Dogs are known for being a man’s best friend. They provide companionship and comfort, all while giving unconditional love. But why does my dog sit on my chest? Is this normal behavior, or is there something wrong with my dog?
If you ever wondered why your dog loves to sit on your chest, there’s always a meaning for your dog’s sitting position.
Here’s The Short Answer to Why Your Dog Sits On Your Chest:
Most likely, your dog yearns for your attention and affection or a good stretch of exercise and playtime. Another possibility is that it’s instinctual for your dog to guard their family during times of danger, so they are making sure you stay alert.
Let’s take a look at each of the most common reasons why your dog might be sitting on your chest.
Why Does My Dog Sit On My Chest?
1. Your Dog Wants Attention
No matter how many dogs times you’ve told your dog to stop, they persist in sitting on your chest.
If this is why your furry friend sits on you, then why not give them what they want? Give them some attention and cuddle time.
Dogs that don’t get enough attention are usually the ones that develop behavioral issues, and therefore, I cannot stress how important it is for you not to neglect this dog owner’s responsibility.
2. Your Dog Wants To Play
Another reason for your dog sitting on your chest is because they want to play with you, especially if your dog’s chest sitting behavior is accompanied by other playful behaviors like wiggling their tail.
In any other circumstance, my German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever would be considered two of the most obedient dogs a person could have. But when they were sitting on my chest as I was trying to get some reading done, it wasn’t easy getting them off. “No,” said Rex, the German Shepherd. “You’re not going to read up here.”
Aside from sitting on their owner’s chest, they also like to climb on my chest or do a play bow to stress their points.
3. Your Dog is Asking You To Do Something
Have you ever seen your dog stand on your chest when they want something (foods, treats, or belly rub)? We dog owners often immediately give our dogs what they’re asking for because we want to make them happy.
When you tend to give your dog what they want whenever the dog stands on your chest, then you have inadvertently encouraged your dog’s behavior.
Some pet owners might find it assuming, but others may find it annoying.
If you want to stop your dog from doing this, then try ignoring your dog’s behavior and see what happens.
4. Your Dog Wants to Show You Affection
A dog lying on other dogs is entirely different than a dog standing on your chest. Dogs are pack animals, and while the former may indicate an act of asserting dominance, the latter may indicate an act of showing affection to their pack leader (i.e., you).
Being on your chest is an intimate behavior for your dog since they can feel the warmth of human body heat. Some may find it comforting to have their leader close by, and others might simply be weighing you down so they can get a good rest.
All of these are a good sign that they love you.
5. Your Dog Misses You
If your dog jumps and sits on your chest as soon as you lie down after being out all day, it could be that they miss you a lot. While it may seem cute to have your dog waiting for you at home, be aware that this behavior can lead to separation anxiety.
This behavior can also happen among dogs who live alone at home without other animals for company. Sometimes the only way these dogs will get attention from their human parents is if they act out in undesirable ways like barking loudly until someone pays them some attention or laying down on top of them every chance they get!
This type of clinginess isn’t healthy for any dog because this may lead to your dog exhibiting aggressive or destructive behavior.
How to Treat Separation Anxiety in Dogs
Treating your dog’s separation anxiety begins by making sure they’re comfortable. For example, you can provide your pooch with chew toys for comfort.
It can also be helpful to hire dog walkers, and schedule walks around busy times in order to alleviate stress when they are alone at home. Another option is to get another dog so that they have company while you’re out of the house.
If these methods don’t work well enough, contact your veterinarian about prescribed medications that may help keep anxious thoughts at bay. Your vet will provide solid recommendations on what medication would best suit your dog’s needs.
6. It’s an Attempt to Establish Dominance
Although relatively rare, it could be that your dog sits on your chest to display dominance, especially if you have male dogs or other dogs in the household. Male dogs are much more likely to display this behavior than female dogs.
Your fido may sit on your chest in an attempt to establish themselves as the alpha, which is typically a spot that’s reserved for the male of the pack. Dogs who patently refuse to listen to their humans, or show a lot of aggression when being told what to do, maybe dominant.
If your dog is showing signs of dominance, then it’s important that you try and correct this behavior before the problem worsens.
Here are some tips for handling a dominant dog:
6 Tips on How to Handle a Dominant Dog
- You need to be calmly assertive
- You need to set rules, boundary, and limitations
- Take them to obedience classes
- Give them a job
- Give them an outlet for his aggression through playing games.
- Teach basic impulse control behaviors such as sit and stay.
7. Your Dog is Being Protective
The reason why your dog sits on your chest could be that they are he/she is being protective, especially if they tend to get overly protective when new people are around.
Dogs are always wary about new people in the house because they want to protect their family members from any harm. As time goes on and they grow accustomed to them being around, this will eventually change. But until then, it’s better if they stay close by for protection purposes only!
At some points, this act of protection can develop into resource guarding. This is when your fido looks at you as the only source of their survival.
Resource Guarding in Dogs
Dogs can become very possessive over certain things that are important to them. This could be anything from food, toys, and even you!
Sometimes your dog will show signs of resource guarding when another person tries to take a toy away from them or if they think someone is trying to steal one of their favorite bones.
If it’s just about food, then they’ll usually growl at the person for coming too close but not much else happens outside of that. But in the case of their owner, your fido can snap or even bite the perceived aggressor.
How to Prevent Your Dog from Sitting on Your Chest
There are a number of things that you can do to try and stop your dog from sitting on your chest.
1. Ignore The Behavior
As mentioned before, dogs tend to repeat behaviors that get them the attention they want.
If you ignore your dog when they sit on your chest and show no reaction at all, then many dogs will eventually give up this behavior.
I once had a dog who would stand on my chest whenever he wanted me to get up off the couch. Whenever he did that, I’d give him attention for standing on my chest so of course it continued happening!
The first time I ignored his behavior was when he stood on my chest while I was watching a football game. He got bored and left after about five minutes without any consequences or repercussions from being ignored. I didn’t have an issue with him sitting on my chests ever again!
2. Train Your Dog to Sit or Lay Somewhere Else
To stop your dog from sitting on your chest, dog trainers often recommend redirecting your dog’s focus away from your chest. This involves having your dog do something else like siting on the floor.
This can be done by sitting on the couch and then calling your dog to sit next to you or on the floor. Once they are in position, give them praise and petting as desired. This will teach them that sitting next to you on the couch is what’s rewarded.
Whenever they insist to climb and sit on your chest, you can stop them by saying “Off” or using any of the commands that work for them. Do this in a gentle manner, without yelling or grabbing the dog so that your dog doesn’t get scared or stressed out, which will only lead to more problems.
3. Just Stand Up
If your dog is being stubborn and refusing to get off of you, just stand up. If they’re heavy enough or their paws are well-suited for gripping the shirt material, this should make them slide right down your body as if wearing a banana peel in Mario Kart (remember that game?). Once standing again, give yourself some space so that you can reset with the same technique mentioned above: “Off” + praise/petting when he gets into position next to the couch.
1. Why Does My Dog Lay On My Chest and Stare at Me?
Dogs have a lot to teach us about love and relationships.
Dogs are affectionate animals that want to brush their noses up against our faces and wrap themselves around us while we pet them. Because we spend so much time with them, they have an opportunity to learn all of the things they need to do in order for us not only to see them as pets but also as friends.
A dog will often lay on our chest or head because this is where their sense of smell is most acute – it’s seeking something comforting from you by breathing in your scent. It might also be trying to find a cool place if it’s too hot outside or wants an even level ground.