as brachycephalic breeds.
Some dogs’ eyes will roll back and only show the white. Rolling their eyes back is normal, and you should not be alarmed. It is unlikely they are having a seizure. If you are still unsure, you can tap them to wake them up.
How Often Do Dogs Sleep?
Puppies, on average, sleep 18-19 hours a day. The average adult dog sleeps 12-14 hours a day.