Why Does My Dog Lay On Me?

Why Does My Dog Lay On Me

If you’ve just become a pet parent and observe your dogs showing you lots of love, you may wonder, “Why does my dog lay on me?”. It’s essential to grasp that dogs are faithful companions whose love for their owners can be deeply significant.

Dogs demonstrate their love in many ways, including by following us everywhere, wagging their tails, and licking our cheeks, but one of the most prevalent is by laying on us. 

But why exactly do they do that? Why does your dog lay on you? Or what does it mean when your dog lays on you?

Dogs may want to lay on their dog parents for various reasons, including seeking comfort, attention, or a sense of safety. Sometimes they do this to become warm or to assert their dominance over their dog owners.

Not only that, but some dogs may have learned that laying on their owners makes them feel special.

Additionally, many dog owners love dog laying behavior and they allow their favorite furry friend to lay on top.

Let’s discuss all the reasons in detail that compel our furry companions to lay on us.

Reasons: Why Does Your Dogs Lay On You

1.   Seeking Comfort and Affection/Attention seeking behavior

One of the primary reasons dogs lay in your lap is to get some comfort and attention from their owners.

Dogs are sociable creatures with a natural need to be in close proximity to the other members of their pack.

They consider their owners as members of their pack, and staying near their owners (considered pack animals) provides them with a sense of safety and security.

When a dog lays on top of you, it is looking for some type of physical contact, which might be interpreted as an expression of affection. 

2.   Your Actions Have A Reinforcing Effect

Dogs can learn new behavior by having their existing ones reinforced.

For instance, you may not pay much thought to your dog’s behavior when it lies on top of you at the end of the day, and you give it a pat or a hug, but for your dog, this is a signal that resting on top of you will get it a reward.

If you notice that you are doing this frequently, it may be the reason why your dog lays on you; this is especially true if you do not immediately instruct them to get off of you when they do it.

3.   Your Dog Is Only Being Cautious

It’s possible that the dog laying behavior of your sweet dog is pure to defend you.

If it additionally gets protective when you are among other people or animals, then this would be a more likely occurrence.

It would also be more likely if it had a pattern of doing it when there were other people present and if it faced the main door when it was doing it.

4.   Regulating Body Temperature

Laying down on their owners can assist their canine companions in satisfying their innate drive to maintain a stable internal temperature.

When a dog lies on top of you, the heat from your body warms its fur as well as its skin. This is something that may be very useful on chilly days.

Dogs are able to preserve their energy while also keeping themselves warm by resting on their people.

This is something that is especially beneficial for younger canines and pups, as well as smaller dogs.

5.   Suffering From Separation Anxiety

While you’re separated, do you find yourself missing your dog?

It is not only unpleasant for you to leave your dog at home, but it is also challenging for your dog. 

If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, it will exhibit the most severe symptoms while you are not around.

When you come back, they can be too enthusiastic and friendly toward you for whatever reason. An indication of this eagerness may be that they are laying on you a little bit too much.

6.   Having a Dominant Display

When dogs want to assert, Although this is more frequently observed in dogs with behavioral problems, dogs might display this behavior if they feel frightened or unsure its surroundings.

When a dog lazes around on its owner, it is, in effect, establishing the owner as a part of its territory and asserting ownership over them.

Dogs that have not been thoroughly socialized or trained often have a higher incidence of this behavior. 

It is crucial to address the behavior as soon as possible if a dog is laying on its owner in a domineering manner. If left unchecked, this behavior can develop into more significant behavioral concerns.

7.   Sense of Saftey

Most dog breeds were developed to assist their owners in various tasks and find more comfort in the company of other canines.

It is possible that a dog sleeping or resting on top of you may help it feel safer since it will give it the impression that it is part of a group and hence less vulnerable.

That’s why for the purpose of safety, many small dogs sleep on their pet parents and feel secure.

8.   A Way of Communication

Dogs use various methods to convey their desires and requirements to their owners, and given that humans cannot understand what they are saying, we must be proficient in interpreting these cues.

One of the best ways for dogs to communicate is to lay on you. Some dogs may lay on their owners in the hopes of receiving dog treats, going on a walk, or engaging in play with their owners.

9.   Developing One’s Habits

There are occasions when your dog sleeps on you for no other reason than because they have learned that doing so would result in love or admiration.

When a dog sleeps on its person and receives positive attention for doing so, such as being petted or given goodies, the dog is likelier to repeat the activity in the future.

Tips to Stop Your Dog From Laying on You

If you notice that your dog’s tendency of laying on you has started to cause you problems or is becoming unpleasant, the following are some suggestions that could be helpful:

  • Train your dog to obey the “Down” or “Off” command: You may gently persuade your dog not to lay on you by teaching it to react to the word “down” or “off” and then use it when necessary.
  • Train your dog crate training: Crate training allows your dog to sleep in their crate rather than spending quality time laying on top of you. Most dogs love crate training and some dogs want their personal space after getting their belly rub. Crate train dogs always prefer to go to their crate along with other dogs/other pets after their cuddle time
  • Ensure That Your Dog Gets Adequate Exercise: Make sure that your dog gets enough exercise or positive reinforcement training regularly because this might assist in minimizing their demand for continuous physical touch.
  • Provide Alternatives: You should encourage your dog to use other areas to rest, such as a cozy dog bed or blanket that you provide for them, rather than the floor. Many dogs see their humans as pack member but providing beds in early age can be good and affectionate for your puppies.
  • Establish Limits: Do not permit your dog to lay on you when you are eating, working, or engaging in any other activity that requires you to have your hands free in order to establish clear boundaries between the two of you. Also, try to establish bonding process slowly with your puppies.
  • Avoid Reinforcing the Behavior: When your dog is laying on you, it is important to avoid reinforcing the behavior by petting, talking to, or establishing eye contact with your dog because doing so may encourage the habit. Also, take care of your aggressive or lonely behaviors.
  • Dealing with Behavioral Problems: You must seek the assistance of a trained dog trainer or behaviorist if your pet’s behavior is the result of separation anxiety or aggression. These issues can make it difficult for owners to manage their dogs’ conduct. Also, dogs are social animals and the dog loves human company so try to provide maximum dog snuggles when he wants and take your pup to the dog park whenever necessary. It will boost your pup’s behavior and protective instinct.

It is necessary to maintain consistency and patience in your training efforts. It is important to remember that changing habit requires time and patience.

Try your best while staying close to your pup and always consider him as a member of the family/house.

Conclusion: Why Does My Dog Lay on Top of Me?

Dogs will sometimes lay on their humans for several reasons, including demonstrating dominance, controlling their body temperature, seeking comfort and attention, and maintaining their internal temperature.

Regardless of the reason, it is essential to remember that this behavior is a kind of affection and that dogs lie to us because they want to be close to us.


Is It OK for a Dog to Lay On You?

It is typically OK for a dog to lay on you, but you should be aware of their behavior and check to see that it is not giving you any discomfort or risking you getting hurt.

In addition, if your dog is laying on top of you aggressively, this might indicate certain behavioral issues that need to be resolved.

Can Laying On Their Owner Be a Sign of Separation Anxiety in Dogs?

Yes, some dogs may try to comfort themselves by laying on their owners when they feel anxious or suffer from separation anxiety.

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